Socrates and me!
Is it just ME – and Socrates, or are you, too, always curious as to the ‘who, what, where, when why and how’.
I was blessed to be raised in a family that delighted in my ‘need to know’. I never remember simply being today, “Because”, in answer to any of my questions. I was fed with information, which, guess what; provoked more questions.
I remember in an early Philosophy class in college studying the ancients: Plato, Aristotle, Socrates. When we got to Socrates, classmates were quick to turn their heads and comment, “That’s you, Beth!” Yes, they were right. Socrates, a student of Aristotle was known for asking questions!
I recall driving with my Mom and asking her if she thought there were more blades of grass or grains of sand in the world! She supposed there were more grains of sand. I supposed she was right! (She most often was!)
While sitting at a red light in close proximity to a large department store (I miss you, Bonwit Teller!) I asked my Mom how many bricks she thought were in the building. She said, “Well, let’s do some math!”
Do you realize how lucky I was? I’m not sure I did in those moments, but I sure came to realize it. I came to appreciate that questions do have answers – or at least they provoke thoughtful conjecture, conversation, assumptions, etc! I learned – as we are all told – there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers!
But, I wasn’t answered that way. I was answered so as to cause me to continue to think, to expand my mind. In so doing, I gained a wealth of information and didn’t grow up being afraid to ask. I also learned not to be afraid if I were asked a question to which I had no ready answer. I was given the gift of a sound foundation of communication. I learned to listen, to think and to answer; not just to respond.
We all have ready resources if information. Technology makes it simple to find factual answers to questions – that’s great. I wonder, though, what negative effect it may be having on the whole cycle of communication.
Do we want to know, just to know? Don’t we want to know so we can share, learn from each other and to grow. Is the strength of our thumbs growing exponentially to the expansion of our minds?
Call me old fashioned, but nothing beats the magic of human imagination and the world of “I wonder…..”.
So, I wonder where the world would be if we began to speak more, to actually answer, rather than just responding…I wonder what would happen if we could just imagine more and know a tiny bit less.
Technology serves us well in the sciences and we have benefited greatly from advances in medicine because of it. Technology has overloaded us with less valuable information, the benefit of which “ I wonder”.
SO, is it just ME – and Socrates – or do you, too remember the joy of days when you could just wonder, imagine, dream, without really knowing? Maybe I just miss driving around with my Mom and talking to her – boy, do I ever!
“Wisdom begins in wonder.”