Thursday, June 28, 2007

Of answers and questions, and a little more of questions

A reporter asked Albert Einstein, “Can you explain the theory of relativity in one sentence ? “ Albert Einstein replied “No !”.

No marks for people who are thinking about the “Lady, Stove” answer. That was a different context.

I’ve like you to focus on the answer given by Albert Einstein. The answer may sound rude, but it becomes an “Answer” to the question in the truest sense. The problem with educated people is, they are not trained to reply negatively. “I don’t know” is considered to be a word of the uneducated. I wouldn’t advocate that it is a neat answer, yet when it is a statement of truth, no other answer is approporiate.

Most of the occasions, when a question is thrown to us, we instantaneously focus on framing a right answer to the question. But the important factor is that, the focus needs to be first cast upon the “Question” itself. We fail to analyze the question, before jumping into an answer.

Is this a question that I’m qualified to answer?
Why am I asked this question ?
Is this a sensible question?
Do I know the answer?
Do I know how to answer?
Instead, we start stringing the words and attempt giving an answer.The mind thinks that it is inevitable that the question needs to be answered. It has almost become an inoluntary action for us. We try our best not to show our ignorance. It is absolutely unnecessary to force ourselves to a thought process. We are not meant to know everything. Ignorance is an attribute that we can afford to retain some value on. More to it, we should be capable enough to express it, when it comes in front of a question.

On certain occassions, few people derive an answer to the question. They possess skills to frame an answer on the fly with their varied flavours of experience and education. They are extremely oveer-confident, and at a point get a feeling that they can answer, just about anything. Watchout ! these are the most dangerous people you have to ask a question, because they don’t focus on the question, and all they care about is giving an answer to your question.

There are quotes about both questions and answers. Few say “Framing a question is an art !”. few others claim that “Answering is an art !” am trying to learn that “Understanding the question, before answering a question is an art.”

It takes a while before you would answer. It would slow your reactions down. But then, whats the hurry ?

What do you think ? Exactly. You don’t have to answer this question :)

5 comments:

narayanan said...

More than the answer 'No' and "I dont know" sounding negative. Maybe they are too short or blunt an answer. No all like it.

Thiru said...

a nice perspective!!

Shreekanth said...

adhellam vidu... answer therinja idhukku sollu.

Night Show wa yen 2nd show nnu sollaranga

Sowmya said...

ithula problem ennana..question ketathum anz pannama konja neram yosichen na, ennaku question enna ne maranthu poiduthey :(

Keerthi said...

narayanan, exactly. Why is it one's soul purpose in life is to satify others.

thiru, :) you think so ?

shreekanth, theriyadhu da.

sowmya, suththam !