Remember when you graduated from high school, how you were going to breeze through college because you already knew everything, and your parents didn’t know nearly enough. Then you went to college, and you were embarrassed if you didn’t know the answer to something. Now, however, you’re older, and you realize you don’t know everything, but that doesn’t always stop you from being embarrassed by asking “stupid” questions.
Before I go any further, I would like to reclassify that phrase. The only stupid questions are the ones that never get asked. What most people think of as a stupid question is actually a simple question. The other day one of my neighbors came down with her computer to ask me how to send an e-mail. Most of us on the computer have been using the Internet for a long time. To us sending an e-mail is just something we do. It’s not something we think about any more, and it’s hard to imagine that there are people who don’t.
This neighbor is 65, and hasn’t had much experience with computers, so I helped her. I’ve been getting e-mails since so she can practice. Do I consider her stupid or illiterate? Not at all, in fact I consider her very intelligent. She knows thing that I never will. She travels around the world, and reads all the time. She just never had a need to e-mail anyone until now.
It was the same thing with my mom, and my wife. I’ve taught them things, usually with the computer, and I’ve had to ask them questions. There is never any reason to feel embarrassed by your question, the important thing to remember is that you will, at times, need answers and someone else will have them. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Challenge: Never look at someone’s question as stupid, you never know when you might have a simple question of your own.