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Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Right to Ask Dumb Questions

The disciples were always asking Jesus questions (even dumb ones). How comfortable are you taking your questions to Jesus? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1447).

If I could add another freedom to the Bill of Rights, it would unquestionably be the right to ask dumb questions.  How many dumb mistakes could be avoided if we were truly free to ask dumb questions?  When I was an undergraduate I took a course in philosophy.  As the saying goes, I remember one day in that class as if it were only yesterday.  First you must understand that I felt extremely weak, vulnerable, and intimidated in the course.   As a teenager, my total brush with philosophy was the experiential narrative of the Bible.  Thus, in my background abstract thought was a byproduct of experience and never ventured far from it.  I was totally unequipped to massage abstractions by themselves in a rarified world of abstractions.  But on this one day I felt inspired and even called to be a man and express my point of view about the subject under discussion.  As usual, I attempted to anchor my observation within experience.  The reaction of the professor and one brilliant student in the room was to meet my comment with utter dismissal, even disgust.  I learned my lesson well, and never again risked speaking up in that class.  I remember walking across campus after the put-down more hopelessly certain than ever that I was not college material.

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