I was trying to figure out how to theme this week’s “Happy Monday Quotes,” and I was coming up blank. As I started to think about asking people on Facebook and Twitter for ideas, I realized how much of my life is spent asking and answering questions.
I really love asking questions. Even when they bring something unpleasant to the surface, this unpleasantness presents the potential for growth. And when I find out something new, unexpected or delightful, of course, my world is changed for the better. I was taught by parents, teachers (the good ones) and others to ask a lot of them, because that is the only way to learn about how all the fascinating things in the universe work, plus about how people’s brains think and how their hearts feel. (However, truth be told, exposing my secretly-tender underbelly enough to answer those pesky feeling questions when they are asked of me is not easy at all, but I digress …)
So, here are some quotes on the theme of questions of all types — big, small and in between — that lead to new discoveries and a richer experience of the world.
“Where do one’s fears come from? Where do they shape themselves? Where do they hide before coming out into the open?” — Agatha Christie (from The Moving Finger)
“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.” — Rainer Maria Rilke (from Letters to a Young Poet)
“Indeed, the only truly serious questions are ones that even a child can formulate. Only the most naive of questions are truly serious. They are the questions with no answers. A question with no answer is a barrier that cannot be breached. In other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limit of human possibilities, describe the boundaries of human existence.” — Milan Kundera (from The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
“An infinite question is often destroyed by finite answers. To define everything is to annihilate much that gives us laughter and joy.” — Madeleine L’Engle (from A Circle of Quiet)