The importance of questioning everything

What would you do if you had one hour left to live? Although the temptation was there, an hour before death is probably not the best time to complete a bucket list of adventures. And I thought my last hour of life too precious to waste on a frenzy of frivolous activity. Nevertheless, I found myself slipping into quiet, contemplative reflection when this question popped up in my newsfeed. How would I like to use this hour?

I began documenting my life from ‘the inside-out’ some years ago. Part insight and part hindsight. They became stories of my unravelling and being put back together from the inside out. Through writing, I could dismantle the myths, perceptions and misconceptions that littered my life. In the process, I found answers to questions I never knew I was asking. In my last 60 minutes, I would gather loved ones around me to offer a tiny nugget of wisdom gained from this period. Hopefully, this would be a pointer or validation to pursuing wisdom and truth for themselves.

A nugget of wisdom in three simple words. NEVER STOP QUESTIONING. No matter what you think now, nothing is what it seems – nothing – and this is why we should question everything we think, see and are told. Be cynical. Be suspicious. Trust no one. Trust nothing. Seek the truth. Stay curious. People must take back the ability to think for themselves. The questions we ask of the world around us eventually draw us into the world within us.

Wasn’t it Albert Einstein who said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning? Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

Children are such natural questioners. They start life asking endless ‘why’ questions, but this stops somewhere along the pathway of life. Why is that? Did we not know the answers? Is it because we think the constant ‘why’ questions too tedious? Do we laugh at a question because we believe it silly? The fear of being knocked back, ridiculed or laughed at was very real for me as a child, and this fear accompanied me into adulthood. In the end, I stopped asking questions. It became easier to live everyone else’s truth.

From the moment of conception, our lives are shaped by others. Within and out of the womb, our first life experiences are provided by those entrusted to care for us. In those early years, adult decisions, opinions, customs, actions and perceptions shape what we believe and how we feel.

From childhood to adulthood, we construct a set of values, spiritual beliefs based on past and present wants, needs and experiences and, of course, a smattering of ego. When you live someone else’s truth, you live a lie. You live other people’s dreams, views and expectations.

History is littered with wars, division and unrest – loss of life at the hands of those who claim to know what is best for us. So, why do we equate truth with experts? Are these the questions each one of us should be asking ourselves? Ridicule and being knocked back because of your questions are a small price to pay in discovering the truth.

“Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it. [Blaise Pascal]

Questions tend to become inner voices of wisdom, answers to guide us through the turbulent journey of life.

This wisdom cannot be inherited. Each generation must learn and discover what is true for themselves. You cannot find this via Google, and it’s not easy to uncover in our busy daily lives. And initially, we may not like the answers. But then, questioning is the gateway to discovering what is true, it takes time, and is tremendously important, especially considering matters currently facing us globally.

In my final hour, I would impress upon you to ask yourself daily what I consider one of the most critical questions of our times.

What if, what I believe my truth to be right now, is a lie? It’s a wonderful place to start.






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