The Age of Questions is over. Or if I want to take a more optimistic stance, then at least it's on hold.
There are no more questions left. We assumed to have all the answers. Somehow, as a society, we decided that everyone from 14 till 96 should be a fully formed adult with a perfect take on any topic.
If you didn't educate yourself in time and didn't obtain perfect information, and didn't arrive at the socially accepted mainstream opinion - it's on you. You failed. You have all the resources at your fingertips now. You have access to the Internet, so if you are wrong, it's your fault. You didn't prioritize your time correctly.
In 2021 you are supposed to be an expert on molecular biology, epidemiology, history of violence and racism, the history of Israel and Palestine, and what are the new advances in climate science. You need to know what is happening in Western China and Hong Kong, in Belarus, the situation with rainforests in Amazons, and how indigenous people are treated anywhere from Canada to Chile. And this is probably a very simplified list. Because you are also expected to know what is the best way to reform the police, how universal basic income would work, the state of abortion rights in Latin America and various US states. You need to know how reparations might work and what was the history behind that.
You are expected to know who from the current celebrities or historical figures was recently canceled, so you accidentally don't use their name in your social posts and conversations.
Again, I don't even claim this to be the extensive list of topics that attracted our attention in the past year. Who knows what did I miss?
But what I miss for sure is the ability to ask questions. I'm 34, and I don't want to pretend that I know all the answers. In fact, I want to believe that life is a journey where I learn something new every day. I want to have the curiosity of the child. I want to ask a question like "what are the differences between the modern feminism movement in the US, Argentina, and Ukraine?" and have an interesting discussion where I can learn.
But this rarely happens anymore. At the big companies, you might have chat rooms dedicated to some cause. But those rooms are not the place to ask for guidance. Most people actually don't know answers to questions on the topics I listed above. No one can guide you or mentor you in this educational journey. But a lot of people would jump on the opportunity to cancel someone just for posing a question.
Questions are important. Asking a question doesn't mean you are attacking someone. It just means that you are humble and modest enough to admit that you don't know something and you are brave enough to ask for guidance, and you are curious enough to listen.
What happened? Why did we stop embracing our curiosity? If you ask a question now, you might get:
- a short generic lecture on the topic that is not customized to you and that lacks any depths
- you will get shamed or attacked
- you will get silence, and no one will reply to you but maybe just judge your lack of self work?
- non-answer, or better answer to some different questions you didn’t ask. Politicians used this one for ages
When did we become these boring fake adults? Questions are tools for play and tools for growth. Why are we playing canceling and hate games but not willing to educate and do the work? I think we became victims of the drive that comes with hate and aggression. and we forgot that learning, questions, and helping others to learn is even more fun.
What pathetic and boring creatures we became. Let's reflect on that, and maybe we can do something about it.