We Need Great Questions And Answers

“Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.”

(Unsure about origin)

You already know I love a good quote. Why bother creating something to say when someone else has already written, spoken, or sung exactly what you were thinking?

I have long believed in the power of a good question. As a professor I taught my students that if they asked the right questions, in many instances an answer might be unnecessary because questions help dispel the notion that you’re stupid and uninformed.

Unfortunately, I have no philosophy for what happens when the questions are really stupid, but you do the world no favors if you have legitimate questions and don’t ask them. I’ve also learned that sometimes if you listen carefully and pay attention, your questions get answered and your confusion ends.

Other experience has shown me that whatever your questions are, they’re also someone else’s but they may not have the confidence or courage to voice them. Nevertheless, today I’m thinking yes, we need more right questions, but we must have some legitimate answers too because we have too much at stake to be dilly-dallying around.

My questions today include who’s got what and what are they doing with it? The news about evictions, unpaid landlords and rents isn’t discussed any more but did the designated funds ever get where they were intended?

Are we winning on any of the homeless fronts—safe and affordable housing, access to home ownership, veterans’ homes, etc.?

Are our veterans and their families getting the support they need during deployments? An earlier CBS report showed families struggling to make ends meet and relying on food banks to feed their children. As suicide rates continue to be a problem among veterans and others, we must keep saying there is no shame or harm in seeking help.

Are we tracking COVID funds adequately so the intended targets were hit? What else needs to be done to help post-pandemic mental health recovery? Do we need booster shots or not, and if so, when do we need them? I don’t like shots, but I do love living, so if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.

Since politics is big news these days, is doing whatever it takes to get re-elected worth compromising what you know to be good, honorable, and just? To see politics color everything these days—whether to wear a mask, who can have an abortion, who gets put on the Supreme Court, who can vote when and how—literally makes me sick. Legislation aimed at disenfranchisement and chaos is problematic on so many fronts—are we willing to sacrifice our souls for political gain?

When we think about the children, are we willing to spend the money to keep them safe,  healthy, and inspired with great teachers and administrators? Will we work to give each child a safe, gun and bully-free school to learn in? We have to work harder since almost every day this week there’s been a school or public venue shooting?

I pray we ask and answer the right tough questions of ourselves and those we lead and elect to serve. I’m not expecting a perfect world but this one can’t sustain us if greed, power, neglect, indifference, and apathy reign.

We must each carry our weight, hold up our corner, bear one another’s burdens, and stay focused. When we do, everyone wins. An ancient proverb says if we hold hands and rock together, we can make waves. That’s the answer. The right question? Can I get a witness?

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

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