As we wrestle with each new challenge in life, we ask ourselves and others a continuous stream of questions. Question-asking is one of the main ways that we try to get a grip on whatever is going on. Asking questions can allow us to start thinking about the unknown, because questions focus our attention, and provide a theme for continued exploration.
We use questions to make a kind of “space” in our minds for things we do not know yet (in the sense of understand), or have not decided yet, or have not invented yet, or have not discovered yet. The answer to our questions, will involve a complex mix of discovering, inventing, understanding, and deciding, all pulled together partly by the creative power of the question. Let us explore some questions.
Questions, concerning ourselves
What is happening to me? What comes
next for me? What is the source and meaning of my restlessness,
dissatisfaction, longing, and anxiety?
What do I really desire?
What have I not brought forth that is within me? What have I contributed to life?
What are my gifts? What ought I to do? Who says that? What story, myth, values, authorities, institutions inform my life? What is my ultimate concern?
Questions within our relationships
Whom do I love? By whom am I loved? Am I more loved or loving? How close is close enough? What are we doing together? Do we help each other broaden and deepen life’s challenges? Can we become more compassionate? What emotions- fear, anger, resentment, guilt, shame, sorrow, desire for revenge – keep us from being authentic with each other? Can we renew our passion and commitment?
Questions specific to our family.
What goals do I have for myself and for other people in the family? Who does what with whom when decisions are made, conflicts are resolved, or problems handled? How does a typical day go? Is the process of leadership balanced or imbalanced? Does it lead to harmony or conflict? Where is each person in the family in relation to personal, physical, cognitive, emotional and social development? Where are the family/members in the life cycle and how are they handling transitions? What developments in the larger systems, especially our society or the world, are affecting the family? How do economics, education, religion, race, regional background, gender affect family processes? What gender role is each member of the family assuming? What effect would role reversal have on the relational activities of the family members? Where is the family in the process of change? Which communication patterns do family members use under stress? (Corey 2005:444)
Questions concerning my community
Who is included within the “we”, the
community that encompasses and defines my being? Who is my neighbor? For whom,
beyond the circle of my family, do I care?
Who are my enemies? To what extremes would I go to defend my country? Can I be loving, merciful, and loyal to my profession, my corporation, my country?