Benny Sip

Poetry

Ask More Better Questions Or Just Shut Up

So many young people haven't a clue what they would like to or want to do.

You will often hear them saying things like, "I don't know what I want to do" or "I'd like to, but..." Oh, how I hate that word, but. How I abhor such a word full of excuse and thwarted potential. How often I have heard from the mouth of some young person "Thats sounds nice, but..." or "I would, but..." But's drive me nuts. They are full of fear, but's they are... Anyhow...

If we are really being honest with ourselves, the question we are often asking these youngsters is not "what is it that you want to do?" or "what is it that you would you like to do?" Rather it is the following question in disguise. “How is it that you intend to make enough money to pay the bills for the next 50 years and retire around the age of seventy?"

When sitting down to have such a discussion, few of us, most of us, have any real interest in what a young person actually wants to do or let alone say. More often than not, we ask only so that, we can tell them what we want for them, or even sillier, what we want or would have wanted for our younger selves. So, we resort to asking silly questions, that no young person, or human for that matter, could possibly ever answer. Then, we allow ourselves to go ahead, filling the gap for them, with stupid answers. Stupid answers to silly questions. Maybe you haven't done this. I have.  

We love, we love, we love, to profess what others “should” or “should not do.” As if looking back and being able to tell our menial little selves, what we would have or could have been or done. If only… If only’s haunt us all. "This is what I did.” Says the middle aged professor, self described mentor or mother / father. “This is what i did. Look you can be just like me.”

So what am I really trying to say? I'm not so sure actually. Perhaps, it is, ask more better questions, or, just shut up.

Yes. I like that.

Consider the fact that you likely hadn’t and still haven't a clue yourself as to what you wanted or want to do. And that as much as you intend to help with your silly questions, and stupid answers, you might be better off yet, having left everything you have ever said, or are about to say, unsaid. 

Consider instead, how almost everything you have ever said, every word that has come from your mouth, has fallen on deaf ears, and that silence itself can be thundering. Silence itself can be deafening. Silence itself can allow someone else, perhaps a young person searching for a hint, to speak into it in order to find something, who knows what, there. You know, in the silence.

And you, for once, yes you, your loud and boisterous self, with all of life’s answers, to listen.

~ Ask More Better Questions Or Shut Up ~

Ben Sippola