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What’s The Question ?

“The answer pre-exists;  the problem is to formulate the question.”

     ~  Jonas E. Salk. 

Foresight vs. hindsight. Most folks don’t take the time think like Jonas Salk. Usually when faced with a conundrum and looking for a solution (thinking they are practicing foresight), the past is reviewed, looking for what worked before (hindsight). For no frame-of-reference for a current conundrum, it often becomes a frantic search. A scattershot approach. Hoping inspiration will come from desperation.

Kinda W.C. Fields-ish. As the story goes, when a friend walked in to see Fields, who was in hospital (not long before dying), the visitor found Fields reading a bible. Shocked that this purported-avowed atheist was doing such a thing, the friend asked “What are you doing ??!!!!”  Fields responded “Ahhhh. Looking for loop-holes.” 

Don’t know if that story is true ~ yet it’s funny ~ and poignant. 

Embracing Salk’s wisdom entails calmness, objectivity and clarity of thinking. A need for stillness ~ no matter how brief ~ in order to evaluate the problem in order to ask-the-right-question in order to discover the answer. Sometimes the answers are obvious and a no-brainer. (A well-duh!! moment.) 

Sometimes the answer takes a bit of reformulation-of-the-question until the ‘Got it!’ happens.

Sometimes the answer is part-of-the-answer, yet needed to take one onto the further path toward the answer-answer.

And sometimes ~ sometimes ~ the answer is not what one wants to ‘hear’ … just yet, or not at all. (Doesn’t mean it’s not the answer ~ simply means that the emotional, attached-to-It human is not ready (yet???) to embrace the choice and change that will be involved.)

It can be a “Eureka” answer. Yeehaw!  It can be a “Confusing” answer. Really???  It can be a “Hesitation”  answer. OH…I don’t know about that one!  It can also be a Challenging answer. Ain’t no frickin’ way!!  Yet it IS the answer. Rather Mission Impossible-ish in that one can choose or choose not to accept the assignment. Yet the assignment/answer is there.

Ask Edison.  Tesla.  Rosa Parks.  The ‘Unknown Rebel’ at Tiananmen Square.  Chris Columbus.  Disney.  JK Rowling.  Stephen Spielberg.  Harlan Sanders.  Vera Wang.  Sidney Poitier.  Theodor Geisel.  James Dyson.

You.  Me.  …. And the countless times already that ‘we’ have formulated the correct-for-us question and found the correct-for-us answer. Moving forward with joy ~ hesitation ~ relief ~ grief ~ laughter ~ fascination ~ and courage. Yes, all the above.  Bravo.

Keep asking the question ’til you ask The question.  Your answers await.