Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12/20/12—Questioning Everything

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Today's Draw: The Fool: Percival from the Glastonbury Tarot. Are you someone who asks a lot of questions? Do you tend to keep your questioning on the surface, so as not to challenge or embarrass anyone? Or does your curiosity often lead you into potentially embarrassing rabbit holes?

Percival was one of King Arthur's knights. And he totally blew his first chance at securing the Holy Grail. Why? Because, even though he was curious about the goings on at a castle he was staying at, he didn't ask any questions that would satisfy his curiosity. He didn't want to be considered impolite. 

As you may have noticed, every Daily Draw starts with three questions. They're not always comfortable questions. A huge part of my job as a writer is asking questions and getting to the root of peoples' businesses. Sometimes I ask questions about things businesses don't want to talk about. But I need to know a company's strengths AND weaknesses in order to word things in such a way that it honestly presents the business in its best light. I can't do that effectively without knowing the whole story. 

So I'm a questioner from way back. Of course, I do my best to not be rude or invasive, but that doesn't mean I can't still ask the question. I owe my questioning nature to three things:

  • Teachers who encouraged us to ask question by reassuring us there were no stupid questions.
  • Stumbling upon the notion of "if you want something, ask for it." I was always afraid to ask for what I wanted until I tried. It's amazing how simple a solution it is! :D
  • My own natural intellectual curiosity. I don't know what came career or the curiosity...but the two have worked together in tandem and I think now my "minimum amount of information needed to get rid of me" may be higher than the average joe's.  

I have a pretty good BS meter, too. It sometimes doesn't kick in until after we're done talking, but when things don't add up, I feel it throughout my body. I'm not a good person to talk to if you want to be a victim or be in denial because I will hone in on the "truth" fairly quickly. I've had more than one person tell me that when they want someone to feel sorry for them, they call someone else. And when they want to hear the truth, they call me. All of that comes from the questioning, curious nature inside me. 

I say all of this because we often think of The Fool as being the guy who leaps before he looks and trusts the universe will guide him safely down. But he's also the guy who starts out on the journey of self awareness and awareness of the world around him that is the major arcana of the tarot. He is on a journey of discovery. Discovery requires curiosity. And curiosity relies on questions. 

There was a time, like Percival, that I held back on the questions out of some sort of anxiety. But that time is long past and I feel comfortable now. Like anything else, sometimes the timing will be off or someone will take offense. Those times teach you. You get a feel for how and how far to question someone. You get a sense for who might open up a little and who just has too many walls up. And you learn to respect others in pursuit of your curiosity. But even so you're still going to have times when you cringe because you stepped in a poo of your own making. 

When it comes down to asking an impolite question about something you feel a need to know about vs. not asking the question because you might be considered impolite, though, I'd go for the former every time. The only regrets I have about questions are regrets about the ones I never asked. 

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