Sunday, November 07, 2010

Quote of the Day

It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.
Eugene Ionesco

A few years ago in Honduras I was introduced to a brilliant Dutch man named Jacob. He was in San Pedro Sula for only a few days, but we were fortunate enough to visit with him just one day when our paths crossed

He told us a story of helping negotiate a treaty with a native group and a government. What I remembered most from his story was how he learned from the leaders of the native group that the questions asked were far more important than the answers. It was in the questions they found wisdom.

That stayed with me and I thought about it many times. A couple of years later, when we connected with Jacob in an Amsterdam coffee shop, again as our paths crossed in a place where none of us lived, he shared more stories. But all had this theme of asking questions.

I started to realize this tall, lanky man had made a life of asking questions - and carefully listening to the answers.

It gives a person reason to pause. And consider. What the questions can reveal, even without answers.


Judith said...

This works at all times. When a friend comes to you with a problem, the trick is to ask - or help the friend ask - the right questions.

It is the basis of psychotherapy and counseling. Asking the right question is the first step - the major step - toward solution.

Great insight! Bravo for your friend Jacob.

Patsy Terrell said...

Questions are always how you find out the interesting things!