Asking questions is more fun, worthwhile and constructive than making assumptions. Unfortunately, it seems not enough questions are asked and too many assumptions are made. I certainly have been guilty of making too many assumptions. I have discovered (the hard way) that they only reflected my ignorance. For example, when I first started my private practice in 2001, I naively considered myself a mental health expert who was able to immediately and flawlessly assess my clients during the initial session. Reality check: I may have been able to develop a hypothesis based on the presenting problem my client had given me, but in hindsight, I jumped to one too many conclusions rather than taking the time to ask questions that would have helped my client feel heard rather than judged.
Another arena where assumptions are too often reflected, and where not enough questions are asked—is in the blogosphere. Yes, it is great that people have found a platform for their expression and a way to connect with others with whom they may not have otherwise connected. But I can’t help but notice that the blogosphere has become a place where people are only interested in spilling long-winded diatribes without asking any questions that could generate great conversations with other bloggers and/or readers.
Because I am a blogger myself and have enjoyed many blogs written by my guest bloggers and by some whom I have never met, I have decided to create my own version of a blogosphere where I will post a question on my website, SarahBrokaw.com and on Facebook, once a week. Here is the caveat: The purpose of the question is to create a platform where people don’t feel the need to be experts and/or prolific writers to express themselves, but rather, they will be encouraged to freely express their own thoughts, insights and feelings without the fear of receiving unnecessary criticism or backlash. It’s a forum for participants to be heard.
Here is an example of a question that I posted on my website and then had reposted two days ago on Facebook—to which nine women had immediately responded: “If you are a mom, what were you not informed about before you became a mom?”
I loved the responses that came in. They were honest, funny, and unique. And they made me that much more curious about motherhood and the women who chose to answer the question.
As I continue to write a weekly blog, I will also post a weekly question on sarahbrokaw.com and on Facebook that will hopefully generate a rich and fulfilling discussion amongst us fellow readers/bloggers. Remember, questions keep us curious. Assumptions leave us ignorant.