Saturday, December 29, 2012
Let us not "forfeit the power of the question"
I hope you are well and have had a low stress Christmas (as much as is possible!)
A couple of weeks ago - for the most part - I stopped listening beyond headlines to news on the t.v., radio, or in print. It was just easier to cope. I needed a rest from the relentless focus on just a few situations ... while there was a complete lack of major media covering anything hopeful during what is supposed to be a season of goodwill and hope.
I think I'd been feeling particularly unable to be helpful or hopeful ... and media negativity made those feelings stronger.
The funny thing is that, while feeling negative, I worked and did household stuff, lent an ear to several friends, helped one with quite a few errands, continued to post notices on the website I maintain for Community Gardens London (www.communitygardenslondon.ca), answered two inquiries about community garden policy, and followed enough City political goings-on to send in comment about several planning issues.
So there I'd been, doing all sorts of stuff, and feeling like I'd not done enough and full of questions that generally start "Why is it that...?"
Checking today's London Free Press online, I happened to read a column I don't usually read and found this statement:
"The person who carts answers around, eager to dispense them at a moment's notice, forfeits the power of the question."
Rev. (retired) Robert Ripley, United Church of Canada
I really like this phrase. Even though I don't even know exactly what it means!
I think what it means is that as long as we are asking questions, and looking around to find answers - especially asking our questions of other people - there are chances that we will see the many things that go into an answer ... or, rather, find that there are many parts to an answer. From there, there are many paths to solutions and many possibilities for including other people in the path and the future.
Just the idea that there is power in questions appeals to me.
The possibility that more questions leads to more possibilities for solutions has me feeling better.
It looks like I remain ... and as always wishing you well!
p.s. Reverend Ripley's entire article includes comment on several aspects of the quotation, including that it is far too simple - and is wrong - to excuse horrific, violent actions by saying things like God "wanted" the children (who died at the hands of a crazy gunman). That's my interpretation. Ripley's entire article is at (http://www.lfpress.com/2012/12/28/forget-answers--seek-questions)