Some of the most significant events in human history have started with a simple question. The simplest are how, when, where, who or what. Those single word questions are the foundation for complex scientific inquiry and also the beginnings of a child’s learning. Curiosity. Asking a simple question has often been the basis for profound discoveries, great conversations and developing friendships among inquisitive minds.
Many years ago when I was a graduate student, I attended a national conference. While there were a considerable number of interesting sessions on the program, the entire trip was overshadowed by a 15-minute conversation that I had in a hallway with a guest speaker and well-known author. That serendipitous, short conversation clarified my thinking on a topic unlike any of the considerable reading and numerous presentations I had reviewed up to that point. One of my graduate school advisors spoke many times about having a “great conversation” and through that experience I finally grasped what she was trying to tell me. For me, conference attendance is usually an effort to seek out not only presentations that pique my interest but also opportunities to have quick conversations with others who might offer another perspective, better information or even a quick wit. I am sure, if you think about it, you can also easily remember such insightful or defining discussions, articles or presentations that left you changed in some way.
This blog is about starting conversations, stimulating thinking and exposing ideas to greater scrutiny. We may not change the world with the discussions we have here but who can say? Someone who reads this and the accompanying responses may go on to do just that. So, you are invited to explore, read, think, agree, disagree, share and ask questions. Stay tuned, I have several in mind to start with. - J