I violently agree with this statement. However, I will add a caveat, because clarity is–above all–my jam.
*”There is no such thing as a stupid question, provided you’re asking a question with a genuine desire to learn.”
It’s not stupid to ask for clarification, ever, if you’re not 100% sure.
It is stupid to ask a question, because you only want to hear one answer, and confirm what you think you already know.
Much like committing a crime, the level of stupidity you are guilty of when asking a seemingly naïve question is all about intent.
- Are you knowingly, willfully, intentionally being stupid?
- Are you asking the same question, over and over, phrased in a *slightly* different way each time, in an attempt to manipulate the answer?
- Are you asking a question you don’t want or need to know the answer to, just to fill air space or monopolize a conversation?
If not, you are not being stupid, but cautious. You are not ignorant, but curious. You are not careless with the truth, but thoughtful in how you pursue it.
Therefore, I object emphatically with those who think pretending to know is better than seeking confirmation. I decry those who think that people who don’t ask questions are somehow cooler or smarter than those who do. I think it’s inhuman to expect someone to be able to go through the damn Self-Checkout line on their first try, without making any mistakes. And yes, I also think it’s shameful when people throw shade at children who constantly ask why the world works the way it does.
Because dammit, I think we should all ask ourselves those “stupid” questions, a lot more often.
There, I said it. That’s how I feel. Any questions?