So what’s your question?

We are naturally interactive creatures that exchange information with each other.  That is how humans are wired.  This is what we do.  Almost everything in our life revolves around the passing of data in some form from a sender to a receiver.  A simplistic way of representing this exchange comes via questions and answers.  One person asks another a question, they respond with an answer.  Even when no answer is given, that receiver has provided a type of non-verbal answer that the original sender can choose to translate as they wish.  This has been the exchange since we have been on this rock.  Humans seek for answers to questions to fulfill our basic need for knowledge.  Therefore I pose a question of my own…do we place more value in the question or the answer?

Sometimes, isn’t it the question that gives us the fulfillment even more than the answer?  Let’s consider a puzzle.  A completed puzzle gives us fulfillment in that we can see something of beauty…a picture, some artistic rendering or photo of something that we found intriguing when we bought the puzzle.  But is it the finalized puzzle that keeps enthusiasts of puzzles going out and buying another puzzle?  Not at all.  It’s the challenge of putting the puzzle together and the sense of accomplishment that is derived from the act of compiling a bunch of small odd shaped pieces into something whole.  The question provided more gratification than the answer.

Let’s take a different perspective on this now…do we do this enough throughout the thread of our lives?  We’ve all experienced the vastly diverse set of personality types in our places of business. I won’t go into the particulars as I’m sure we’ve all seen a plethora of attributes related to these, but ultimately we’re all pretty good at identifying those people that generally love the things that they accomplish at work and those that are just there to collect the paycheck a couple of times a month. Could it be said that those that really love their chosen career paths often find the means of accomplishing a task as fulfilling as the delivery? In my line of work, I get satisfaction out of delivering some value to a user that will make their jobs much easier, but for me that value in the deliverable may not exist. It isn’t going to make my day to day job any easier. For me, it was the satisfaction that I get out of being able to build something, to craft something, to formulate and develop something using strategic thoughts and learned expertise that keeps me happy with what I do. It’s the question that fills the need for me.

“Would you please just answer me.” We’ve all heard that before. We’ve heard it from a parent, a spouse, or a boss. When was the last time you heard “Would you please question me?” If you stop and think, it poses an interesting challenge. Doesn’t being questioned on a regular basis drive certainty in what we think and believe to be true and accurate? Without the question, there would be no answers to give.

So what is more important – the question or the answer? I suppose I can’t say, for if I were to say, wouldn’t I be giving you the answer?

~ by bfmooz on June 9, 2011.

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