Today, I have a very special guest blogger. She will be writing on the topic of asking the right questions….
Have you heard the story of the Jefferson Memorial???
I saw a video presentation on it and the message stuck with me. Here’s the story:
The memorial in D.C. was getting badly deteriorated at an alarming rate compared to other memorials and the park service needed to figure out what to do about it.
Here was one option for the quick-to-reactive: Replace the crumbling sections of stone at an unbelievably high cost and requiring the memorial to be closed for an extended period.
But what was smart to do in this case (and in much of life) was to ask, “Why?”
Why were the stones crumbling?
Because they needed to be cleaned very frequently- more than the other memorials…
Well, because there were so many pigeons (what my friend calls flying cockroaches)!
Ok, here we go again…”Why?”
Because there were so many spiders living there…”Why?”
Because there were so many itsy bugs called midges living there…”Why?”
Because of the strange lighting conditions happening at the site!
All these links in the chain of a problem were fixed by turning on the lights just a bit later in the evening. No new formulas developed to clean the stones, no devised methods to control the pigeon, spider, or midge population…none of these complex, elaborate schemes to fix the problem! A simple solution emerged because someone took the time to figure out what the real problem was!
A great lesson, no?
So, what does this have to do with you? Well, take the lesson as you like! For me, it reminds me to constantly move beyond the surface, superficial problem. Why deal with the side effects when you can cut to the core and deal with the root problem? It save a whole lot of time, trouble, effort, heartache, etc…the lessons are infinite! It’s all about thinking outside the box!
In a society of quick answers and results, we need to often slow down and take the initiative to understand the dynamics of a situation before formulating a plan of action.
So, what do you want? What really is the problem???? Be brave enough to ask the question and act upon the answers!
Your homework: The next time you find yourself in a situation, try a new way to react to it.
For a bit more contemplation on the questions and answers of life:
“…have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try
To love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written
in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not
be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the
point is to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even
Noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903
In Letters to a Young Poet