Questioning is mental adventure

“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, months of darkness, constant journey, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.”

Advertisement placed by Ernest Shackleton in a London newspaper, August 1914. Legend has it that 5000 people responded.

Questioning is a perilous activity. It is not as dangerous as travelling with a team of huskies to the Pole. But plenty of people have got lost between question and answer.

Asking questions places the questioner at risk. There is the risk of being thought foolish by one’s peers (for example, by questioning something that most people think is obvious). There is the risk of alienating oneself from one’s peers (for example, by posing a question that other people deem improper or immoral). There is also a psychological risk involved in questioning, particularly when asking the big questions of life. One never knows whether the question can in fact be answered. [Read more…]