“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reasons for existing.” – Albert Einstein
Thinking about living the UU theology, one of the pieces of being a part of the living tradition is the encouragement to have a questioning heart. The Fifth principle supports that All Voices Matter, and dissent is a healthy part of community, while in our Fourth Principle, we are all encouraged in a free and responsible search for meaning in our lives.
I am thankful that my UU mother and congregational community growing up taught the power of questioning. As a kid, I was taught the basics that if I wanted to figure out the answer to something I would need to ask the questions that would help me get to the answer. It was pretty concrete when I was small, as one might imagine the process of working out a math problem.
As I became older the concept of asking questions expanding in meaning. That free and responsible search! I had a fire in my heart and a need to know everything. My brother as a kid was much more loquacious than me, asking the kinds of questions like, “How many people would it take to link arms across the surface of the earth?”. He was constantly working out math problems and dreaming up new scenarios that needed an answer.
As a UU teen, being encouraged to question, I started to understand that questioning was very important. Especially when it came to rules, because rules, were designed to support people. If there were rules or laws that were not upholding the rights and dignity of all people they were designed to protect and serve, then questioning them was an important next step. This has always been a piece of living this UU tradition, as we are not just striving to embody the seven principles, but they call us to actively promote, affirm and covenant to a healthy community.
Currently in the state of the world, I am proud to look at the community members of UUCWC and see all of the ways people are searching for their truth and meaning, upholding the inherent dignity and worth of the people around them, using their minds, hands and hearts to engage in asking important questions, about rights, race, privilege and access. Thank you to the UUCWC community that keeps the questions alive and sees where rules need revision, upgrading or vetoing.
I studied psychology for four years because I needed to know why people did the kind and terrible things they did. Thinking if I just studied enough I would crack the code of human behavior, I went back to seminary fifteen years later in search of some of the deeper answers to the questions of life, that had more of a spiritual nature.
I’ve been told I missed my calling as an investigative reporter, with an exasperated “What is it, with all the questions, Sue?”. I have come to a place where I laugh, as it is a part of this UU’s walk to dwell in the power of the question. I have found sometimes we will never get to the answer, and other times it is the question that is more important. But yes, I do agree with Einstein, “the important thing is to never stop questioning,” for our own search for truth, and meaning, and how it upholds our relationships with ourselves, each other and the world. Curiosity has not killed this cat yet, in fact it has done quite the opposite.