The Art of Asking Questions

Forgive my uncultured swine background but the first time I fully understood who Socrates was during our 12th Grade Philosophy class. It was a subject that I didn’t fully appreciate then because why should I waste my time studying the thoughts of dead people when I can just go home and sleep? However, as I entered college I understood why these people are asking so many questions about life.

My freshmen year is the most challenging academic year because I struggled with what I really wanted and I often compared myself to the achievements of my peers. The confident human in me became the super insecure whiner. In hopes of becoming a significant person, or at least a useful one, to our classroom and to society, I started asking questions.

At first, I started criticizing myself on why I do not know anything about video editing, I’m taking up Communication Arts, why don’t I have the talent in terms of art and so on. Second, I asked people on why they are so knowledgeable about various skills and/or why were they so socially aware?

I asked tons of questions regarding life, socio-political contexts, skills, and so much more that I can barely remember everything. Through this I was able to come up with my own conclusion, asking questions and knowing is not enough one must do something about it.

According to Socrates, the art of questioning is grounded on the idea of practiced discipline and thoughtful dialogue. It is what we should do in order to fully understand and to be able to think critically about a topic/subject. This is a simple notion but with a very huge impact.

After I asked questions, I began to do something about the things I lacked. I’m slowly, emphasized on the word slowly, learning art, people, and leadership skills. True enough, I was able to win back some of the confidence I lost after a year of being an insecure person.

However, the greatest question I asked, and continue asking, are the ones involving our society. My friends and family think I’m too political, believe me I’m not “too”, but once you ask questions you’d get baffled by the answers you get to the point where you’ll never be satisfied.

We are an agricultural country but why are the farmers the poorest? Why are we suffering from brain drain when we are in need of professionals? Why are we so dependent on other countries? Who is helping the marginalized? Are we capable of surviving another world war? And so many more questions that I can simply fill up an entire page in just typing my questions.

I have questions but were given unsatisfactory answers. With the availability of information and people who are willing to educate me, I’m able to formulate my own opinions, ideas, and suggestions regarding various topics. But, as I said, asking questions is not sufficient.

The answers we receive should be the basis of the actions we take. What could we do to help? What aspect or faction in our society did the government neglect? What right did they violate? Asking questions allows us to look at the broader spectrum to analyze what is really happening. Our capability to think critically as well as our action towards it is our only defense against another abuse of power.

We would witness the end of our democratic rights once we stop asking questions. When we, forced or not, accept every information and answer given to us without criticizing it is the day the ill-powered people celebrate their tyrant rule.

I encourage everyone to not stop asking. Stay curious until you and other people are satisfied with the answers you receive. My curiosity first led me to a personal quest to a fight for the independence of the country. I started first, and still am, educating myself and now as a journalist, I’m doing my best to educate more people.

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