I angered my best friend today by suggesting a better way to take a picture. In all fairness, it would have been a gorgeous picture of a dandelion ball covered in delicate frost, with a fiery orange maple tree as the background.
Instead of a picture, I got an earful. She said:
“You’re constantly challenging me, and it’s tiring. I’m not the only one who thinks so.”
Ouch. That really hurt. I didn’t realize it, and I certainly don’t want to anger her, or you.
I started to ask: what do you mean by constant? who others?
But she instantly corrected me by explaining questions are challenges.
Now I’m crushed. It’s been hours since the frosty ball-of-fluff incident, and I’m crushed.
What’s worst is the very essence of my being is what she finds annoying. I’m not worried about our relationship, there’s plenty more for us to base that upon, but it does mean;
No more questions.
Which brings us to the reason for today’s post, and the purpose of this site.
It’s all about questions. Asking questions is the very essence of learning. If my friend finds me annoying, what do my other friends, relations, and even YOU think?
Perhaps all of them, and you, are also annoyed.
For that I’m a little sorry. Sorry because I would rather intrigue and please you so that you would press on and think these questions through on your own. Also sorry because the alternative means we won’t learn, and future history will be the same as past history.
Which brings us to Socrates.
He lives about 2500 years ago, and was the greatest teacher in history.
How great was he? His teachings created philosophical schools that have lasted up to today. Second, he was able to teach using questions, allowing the student to reach the proper conclusion based on their own current knowledge. Third, his teachings about objective definitions and the use of logic eventually led to the Renaissance; the scientific and industrial revolutions.
It’s quite possible that if it weren’t for Socrates we’d still be living in the Dark Ages, fighting Holy Wars, and travel around the world using nothing but wind-powered ships.
It took 2000 years for that message to get through. All because he wasn’t afraid to challenge his students.