Do you judge a person by his questions or his answers?

This question was prompted by Voltaire’s “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
But it was also prompted by the book I am reading just now, A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas. Click on the link to read the FIRST LINES from the book to get an idea about its content.

Its an interesting book. And as expected prompting more questions than answers, and making me bold about asking ones of my own.

The author, Warren Berger quotes Joi Ito of MIT’s Media Lab saying “You don’t learn unless you question”.
And it matters how we question. We are likely to get different answers depending on whether we frame our questions as open ended ones or close ended ones.

Here’s some mind food on questions and questioning:

“Questions are infinitely superior to answers.”
~Dan Sullivan

* * *

“To get answers of life, ask questions”
~Sukant Ratnakar, Open the Windows

* * *

“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 in The Unbearable Lightness of Being

* * *

“At the end of the day, the questions we ask of ourselves determine the type of people that we will become.”
~Leo Babauta

* * *

“Which would you rather be if you had the choice–divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?”
~L.M. Montgomery in Anne of Green Gables

* * *

“The most important questions in life can never be answered by anyone except oneself.”
~John Fowles in The Magus

* * *

“To ask the ‘right’ question is far more important than to receive the answer. The solution of a problem lies in the understanding of the problem; the answer is not outside the problem, it is in the problem.”
~Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Flight of the Eagle

* * *

“An empowered life begins with serious personal questions about oneself. Those answers bare the seeds of success.”
~Steve Maraboli in Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

* * *

“The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he’s one who asks the right questions.”
~Claude Lévi-Strauss

* * *

“How many hours are there in a mile? Is yellow square or round?
Probably half the questions we ask-half our great theological and metaphysical problems-are like that.”
~C.S. Lewis

* * *

“No where in ‘humpty dumpty’ did it say he was an egg. Maybe your inability to think outside of what others have taught you is what’s keeping you from putting him together again.”
― Darnell Lamont Walker

Now ask yourself this: Why are questions infinitely better than answers? Why do questions feel like open doors while answers feel like closed ones?

Happy questioning!

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