Updated: May 23
"A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer." Bruce Lee
We have become a world that is quick to answer and slow to listen. When we listen in sound bytes, we miss some of the most vital pieces of the whole.
Imagine eating an OREO cookie without the creamy middle. It would just be an ordinary cookie, wouldn't it?
What makes it special is that yummy filling. It adds flavor and enjoyment to the two cookies that surround it, taking the essence and unique enjoyment of the OREO experience to an entirely different level.
That wise man that Bruce Lee had mentioned, listens in silence. He realized that the man that spoke it didn't have all the facts in place. Without clarification, we commit Assumicide. Assuming what the answer was. Assuming what the person meant. Assuming the end-game without hearing all the rules. A wise man sees that the question was formed and asked prematurely.
Imagine a world that waited before it asked.
When I instructed my young daughters on how to cross the street, I gave them three short words. STOP. LOOK. LISTEN. Stop, don't just run into the street. Put your feet on the curb. Look for cars or other vehicles that may be coming down the road. Look to the left, to the right, and to the left again. Listen, and make sure the coast is clear. You may not be able to see a train coming, but you sure can hear its warning whistle.
Apply this bit of wisdom before you ask your next question.
STOP: Stop and make sure you have all the facts.
LOOK: Look and see if there is anything that you need to clarify. Ask a clarifying question if you aren't quite sure you understand or need more facts to form an intelligent question.
LISTEN: Listen to how the person is providing the facts. Has he finished or is there more information coming?
Don't be so quick to ask. Your answer may be coming in the speaker's next breath.