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Monday, 18 April 2011

A question of answers

We are looking for answers… all of us. Questions are millions, but the quest is one—to find the right answer. But when we find an answer, does it satisfy the quest? Put differently, is the answer ‘right’?
If you have been seeking answers to your many questions, but are not satisfied with the answers you‘re getting, perhaps it’s time to change focus—from answers to questions.
Remember, the responsibility of an answer lies squarely on the shoulders of the question itself. Every answer lies within the question. If the question is not correct, the answer, no matter how profound, can never be right. How can wrong questions have right answers? So, if your question is a self-limiting one, don’t expect your answer to be a self-empowering one.
Take, for example, questions that start with ’why‘. Such questions are invariably backward-looking.
So, if you’re concerned about your excess weight and ask yourself, “Why am I overweight?” your answers might be “Because I eat too much” or “I am not active enough” or even “Because I am genetically predisposed to being fat”. Note that all answers begin with “because”, keeping you focussed on the cause and, in the process, only reinforcing the situation.
If you’d like to change something about your current situation, your question should reflect that desire. So, a self-empowering question would be, "How can I make losing weight exciting?" or "What are my options to lose the excess flab?" Questions like these open up possibilities and empower you to act in your interest.
But, what if the question is right and the answer still fails to satisfy the quest. The reason for that could be prejudice; often the questioner does not find the answers satisfactory because of his inability to listen with a clear, open mind. So even if the answer is right, it may appear wrong to the questioner because he doesn’t want the right answer... he wants an answer that he wants to hear.
In the final analysis, an answer must put the mind to silence. Like His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “Silence is the goal of all answers. If the answer does not silence the mind, it is not an answer.” So if your answers don’t quieten your mind, first check if you asked the right questions. Then, ask yourself if you’re listening without prejudice


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