Could Human life be expressed more powerfully in a question than in anything else?
There is a restlessness to life, as though, if we were to find the answer, life would be less. Some live as though they are only waiting for death:
“All around you, people will be tiptoeing through life, just to arrive at death safely. But dear children, do not tiptoe. Run, hop, skip, or dance, just don’t tiptoe.”*
There is so much we don’t know, about each other, about our world and universe, about ourselves. It has provoked author Stuart Firestein to ask, ‘What if we cultivated ignorance instead of fearing it?’**
Our questions cause us to reach out to one another and to keep moving in a healthy and life-provoking pursuit – so we might not be overtaken by apathy or cynicism.
‘Questions learn to love that great unknown – it’s the land of opportunity, in terms of creativity and innovation.’^
Yuval Noah Harari points out how Humans, having bigger brains than other species, have, through natural selection, favoured smaller heads and comparatively premature birth for their young because of the hazards of child-birth.^^
Human youngsters, then, have been left with years of development outside of the womb, not only being dependent for longer but expressing great adaptability and plasticicity as we interacted with our environments – a plasticity we can continue throughout our lives.
So it would seem our questions are the ideal way of exploring this big world and universe. They existed in our lives in their hundreds every day when we were younger; we’ve just forgotten how to ask them. The good news is, this essentially Human ability can be recovered and developed.
Have you identified your beautiful question yet?
(*College professor, quoted in Shane Claiborne’s The Irresistible Revolution.)(**Quoted in Warren Berger’s A More Beautiful Question.)
(^From Warren Berger’s A More Beautiful Question.)
(^^From Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens. Harari describes the problem of large heads is compounded by Human females requiring narrower hips in order to stand upright resulting in a narrowing of the birth canal.)