Have you ever listened to someone talk, or read their writing, and thought, “Wow, that sounds good, and I think it may be right, but I just don’t know why?” Then maybe your next thought was, “Oh well, I really don’t know enough about it, so I should just accept their word for it?”

     I think that this happens to all of us at some point or another. We shouldn’t let it end here, though.

     We all have the ability to think for ourselves and form our own opinions, that is part of what makes us human. We also have the right to do so, and should not allow ourselves to be so intimidated by someone else’s opinion that we forego this right.

     Never be afraid to question the writer or speaker, even if they appear to be out of your league. You owe it not only to yourself, but to them. Your questions and their answers will not only advance your knowledge, but will allow them the opportunity to have their ideas vetted by independent thought. The advancement of your own knowledge can be nothing but beneficial to you, and having their ideas questioned is beneficial to the speaker or writer as it allows them to either fine tune their theories or discard them if they are proven to be incorrect by a round of good questioning.

     In any event, everyone stands to benefit by a good round of honest scrutiny.

     Jump right in and question everything. If your questioning is not appreciated, it is not your fault, it is the fault of the one you are questioning, and it is their loss, not yours.

     Ask questions, post comments, start discussions, even write articles to your heart’s content. Don’t be afraid of the quality of your words, be afraid of the consequences of not sharing your ideas and searching for more knowledge.

     The only bad question is the one never asked.