‘Answers cure you, answers help you. Asking questions make you feel alive.’*
“If everybody is doing it one way, there’s a great chance you can find your niche by doing it in exactly the opposite direction.”**
For twenty three years, he’d been pointing out what was wrong in the system he and others were living in, but no one was listening.
His life had become persistence personified and there was a word that described this and meant so much to him. It was a word had come to describe the labour of people who began their day before dawn so they would not be overcome by the heat of the day. In his tongue the word was hashkem: to shoulder a burden or load.^
We need those who bring different perspectives to us, who ask the questions we hadn’t thought of asking. We need these people to be persistent, to not give up when we charge them with not collaborating or being inaccessible because they’re not using the same words as everyone else, or doing the same thing.
When answers come too quickly, or they look a lot like what we want them to look like, or they satisfy us so that we don’t ask further questions, then we need to be wary.
If you are the one who sees things differently to everyone else, we need you. You may want to try this word hashkem out for size; don’t give up.
Our imagining of a better future is our attempt to imagine a better now.
(*From Albert Espinosa’s The Yellow World.)
(**From Linda Rottenberg’s Crazy is a Compliment.)
(^Eugene Peterson unwraps this story of the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah’s persistence in his book Run with the Horses.)