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COLUMNS


Answering the tough questions


By Lucius Patenaude
Posted on February 21, 2013 | Columns, Opinion | Comments Off

What exactly makes a question hard? 5x^2 + 19x + 12, that’s a relatively difficult question. X could be any number of answers. “Are you going on that mission trip?” “Will you buy this house?” “Should we take him off the ventilator?” These questions only have two answers to pick from: yes or no. Why is it when faced with them we are likely to think or say, “That’s a hard question”?

Solving for X is a hard process for me. But frankly, I do not care an iota what X is. Whether I get the answer right or not means little to me. I have no personal investment in the answer. X = -31/5 (tweet @acuoptimist and let me know if I got it right).

X can have an infinite range of answers. “What car do you want?” may have a hundred answers. “Do you want kids?” has only two. A hard question is hard because it affects us personally. And in reality it is not even the question that is hard, it is the thought that goes into the answer that is tough.

People don’t like thinking. We would rather feel something than think it. Many times I have responded to a question with, “I’ll think about it.” Then I don’t. When the person asks for an answer I end up whipping one out based on instinct, a feeling. (http://cl.ly/N37e)

Putting thought into something takes effort and time. It can be hard, especially with questions whose answers will permanently impact our life. A responsible person takes the time to sit down and think. But who likes responsibility? Not me. I would rather go with my gut. (http://cl.ly/N2k9)

In this time of busyness and short attention spans we have lost the discipline to stop and consider. I think it is important to plan a little and not rush about making decisions willy-nilly. Thought is maintenance for our life. It helps us determine who we are socially, spiritually, economically. However, there is a time for everything. A time to think. A time to go with the moment. A time to be still and know.

Lucius Posted by Lucius Patenaude on Feb 21st, 2013 and filed under Columns, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.  - This post has been viewed 6636 times.

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