Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Did You Ask a Question Today?

I have found another weakness of my many to attempt to make a strength: taking things at face value without stepping back to think objectively. Although, I do think I'm slightly improving.

For example, the New Hampshire GOP Presidential Candidate debate was last night. Immediately the post debate reports on twitter and CNN were saying "GOP insiders say candidate x is leading or DEM insiders say candidate x is behind after the debate". At first brush anything with the word "insiders" makes something sound credible, so they must be right! Candidate x really didn't do well at all!!

But stop. When we hear strict points such as the one mentioned above, are we asking:
"What is their source of information?"
"Who did they poll?"
"What was their type of polling, was it done in a credible fashion?"
"How many people did they poll?"
"And is the one who is reporting the information credible? Or slanted in anyway towards one view or another?"

Regardless of the answers to all of those questions, I do like hearing what CNN is reporting (I am  picking on CNN but it could be endless sources that use this style of nebulous statements). It gives me a certain piece of the puzzle to give me a full and fair analysis of what the overall results were of the debate. But this small example is connected to my bigger point: Are we asking questions continually of the information being presented to us? 

Are we teaching our kids to not take facts at face value but to do their own "truth seeking"?
Are we taking the doctor at his/her word when they give us a final report?
Are we making mega decisions without seeking a second opinion? (I.e. to buy a new car, when if you had a second opinion you'd find it could be fixed for much less than originally quoted?)

Are we allowing media, university professors, talking head-experts, spokespersons, and candidates, just to name a few, to define the truth? The truth that will influence our next moment in the journey of life. 

The kids accept the "truth" that safe sex education really is needed because more than likely they will participate in it sooner rather than later therefore they don't even strive for purity and standards.
The patient succumbs to the report of the doctor, goes home and settles into a deep depression, not knowing the situation is a minor yet mis-understood and rare issue that needed a second opinion.
The mechanic convinced the car owner to continue driving the old car would be life threatening to his family so he put money down - that he didn't have - on a new car.

See my point?

We have got to ask QUESTIONS. And remember, there are moments for trust, which you will know because at that point you will hopefully know and understand the person asking you to trust their judgment; there are mega moments for trust when Someone says go right or left. We can ask questions but the silence could be our answer.

No longer can my generation be the dumbed down, numb generation: we have to awaken from our stupor and think critically by asking a question. Come on Millennials. Start today.