Asking what might seem like stupid questions is easier than correcting stupid mistakes. Ask. “No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions,” said electrical pioneer, Charles Steinmetz. Asking costs nothing and may prevent a costly mistake. If you are afraid of asking, you are afraid of learning. Asking two or three times will keep you from losing your way once. Ask boldly.
Asking timidly invites refusal. You know the feeling. It takes a certain amount of courage to stick your neck out and ask a question but it is easier than trying to correct a mistake. For example, once you leave an interstate highway at the wrong exit, you might drive miles and miles wasting both time and gas before you find the exit you originally needed. If there is something you don’t know, then ask. You risk being a fool for a moment but a wise person for the rest of your life. Why waste your time wondering what the answer is, when with the knowledge gained from asking a question, you can know? So whom do you ask? Ask anyone who wishes you well. Ask your Heavenly Father. Rely on the promise of His word: “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.”
You will find that people appreciate the boldness of a person who reaches out to ask a question. “A decent boldness ever meets with friends. It is the bold man who every time does best, at home or abroad,” wrote Homer in his Odyssey. Other people will recognize your decency and respond in kind. They will extend themselves to you with the correct answer or guide you to someone else who can answer you correctly. Your decency will be mirrored in their actions. You will repeatedly find that in trying situations, when all seems lost, the boldest plans are safest.
The Japanese put it this way: “Unless you enter the tiger’s den you cannot take the cubs.” When you ask a question you are entering the tiger’s den to take the cub of a right answer that will save you from making a stupid mistake. “Audacity augments courage; hesitation, fear,” wrote Publilius Syrus in Moral Sayings during the first century before Christ. If you are audacious, you are willing to challenge assumptions or conventions or tackle something difficult or dangerous. Do you have the audacity to ask what seems like a stupid question? You have much to gain and nothing to lose. Audacity and courage walk along together. By all means, dare, dare, dare, and dare again. You might learn something.