Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I’ve often said that life is a lot like a never ending classroom. You’re always learning. Whether in college, at a seminar, or at some on the job training, your facilitator has probably uttered the words, ‘there is no such thing as a stupid question.’ In theory this is a great disclaimer, but a majority of the time it is merely a stupid mistake. Although the question may not be in itself stupid, this doesn’t necessarily make it smart, nor does it exempt the asker from the former label!

Although life is a learning experience, some people refuse to be engaging learners and ask question upon question to have their hand perpetually held throughout any lesson. I think a lot of the people in this world, especially in mine and subsequent generations, have become accustomed to being infantilized and strolled through every learning experience on a pretty short leash. Old practices of learning from one’s mistakes and taking chances are somewhat out the window. Instead of practicing trial and error, people want to be micromanaged through their lives so they can blame their mistakes on poor instruction rather than learn from them.

A majority of the hardest and best lessons I have ever learned were from falling flat on my face. You’re forced to pick yourself up and clean up the mess you’ve made of things. I am a big advocate of personal responsibility and think finger pointing should best be reserved for fireworks, museum tours, and meteors falling out of the sky Armageddon style.

Finally, the only thing worse than a stupid question is a simple answer. Most stupid questions are derived from laziness, lack of attention, or some weird hybrid of the two. By providing an answer that can be sought after and found by the asker if they had given a shred more effort, you’re simply handing him a big ole fish. This fish is about as useful as the Billy Singing Bass, because you’ve just opened up an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet of answers. The ‘teachers’ of this world are equally guilty by training a world of hungry, lazy appetites, rather than equipping their ‘students’ with rod and real and shoving them out on the lake of life.

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