There's No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

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I disagree.

Stupid questions come in the form of:

  • Questions asked without seeking answers.
    I don't mean rhetorical questions. I mean the kind of thing I'd say to my wife if I was upset that dinner wasn't ready, "What have you been doing all day?" Those are not my finer moments.
  • Questions asked to prove how ignorant another is.
    I did this in high school a few times to prove to myself that my teachers were clueless. ...not a good practice and a very good indication of how much of a prideful punk I was. Notice that I wasn't seeking answers.
  • Questions designed to annoy/crush someone.
    Been guilty of this one too. A friend and I were debating birth control. Granted, I felt like she was attacking me personally, but that is no excuse for my scathing question which brought tears to her eyes. This is also related to not seeking answers.

I'm sure there are many other forms, but you get the picture: Questions asked for some reason other than to get answers are not good questions.

But it's so easy, oh so easy, in the heat of a moment to pull out these powerful tools. Rubbing someone's ignorance in their face is so tempting. Smashing someone's position with a loaded question is so easy...

Unless you are met by those who have gracious answers.

Alasandra recently posted some answers to some questions. I thought the questions were interesting and the answers provided--before commenting was closed--are great. My favorite was #4:

Okay. Seriously. If parents are stupid — as in, not all that bright from an academic perspective — should they homeschool?

My answer: Absolutely!

If your education left you "not all that bright from an academic perspective" there is no better time to learn then with your kids. I know I'll be relearning things throughout my life and I hope to constantly learn new things... and I did great from an academic perspective!

The idea of giving up because you're "stupid" is sad to me. Homeschooling offers us a completely different approach: Life-long learning.

It's a beautiful thing.

May our questions--and answers--always be as beautiful.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Surrogate Father

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