No Such Thing as a Dumb Question

We’ve heard this from teachers, often…

Questions“There’s no such thing as a dumb question, except for the question not asked.”

While this is a true statement on many levels, here are some things to consider.

Some questions are better asked in private, rather than in public. Other questions need to be approached at a time that answers can be given. Reporters and lawyers may ask questions with the hope of surprising an answer that can make an article popular, or the trial exciting. But most of us are not reporters! Nor lawyers!

Even Jesus faced this! One group saw the failure of another group with their quest to challenge Jesus, they swooped in trying to test him with their own question.

But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” (Matthew 22:34-36 NKJV)

He could have given them an answer they thought they wanted to hear, but this is not the way of Jesus. No. He gives them something deeper and broader than they had ever thought! He linked two great truths together!

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV)

Perhaps we should consider learning some etiquette about asking good, no, let’s say better…wait, by not just make them the best questions! Let’s glean from St Jerome and think about how this applies to questions we would like to ask.

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.” ~St. Jerome

Add to that, we are judged by our questions! Ask a simple question, expect a simple answer. Ask a complex question, and with some thought I could probably give you a series of simple answers! Or simply obfuscate your question with extraneous information that will simply confuse the original question!

But one more thought. The age and maturity of the person will scope out the type of question that should be allowed… Okay? So… Ask away… I will not be judged by my answers!

  • “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” ~Voltaire
  • “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” ~JFK