Needs More Data

“kuuliza si ujinga”

– Wahenga

One wonders what they were trying to hit at in this phrasing. It seems so absolute. Of course asking is not a form of stupidity. In fact, it seems a fact so mundane that the immediate response is “why did they even bother to say that?”

Trudging through uncomfortable waters is something that many people do not know what to do. There are those that stomp around, those that stand still and ponder before finding the most effective way. Those that move carefully, adapting their paths depending on the choppiness of the water. Those that begin to backtrack. Those that fly. Those that drown.

Those that drown.

There will always be those that drown.

It seems oddly instructive. As if offering a direction. As if speaking to a private thought. As if saying “this person has asked you a question. You think it is stupid. It isn’t.” Of course this is one of many ways to think about something as simple as giving direction of honesty to questions. This if, of course, to assume that a large number of questions come from a place of reaching for understanding. And reaching for understanding is something that should be nurtured, be cultivated.

 The real problem, then, is the splashing. The displaced waters that then counteract with the navigation of the others. The trick, as with any good dive, is to find a way not to fight with the water but to use it to get you to the other end. To use the natural flow of the water to carry you to your destination. The problem with this is it starts by trusting the water.

And no one wants to drown.

 Was there an epidemic of unanswered questions? Is it that there was a flurry of questions that had since been asked and not answered? Must all questions be answered? No. Must all questions be addressed, no. But asking, at its core, is not the problem. Baada ya kufafanua haya yote kuuliza si ujinga. Kutoskiza jibu ndio ujinga.

(how then do we create a space where questions can be asked in a way that doesn’t impede listening?)

This is the question that plagues us. How do we move towards a shareable space. The idea, we’ve been reminded by many many people who have read many many more people is to create a space that can be shared by all parties within the space. This is easier said than done because the factors that need to be considered in creating a space of that magnitude are as many as there are individuals. All we can do is add factors to the shared question. All we can do is share the question. This doesn’t mean that we find an answNer but it does mean that we add data to the question. Because there’s no such thing as an unanswerable question, only a need for more data.

Still they forgot that the only way is to learn how to swim. Still the water was imagined as a violence when water is just water.

And no one wants to drown.


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