I love this example of graffiti. It reminds me that no matter how convinced we are of how we see the world; questions will always remain. It’s like a music video literally representing the lyrics. Its bolshy, annoying and revealing.
It makes me think of the annoying small child asking why? After every answer until at least the adult resorts to, ‘Because I say so’ or ‘That’s just the way it is’ and other such non-answers.
Culturally, we are raised to respect our elders and their wisdom. You do not question those in charge. If you do, you will eventually hit one of those blind spots when they have no answer.
And no-one wants to be put in that spot.
This is precisely why the Maverick mindset is so important: because you don’t know what you don’t know … until someone points it out! Then you can do something about it. We all are very clear about what we know we know. We are also clear about what we know we don’t know … and we kind of ring-fence that somewhere in our minds to do something about later. We are pleasantly surprised when we discover something we didn’t know we knew.
But discovering something that you didn’t know you didn’t know can be shocking and ego rocking.
But when you’re looking to change the status quo, to improve the way the world works, ‘because that’s how we’ve always done it’ is just never going to cut it. We need to know more. The superficial answers to things are often no more than window dressing and reveal little about the true purpose or motivation of those giving the answer.
This is why the iterative interrogative technique The 5 Whys is so effective: it takes you down through the layers of certainty to places outside of your comfort zone. It searches for root causes, not just symptoms.
Question Everything has become a kind of new age, conspiracy theory mantra, which is unfortunate. Today too many of us are quick to accept superficial explanations (or not even require any) as we cruise the instant gratification highway. The proliferation of fake news and email scams tells us that this is so.
We are no longer drones on Henry Ford’s assembly line. We no longer need to accept what our elders tell us. We no longer have restricted access to the real answers.
So, stop obeying, and start questioning everything.