Unquestioned answers

By now you’re probably realising my fascination with questions. I keep circling back to writing about questions because to me, they are the seeds of alternate realities that we have the choice to create, or not.

We often talk about unanswered questions. Those big questions we are still searching answers for and are happily exploring. Cure to cancer. Are we alone? What’s the meaning of life? Though this contribution is dedicated to those answers that go unquestioned.

There are many ‘answers’ in place that set up how we experience our lives. Many of these ‘answers’ have been provided by those people tasked to do so. Often out of context, under time pressure and without the appropriate consideration. They become reality, the very fabric of society, and they are left unquestioned… and therefore unchanged.

There is a lot value in questioning the answers that have formed the systems, laws, societal norms, relationship categories and so on, that form our shared realities.

By questioning these answers, we open up the possibility for creating and crafting alternatives that are more fitting, more empathic to our current age and emerging era.

The challenge to questioning these answers is to notice them in the first place, or perhaps to even contemplate these fundamental attributes of our lives can be questioned. In design, this is often referred to assumption busting. The gotcha in assumption busting, is identifying assumptions in the first place. Paradoxically, the best ones are the invisible ones.

There are so many answers that are in operation that to question them feels a little rebellious. Like for example, business is about profit making. Refugees are a threat. Gay marriage is inappropriate. Factory farming is the way we get meat. Mum stays at home, Dad goes to work. These are just a few answers that come to mind that are worth questioning, and I know many of you do.

So I guess I feel like leaving you with a challenge of the week, what answer are you going to question this week?