On Asking Stupid Questions

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” -Abraham Lincoln

I find all too often people are afraid of asking things because they don’t want to appear stupid, which is why I consider Ask A Stupid Question Day to be one of the most important non-holidays of the year.  I’ve had way too many of my classmates tell me they are afraid to ask a question in class or answer one of the teacher’s questions because they don’t know absolutely everything about the subject and they don’t want to look stupid.  It’s okay to not know something, and it’s okay to be wrong.  What’s not very okay is to be afraid of learning because you don’t want to admit you’re not omniscient and infallible.  This doesn’t just apply to students in schools.  Everyone runs into situations where they don’t know something and they’re with someone who does.  And it’s okay to ask a question.  And if you’re in a situation where you’re talking to an expert and you’re not sure about something, say it anyways, and maybe mention that you’re not sure about it.  If you’re wrong, the other person will say so and you’ll learn something and that’s always good.

So although Abraham Lincoln might have said that it’s better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt, I think he’s wrong.  I think it’s better to speak out, because that’s the only way you can learn something and stop being a fool.

Happy Ask A Stupid Question Day!

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