Dr. James E. Ryan
“Too often we fail to pause for clarification, thinking that we understand something before we do. In doing so, we miss the opportunity to grasp the full significance of an idea, an assertion, or an event. Asking “Wait, what?” is a good way to capture, rather than miss, those opportunities.”
“Asking “Wait, what?” is also a good way to avoid jumping to conclusions or making snap judgments. Too often we decide very early whether we agree or disagree with someone or with an idea, without making an effort to truly understand the person or the point.”
"Our public conversations, and especially conversations on social media, often seem like exercises in picking sides and choosing teams. We hear or read something, make a quick call, then dismiss those with whom we disagree as ignorant or evil. If we took more time to understand ideas and perspectives, especially new and challenging ones, we might be less dismissive and instead more curious. Even if a better understanding of an idea or perspective doesn't change your mind, it is likely to make you respect or at least appreciate the person proposing the idea more."
- "Wait, what?” is at the root of all understanding.
- “I wonder . . . ?” is at the heart of all curiosity.
- It is hard to ask "I wonder why?" without also eventually asking "I wonder if?" exploring possibilities.
- “Couldn’t we at least . . . ?” is the beginning of all progress.
- “How can I help?” is at the base of all good relationships.
- “What truly matters?” helps get you to the heart of life.