Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Questioning a life of questioning...

My mum and dad are both very intelligent people. Not only do they have higher than average IQ, but they are smart, too. Both my parents question EVERYTHING. Sometimes this causes people to view them as obstinant troublemakers (yes, they do mum and dad, you both know it, and to some extent I think you both basque in the warm glow you receive from that knowledge). Neither of my parents take ANYTHING on face value alone.

So, it's probably not very surprising that both my brother and I are questioners. We question everything. We question what we see and hear, and what we don't see and hear. We question the world around us, each other, our parents, and even ourselves.

What is real?

What is worthwhile?

What and who can be trusted?

Why do people do/say/think the things they do?

How, where, what, when, why and who...

Sometimes I question all this questioning though (of course I do, that is what makes me me - all this suspicion!).

Certainly, it seems to me that often my inability to just accept things, events, people, practice, or theories on face value puts me at odds with the world around me. Often I ask what other people consider to be stupid, argumentative, pointless questions. Questions for which EVERYONE already knows the answers and for which I must be labled a bit fruity or difficult (questioning the long term effectiveness and safety of vaccines springs to mind, right about now).

I know my questioning the validity of Feminism as a seperate -Ism to Humanism has set many teeth on edge.

Tonight, I yet again questioned the practices within the education microcosm that is my sons' school - I'm a big questioner of formal education, but even still, I have my children in the school system because I question the wisdom of quarantining children from society because society is deemed sick, when societal norms inform humans' sense of belonging as social creatures so inextricably (and particularly in the light of my children wanting to go to school).

I can't join a side and just be happy to accept the wisdom of that side. I am compelled to question everyone and everything, putting me at odds with everyone and everything at some point. Sometimes I think I'd be happier if I could just stop questioning. Other people who accept (and quite possibly they are correct in doing so, quite possibly - in all my questioning - I'm not seeing the forest for the trees), often seem secure in the knowledge that everything is fine the way it is. They often see no gain in opening cans of worms when the worms are doing no harm whatsoever in their dark, tightly sealed can. They seem to live lives free from anxiety and distrust.

Then again, how could I be happy not being me?

Well, anyway, thanks mum and dad...


Deborah said...

Oh my goodness, you have described my parents and my family too! I think this is why I am finding your blog so interesting to read. I really like that you are a thinker and questioner! Thank you!

Sif Dal said...

Well, I really like that someone was able to relate to this! So, thank you! Sometimes I just feel like I get in my own way by not readily accepting the way things are...

Kate said...

Questioning is such a great thing to be passing on to your kids too, even though it may not always feel like it to you.

The other part of the questioning is of course where you are finding things lacking, working out how you can best affect change for the better.

I think it's when we stop questioning and just let things go that are important to us that we start the downward slide. I know when we were having issues with the bog boy at school in previous years if I'd not spent as much time with his teachers and jumping up and down to the principals that we wouldn't be where we are now... ie in a place of vast improvement.

Some things I guess we do just have to accept whether we like (and question) them or not. But using those questions to at least increase our own awareness can only be a good thing.

Sif Dal said...

Yes, I think it's probably just another one of "those things" that have to be kept in balance and in perspective.

Yesterday, I felt quite upset that our school had had a survey about CRE and there was a great response from the school community. Most parents were happy with the current CRE situation (Access Ministries provides CRE at our school), but also said they would be happy to send their children to either a general religious education class, or a non-religious ethics class. In other words, they didn't really care either way, LOL.

I was excited to read that most respondents would not be put off by a change (which in my opinion would be more equitable and inclusive for every child at the school).

However, the school council have decided to stick with the current CRE classes. I was so disappointed that I briefly considered changing schools. Then when I thought about it some more, I realised they're most likely not wanting to make a change because it would require time and money spent to set up a new class... I could still be annoyed by this, or I can let it go and persist in opting my children out. The children are happy at the school, so I have to keep this in perspective...

Good Job!