For as long as I can remember, I have been curious. Even when I asked questions as a little girl, I learned that “because” was never an appropriate answer to question that began with “Why” and always felt like I needed to know more. There were times when I was afraid to ask questions — especially in school. I was considered a “smart” girl and I felt like I had this reputation to live up to and asking questions would change people’s opinions of me.
When you feel dumb before you even ask the question, the worst thing you want to happen is to feel even dumber after you the ask the question.
Whether we get an answer or not.
Whether it turns out to be the answer we want or not.
We never want to feel worse for asking the question.
Our lives will bring us many questions in a single lifetime and most of the time, we will have an answer. Sometimes, those answers are exactly what we expected or hoped for and other times, those answers will not make sense or lead us to another question.
After many attempts of getting more information or understanding something better, we may just give up.
We may just accept that were weren’t meant to know.
I can think of a few questions right now that I know I will never truly receive an answer and for those questions, and only those questions, I am okay with that.
The rest of them have an answer.
And that answer begins with a single letter.
You see, for every question we will ever ask and for every question the world will ask of us, the answer always begins with “I.”
We respond to moments of heartache and despair with “I will heal” and “I will rise.”
People wondering if we will ever recover after stumbling or if we have what it takes to be successful can be answered this way:
But those answers are simple and can apply to anything. It’s easy to do something small and pretend it doesn’t affect anyone else. I am talking about much bigger questions…the ones that not only impact your own life, but impact the world around you as well.
Every question asked…whether by life, by your next door neighbor, or the one you ask yourself can all be answered in the way you answer…
Our answer is not just confined to the words we use, but more importantly, to the actions we take. We cannot expect others to do what we have been asked to do.
It is our responsibility. Even if we are unsure of the process…even if we are doubtful of the outcome…even if we are alone.
Sometimes, our moments to “answer” come when we least expect them…when we are focused on our “race” and somehow, for some reason, there is this moment…this moment that will never occur again.
In a split second, we answer.
In a way no one saw coming.
In a way we can’t even describe.
Two women who had never met each other before, yet they each answered a single question in a way the world will never forget…
Rio 2016 – Abbey D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin
Too often, we believe the word “I” is meant to be self-serving, but it’s quite the opposite. It is meant to remind us where our answer begins…and it always begins with us.
With each of us.
For example, there are many things in this world that terrify me, but when I need to be brave, I am bravest when I put the needs of another ahead of my own. It would be easy to walk away believing that a single answer I give is not heard, witnessed, or remembered by anyone. But that would be a falsehood my heart would not be able to sustain.
The response of a single person to a single question can change everything.
I know…I’ve lived it. I am still living that answer.
Some days, we might feel more lost. More confused. More unsure. More perplexed. And lately, I have find myself asking many questions…of which, I have yet to receive a single answer.
And when they come, I know the answer will begin with “I.”
Michelle A. Homme 2016 ©