You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
I’ve spent my whole life listening to people giving me the answers. Parents, education… college… grad school, books, television, friends, government, the news, church, Google… the list goes on and on. Answers, answers, answers. Everyone is right and everyone else is wrong. Hmmm… It’s easy. Slick. Comfortable. Quantifiable… to have the answers. We can put everything (God, people, ourselves) in a box and move on. It’s easier for us to have fun, relax, and worry about nothing but our own worlds when we can explain everything away. Ahhh… peace at last.
The only problem, though, is the thought that I am right and everyone else who disagrees must therefore be wrong. We are, from this point on, isolated into communities who think only the same as I do. There is no unity… only a cordial (or not-so-cordial) “agreeing to disagree.” Well, I have quickly tired of this way of being… this divider of community. My sincere hope is to bring people together to truly be in community even while we think differently about things… even while we can honestly say “I don’t know.” To do this, I will hereby be a Protector of the QUESTION.
To protect the questions, we must know that it is here, in the questions, that we can truly and always unite. No matter where our stories have taken us, it is the questions that are universal.
“What does it mean to belong?” “Who is in control and why does it matter? How much control do I have?” “Why am I here? What am I supposed to do with my life?” “What is the lonely for?” “How much stuff is enough?” “What does it mean to be a man.woman.mother.father.son.daughter?”
These questions, and so many more, are the questions that bring us together. When we begin to “love the questions themselves,” we are able to learn from each other, not fix or correct each other. It is then that life guides us into the answers… something that will not happen if we cannot begin to love the questions. This is why I will continue to protect them for you… and ask you to join me. We need more protectors of the question… then we will be able to live into the answers together.