Never Stop Questioning
I don’t know if there is some scientific fact behind this or what the statistics say, but have you noticed that most birthdays are during summer? Since there is a considerable amount of people, at least on my Facebook list, that are turning one year wiser almost every day of the summer, including myself, it always makes me dig for that perfect birthday wish. Saying “Happy Birthday John” is a good start but also a fast, convenient and safe ending. I often want to inspire someone, almost reflect on their lives and leave them with some kind of words of wisdom.
These words of wisdom I find in Einstein’s quote which captures so many dimensions of life and says so much more than what you hear.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” — A. Einstein
It is easy to read this quote as two separate statements with good points but independent from each other. However what he means is to never stop questioning what you learn from yesterday, what you live for today, and what you hope for tomorrow.
Questioning is often regarded as doubting and the older we get, the more confident, stable and sure of who we are, we want to appear. There is no place for doubt. You’ve lived and you’ve learned to accept things, to work for things, to earn your place. Doubt is not hot, it won’t get you money, it won’t get you a partner, neither that job you’ve just interviewed for — HR will cringe.
Although synonyms, the main difference between questioning and doubting is that the former gives equal weight to all scenarios, good or bad while the latter almost favors the scenario that never was, the ideal. To doubt means to shift your focus on the alternative scenario by comparing the existing one to something that could possibly have been better. To question is to evaluate all outcomes in an objective manner, it is not only the present, it involves revising the past and the future.
Doubting is fear while questioning is curiosity.
Getting older may make us more inclined to question less because we think it’s doubting ourselves. However without questions there are no answers, just remember to always keep questioning your answers.
In the end I would like to say to John: “Happy Birthday John! You can always change your answer.”
Enough crazy for today.