The Courage to Ask

Somewhere along the way we seem to have lost the art of questioning. Whether in religion, business, or medicine, we only want answers. More specifically, we only want the answer. Don’t get me wrong, I think that our scientific advancements and ability to tackle complex problems is nothing short of remarkable. There was a time however, before the Age of Enlightenment and Modernism, when humanity was comfortable wondering. We could question and debate, but more importantly, we had the patience to just sit with our uncertainty.

Answers can be useful, of course. We have created beautiful things, cured countless diseases, and overcome seemingly impossible situations with them. And yet there is a crisis in our souls because we are collectively realizing that we don’t have all the answers. With our machines and medicine and all of our experience, not one of us can answer with certainty the question, “will my loved one survive this?” And I don’t dare attempt to explain why I think “God let this happen.”

Deep down we know that not all questions have satisfactory answers. In fact, the greatest questions produce more questions. We would do well to remember that best practice is not the best we’ll ever have; it’s merely the best we have right now. In other words, it is an evolution of thought. If we took an honest look, we would see that we grow stagnant when we reach final conclusions and think that there is nothing left to ask.

Therefore, if we want to flourish as an institution, as providers, as worshipers, as people, then we might consider embracing a culture of questioning. Even if we have a good answer, we can ask more questions. If the answer is love, we can ask, “How do we love deeper?” If the answer is grace, we can ask, “Who else can we forgive?” If the answer is peace, we can ask, “How can we include more?” May we be a people who are not afraid to ask. May we be leaders who are not afraid to be asked. And may we have the courage to inquire, “How can we do better?”

Author: tomarbaugh

My mission is to courageously live an authentic life that influences other individuals to be their best selves.

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