Saturday, 9 September 2017

The Question

I started 6th grade with a gigantic fear of asking questions. My math teacher, the one responsible for making me hate numbers and functions for the rest of my school years and probably my life, was an old woman who absolutely despised being asked questions of any kind. I had always been a very inquisitive kid and I felt comfortable asking questions to anyone, but that woman was the first person who not only laughed at my ignorance, but also the one who made sure I stayed that way in regards to the subject she taught. My parents found me a tutor eventually and I was able to pass her class.

After two years of being her student, the only thing that terrified me more than math was asking questions; I couldn't do it to save my own life, and it didn't matter how nice or approachable most of my teachers were. I ended up finding ways of discovering the answers that I needed, which usually meant reading the whole book or doing some research online. When I started high school I was confident of my abilities and passionate about the subjects I had to study, which helped me get back to my inquisitive self.

Now I ask specific questions to my hairdresser, to my dentist or to the lady who sells newspapers downtown. Most of the times, my question is not about me or my personal concerns; I'm just curious and I like to learn. How many bottles of shampoo do you order per month? Who makes that shampoo? Why did you become a dentist? And people usually love to answer these questions. It's the best way to make a connection, to get to know each other, to talk about different interests and passions. But for some reason, most people are still scared of enquiring. And maybe that's because we're getting used to the don't-ask-don't-answer policy: the most comfortable, ignorant way of living life.

Nowadays, and specially online, people feel more and more threatened when someone questions their ideas and beliefs. There are respectable and insulting ways of asking questions for sure, but I feel like we don't even bother to distinguish them anymore. A question has automatically become an insult, and this is a very dangerous state of mind: we deny ourselves a chance to teach, to learn, to connect and to evolve. We need to keep in mind that having our ideas questioned is not a threat, it's healthy; because sometimes they just stand there, like those clothes we don't wear anymore but still own, and we need someone to come to us and ask "you never wear those anymore, do you?". That way we can either give them away, or realize that they still fit.

As poet Vasudev said somewhere, "The sign of intelligence is that you are constantly wondering. Idiots are always dead sure about every damn thing they are doing in their life". I had to repeat this to myself for years until I realized that asking, wondering, is not a sign of stupidity or weakness; it's a sign of curiosity and growth. I owe it to my eleven year old self to make sure that all my questions are heard, and to answer other people's in the best way that I can. Because that old teacher, without even knowing and definitely unintentionally, gave me the answer to a much greater question: thanks to her, I knew what kind of person I wanted to be. Someone who definitely doesn't have all the answers, but is unafraid of sharing them with the world.

LEAVE A COMMENT

  1. Fazer perguntas é tão importante! E entendo perfeitamente o que dizer em relação às pessoas terem medo de as fazer/responder. Eu cá não vou parar de questionar sobre as minhas dúvidas, é tão saudável!

    Kiss, Mariana Dezolt
    Messy Hair, Don’t Care

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  2. Obrigada por isto, Marta. A mensagem que aqui transmites é tão clara e sincera. É mesmo assim que me sinto em relação ao mundo, embora ainda tenha medo de perguntar certas coisas.

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  3. I love asking questions and I can't help myself to stop! I loved this post!

    http://violettedaily.com

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  4. Some teachers really fail at teaching. Sad. Glad you overcame it

    -Lena
    Lenarevealed.com

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  5. Sou uma pessoa curiosa por Natureza mas, tal como tu, a certa altura o medo de perguntar veio ao de cima.
    Estou a tentar perdê-lo. Sou da opinião que tudo é mais simples se simplesmente dissermos o que temos a dizer ou perguntar-mos o que temos a perguntar.
    Adorei o texto,

    R: É, sem dúvida, recompensador.
    Tocamos todos aqueles que passam pela nossa vida, tal como eles nos tocam a nós. Saber que influenciamos alguém tão importante para nós de forma positiva enche o coração de qualquer um

    Xiá
    http://thecoffeecupblog.blogspot.pt/

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  6. Wow. De alguma forma, entrar aqui é sempre ler-me, sinto-me sempre um pedacinho mais perto de mim, sinto-me sempre mais calma com a minha personalidade. Acho que chego a fazer as pazes com determinados traços meus pela forma empática como me encontro nas tuas palavras. A tua forma de escrever é bela, Marta. Tenho a sensação de que digo sempre o mesmo mas também que o digo cada vez com mais intensidade.
    Este é definitivamente o sítio online em que mais quero saber de ti e no qual te "encontro" mais.
    Please, continue. <3

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  7. This was such a great read Marta. That teacher sounds awful, but I'm so glad you haven't let your experiences with her hinder you for life. Curiosity is a wonderful thing, and I can't even imagine how sad life must be without a sense of wonder about anything. You're so right; having our ideas questioned should be taken as a threat. Having our ideas questioned and having conversations about them gives us the opportunity to teach to others and to learn new things/gain perspective. It's all good.

    amberelb.com

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  8. Fantástico, Marta. Diria até divinal. Identifico-me imenso com esta tua característica inquisitiva e fico sempre triste quando alguém se mostra tão reticente ou assustado com perguntas tão simples que visam apenas aproximar mais a sociedade. Por isso, continuarei a ser eu mesma, a ir aos sítios e a deixar marca ao ponto das pessoas se lembrarem de mim quando lá volto, porque, hoje eu faço algo bom e que tem nada de ofensivo e, amanhã, alguém se sente inspirado e tenta fazê-lo também.
    Muito obrigada por escreveres tão bem e nos deixares tão comovidos. A sério 💛
    Desculpa comentar tão poucas vezes. Mas, prometo que adoro ler-te!!!

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  9. I love this post so so much! Reading your posts, I am always challenged to think and question myself, and I love how honest this is x

    Imogen, faux-silk.com

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  10. An interesting sentence I think I will take it to heart ☺
    new hair color? ☺
    Regards body-and-hair-girl.blogspot.com

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  11. Adorei a sinceridade do post, acho que toda a gente teve uma professora semelhante e é super fácil identificarmos-nos com a tua mensagem.
    Eu mais do que fazer perguntas é ficar com a turma toda a olhar para mim. Algo me fez ficar incomodada por isso e em consequência nunca fui uma aluna inquisitiva. Nos ultimos anos andei a lutar um bocadinho comigo para vencer a minha timidez, hoje já está mais superada ^^

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  12. Gostei bastante do teu texto acho que devemos sempre expor as nossas perguntas mesmo que sejam meio tolas por vezes ficamos esclarecidas
    http://retromaggie.blogspot.pt/

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  13. Thank you for this! This is an amazing post and you really touched on how things are portrayed online now. So sorry you had such an awful maths teacher who treated you that way! I'm usually afraid of asking questions too as I never know how people will take things, but anytime I get asked questions, I am more than happy to answer them if they are polite and genuine. Everything has gone down a dark route as we get older though and online increases. Like you, I am inquisitive and I love to know everything!

    Raindrops of Sapphire

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  14. Loved this post! You should never, ever be afraid to ask questions. It's by far my favourite thing to do and curiosity is so important. Keep up the wondering!

    xo,

    H

    http://firsttimethings.com

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  15. I really liked this. I can totally relate this. Curiosity at its best !

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  16. não tenho tanta coragem pra perguntar algo que ás vzs eu gostaria, por vergonha. Mas, sinto que posso melhorar isso tbm.
    bj http://diadebrilho.com

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  17. compreendo-te perfeitamente!
    xo, Ana Rita Leite
    WHITE DAISY

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  18. I agree. I think it is still important to be open to questions and to take courage and ask them.


    http://www.pinkoolaid.com/

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  19. Quando era mais nova também era assim! Mas mesmo. Felizmente isso mudou e agora já não tenho medo algum. Ainda bem. <3
    The Fancy Cats | Kawaii Box Giveaway

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  20. I loved this post, just as much as I love asking questions!
    I agree - we need to have an enquiring mind in order to learn and progress!
    Julia x
    http://www.thevelvetrunway.com/

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  21. Such an interesting post! Thanks for sharing this piece of writing :) I think it is sooo important to question what we take for granted and obvious. We have to stay open to new ponts of view. The worst mistake would be to never change our mind again :)

    xx

    Claire from Dresscape
    www.dresscape.com

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  22. Loved this post! Questioning things is so important, it's a great way to grow mentally and learn more about other people x

    www.bisoushollyolivia.co.uk

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  23. Great post lovely! xx

    www.fromluxewithlove.com
    www.bloglovin.com/blogs/from-luxe-with-love-14590195

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  24. Oh gosh, I can relate to this way too much. And this was a really wonderful reminder - thank you. Asking questions is so important. Also, your writing is fabulous! I just love reading your posts!

    ~Lindsey
    http://have-clothes-will-travel.com/

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  25. This is such a brilliant post and one I can totally relate to. It's easy to fall into the pattern of never asking questions in fear of how they'll go down and/or be answered, but it really is the best way of forming quick and easy connections with people! :)

    aglassofice.com
    x

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  26. People, especially teachers, need to be careful about their words and attitudes, because they can always mark us. Glad you got rid of this trauma. Kisses
    Charme-se

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  27. I love that you ask all different types of people you come across those questions. Must make for very interesting conversations and you are so right. Perfect way to make a connection!

    xoxo
    Rina Samantha
    http://www.andshedressed.com

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  28. Euggh don't talk to me about maths and horrid teachers, I totally relate hunny! Great post doll xx

    http://www.thatnewdress.com

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  29. this is sooooo true. the amount of times i've provided training and people at the end just sit there in silence and don't ask any questions is unfuriating! even when someone asks perhaps a simple question is better than nothing because it shows they were actually listening!

    i always try to prepare questions, at work mainly, to show i'm interested and alert. it's a really important trait i think, so i've basically been fist-pumping through this whole post! great writing, lovely!

    katie. xx lacoconoire.com

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  30. Oh dear, such an inspirational post. Go on that way and have a nice weekend
    kss
    =)
    New post in my Lifestyle Blog

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  31. Fico mesmo feliz que tenhas conseguido recuperar essa parte de ti Marta!
    Curiosamente, no ano passado a única professora a quem colocava questões sem qualquer problema era à minha professora de matemática. No entanto algo me diz que com a entrada na faculdade terei de voltar a trabalhar muito nisto por não me estar a ver a fazer perguntas aos professores nas aulas (nem sei como isso funciona! xD)

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  32. I am SO bad at thinking of questions to ask people, but I really want to get better at it. I always feel like I'm being nosy and should just mind my own business, but that's just in my head because every time I DO ask people questions they're so happy that I did. Great post!

    http://colleenwelsch.com

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  33. Lovely story. I had a similar experience with a math teacher that I can't forget!
    Have a happy weekend!

    www.fashionradi.com

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  34. Marta, que texto SENSACIONAL! Me tocou de uma forma que acho que você nem consegue imaginar. Eu também tive um professor de matemática que acabou com toda a minha coragem de fazer perguntas e isso era muito ruim pra mim. No ensino médio recuperei a confiança pra fazer perguntas, mas pra falar a verdade, acho que nunca voltei a ser como era antes de passar por esse professor, e olha, esse texto me abriu muito os olhos pra isso. Vou começar a me esforçar mais pra perguntar (e responder) perguntas, viu? Obrigada!
    Um beijão,
    Gabs | likegabs.blogspot.com ❥

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  35. Texto brilhante!
    Eu também sou assim como você, gosto de perguntar sobre tudo, adoro aprender coisas novas. Aprendizado nunca é demais!
    bjo
    Karina Pinheiro

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  36. Aw, how horrid of that teacher to laugh at your curiosity. We educators need to be very careful as our actions can make or break a child. I'm glad you got your quest for answers back. I teach kinder and we actually teach the kids how to ask questions and to cultivate the habit of asking. I hated math and still do cos damn when do we use all that info about parallelograms and x + y = whatever.

    Hope your week started off great.

    http://www.fashionablyidu.com/

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  37. Marta, que texto tão bonito! Tal como tu, eu tenho muitas questões. Porém, tenho de admitir: não me sinto tão à vontade assim para as colocar. E por isso guardo muitas para mim, embora tenha vindo a partilhar mais. Talvez porque um dia me cruzei com alguém como a tua professora de Matemática e me deixei "vencer".
    Obrigada por este testemunho. És uma pessoa incrível!
    Beijinho*
    http://nouw.com/juu

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  38. I love your texts ♥ They are incredible!


    Beijinhos
    n. // www.fashionjacket.com.br

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  39. From your writing, I got something that in the end, all the bad things or things that we're really dislike can be useful in the future and we can use them to give us strength to become who we want to be :)

    xoxo,
    |CHELSHEAFLO|


    www.chelsheaflo.com

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  40. I love your blog and this post! I always ask my friends when they say something, "where did you learn that?" Not necessarily to qualify them, that would be fine too, but I'm always curious where they learned certain things. Asking questions is so important!

    x,
    S | Je M'appelle Chanel

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  41. Looks really interesting! Have a nice weekend)

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  42. I love this post, I'm actually scared to ask, to talk to people. I'm scared to look stupid, mostly because of some reactions that I received after asking questions. But there will always be people who doesn't want to help you, so we need to live with it.
    PS : I absolutely adore that quote!


    Catherine
    www.fashionardenter.com

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  43. Loved reading this. It’s funny how your horrible teacher turned out to be a blessing in disguise! I hated maths for the very same reason as you. At least your situation had a positive outcome! It’s always important to keep curious about the world around you!

    TFM Life & Style blog

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  44. I totaly agree with you!! I'm always thinking about things and looking for more knowledge. I can't understant people who have an opinion about everything and so quickly. Usually I have to learn more about de topic, look for real information and then maybe I'm able to give my opinion. This was so inspiring to read!! Thank you for sharing!!
    Steal4Style.com

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  45. I also think that questionning is very important.It's a sign of interest and that you want to educate yourself. So, yes to questions! xoxo

    www.naomella.com

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  46. nice text! and yes to questions!
    xx

    http://www.julialisblog.com/

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  47. Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing!

    http://violettedaily.com

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  48. Também sou curiosa com certos temas que gosto e estou sempre pronta aprender diversos temas mesmo que por lá surgam perguntas houve uma altura em que me deixei de perguntar por tolice pois ora eram os professores ou colegas de turma que faziam das suas, até que certo ponto achei que tinha de voltar com as minhas questões e deixar essa insegurança e começar a perguntar de novo
    https://retromaggie.blogspot.pt

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  49. This is my favourite post atm. It actually hurt to read about that teacher, what happened to them? I hope they never taught again, if you haven't got a passion for actually teaching and answering questions and trying to do the best for the people you're teaching then you really shouldn't be doing it as a profession. It's good that you'e back to asking questions, I think it's so important to ask things.

    Amy;
    Little Moon Elephant

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  50. Oh what a horrible teacher! I'm glad she didn't stop you continuing to learn or from passign her class. I'm of the belief that there 'are no silly questions'! THere have been many times I've wondered something in a class and hearing someone else as the same question is great as you realise you're all just learning together.

    And like you said, questions are a great way to show you're interested in someone, and want to know more about them :)

    Hope you're having a lovely weekend! We are having a quiet one today as it's too hot to be outside while we're sick - dealing with sick toddlers!

    Away From The Blue Blog

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  51. Well for me is hard ask questions because that produces me anxiety but I am working in that.
    xx

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