Nothing in life is gained without first asking for it. Dwell on that for a moment.
From the moment you first came from the womb, you acquired food, attention, and the changing of your soiled underwear by crying for it. You learned to ask for assistance. As a child, you amused your parents with your first requests. As you grew, you refined your requests, transforming your parent’s amusement to exasperation.
As you continued to grow, you discovered an entire world begging you to ask for its secrets. So, you began to ask, to inquire, to poke and probe into your world, exploring all that it had to offer. You learned to ask for knowledge (information, wisdom, etc). As you found puzzles you could not solve, you began to ask your parents for answers, furthering their exasperation.
This dynamic continued into adulthood. Regardless of what you asked for, two things quickly became clear. First, you realized that some things would always need asking. As a child, you asked for things until you were capable of acquiring them without help. You now realized that you would never be capable of acquiring some things, whether due to time constraints, ability, or desire. Hence, you learned to ask the doctor, lawyer, chef, and banker, rather than learn medicine, law, culinary arts, or finances.
Second, you also learned that who was just as important as what when asking. You learned this when you discovered that the smart doctor, as intelligent as she was, proved to be a poor source for legal advice.
For most, this was enough. However, some of us reached higher, asking questions for which the answers were more opinion than certifiable fact. Before, the validity of any answer was verifiable by observation and/or simple testing; now, few (if any) of the answer(s) were of this nature. The harder you tried, the more elusive the answer(s) became.
You became frustrated. You began to lose hope. You became cynical. You traded asking for receiving, questions for answers. You settled on a best guess. You even began to defend your answers in the face of questions and answers submitted by others, refusing to reopen the original questions to scrutiny. You stopped asking. On that day, part of you died inside.
What went wrong? Your error is contained within this axiom, an axiom you can deposit in your account. Read the rest of this entry »