Carl Sagan once stated “There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question”.
Over the years, I have believed in this statement. After all, if the great Carl Sagan said it, shouldn’t it be true? And then one fine day I took on the role of being a Coach, Trainer & Mentor and that is where I realized maybe, just maybe Carl Sagan was wrong.
And this got confirmed once I joined Quora. People in their quest to ask questions and learn more, and given how easy it is become to get answers to just about anything, seemingly intelligently people have started asking questions that are less than intelligent.
For instance, please explain to me what is intelligent in the following questions:
- How I can earn more money and be lazy?
- Why should I work hard?
- My father is a ********. How can I get rid of my father and get all his money?
- How do I know if you are real?
- I prayed to god without studying for exam and I passed the exam. Can you now prove it to me god doesn’t exist?
I’m pretty sure you would say, “Oh come on, these are children or immature youngsters.” Fine, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and consider these 20 year old’s as “children”.
Let’s look at the questions adults ask me and by adults, I mean 30 to 40 year olds. Here are some of the questions I received from ‘adults’.
- If I pay you $1,500 for your service, can you guarantee me that my life will change forever? (Unemployed 50+ year old salesman)
- Can you give me a Strategy so that I can become a Victoria Secret Model? (47-year-old woman who does modeling for a part-time gig)
- I will be your client in you can get rid of your dogs as it goes against my religion. So if you can get rid of them, I will join your training program for one year. Can you get rid of your dogs? (40+ gentleman working as a Regional Manager for an Exchange House who visited me at my place)
- Why did god give me problems? I want to know the answer to this (30+ Woman who paid me for one hour of consultation, asked me this question?)
- Can you lend me $10,000? I promise to pay you back. (Woman, whom I just met online, whom I have no idea who she is and within few minutes of saying hi to her…..)
So lets analyze — are these truly intelligent questions?
I am sure they are not.
So then what kinds of questions are these?
I can understand if I told my mother that the chips in my computer got fried and then she would ask me how much oil did I use to fry them? Or if my grandmother would turn around to ask me why does this toothpaste taste so horrible — when she actually used my shaving cream.
These I can understand. But if you are talking about educated individuals who are living in today’s interconnected Social Media world — for them to ask questions like what I have stated — I personally find inexcusable.
And if you still do not believe me — I strongly recommend you browse through Quora and see what rubbish people ask. Some of the questions are so disgusting, so demeaning and so disturbing, you will not only reach the conclusion I have reached, you will start being very particular about the kinds of questions people ask you.
That is why I am very Blunt, Brutal and Bold when it comes to dealing with my clients, friends and fans. And if someone asks me a stupid question — I not only let them know it is a stupid question, I let them remember it.
Don’t get me wrong. There are questions when people genuinely do not know something. And then there are intelligent questions. But of late, stupid questions are on the rise. And I personally feel, we need to ignore such stupidity. And yes, maybe put a stop to such questions.
Had Carl Sagan been alive today, he would have agreed with what I have to say “Yes, there ARE Stupid Questions!!!”
So now having said this…..should I end my article now?
Or ask you a stupid question?