This past Sunday, we began a short series on Simple Questions. The idea was inspired by something Anthony Bourdain said about his television show, Parts Unknown: “We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions, we tend to get some really astonishing answers."
Why is it that sometimes something so simple can have such a great impact? While exploring this idea, I saw the Fred Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? If Bourdain hadn’t convinced me before (though he had), Rogers solidified my conviction that simplicity doesn’t mean superficial. Simplicity in all of its straightforwardness allows for accessibility and commonality. And when offered with genuineness, simple questions may elicit deep, meaningful, and insightful answers.
We spent some time going inward during our last gathering with a few simple questions: What makes you happy? What is your primary motivator? What are you afraid of? If you could change one thing about yourself (and it’s something you are able to change), what would that one thing be? The idea was to ask ourselves some simple questions and see what answers, if any, surprised or interested us. Differently stated, we utilized some simple questions in hopes of discovering some insightful answers of our own.
Next week, we’re going to continue to explore simple questions, but this time withward. (I know that is a made up word, but bear with me.) I suspect from what I learned of Bourdain and Rogers, when one navigates the profoundly simple depths, there is quite a heavy burden that goes with it. Both gentlemen sacrificed much to navigate this space and advocate for others. And so it seems important to talk about how we do this Simple Questions thing in community, together, withward.
In the meantime, I invite you to take this week and see what simple questions you encounter. Don't be too quick to dismiss one as too simple. Rather sit with it. Let it ruminate within you. You just might be surprised what answer(s) you come up with!