There are certain phrases which, in any language, seem to carry an abundance of power. They are the kinds of phrases which encourage, which heal, which galvanize. Yet, oddly enough they are rarely found in what is considered great oratory. One such is a question.
What is the most powerful question one could ask? Some would say it is “why” as in, “why am I here?” or “why is the world the way it is?” A great deal of great philosophic thought starts with “why?” A great deal of scientific thought, flowing from what once was the philosophic, also seems to have a “why” attached – as in “why do the stars in their courses travel as they do?” “Why” can sometimes be a question, even a challenge, to authority and command, as when a government says “we must do this” and someone says, “why?”
But I believe there is a more powerful question than “why?” For “why” doesn’t actually do anything – it just sort of hangs there. There is, however, a simple question which leads to discovery, which encourages, even demands discovery. It rolls back the empty spaces of the map and fills those spaces. It is at the heart of science and of the arts. It is how societies are changed, how people are changed. It is revolutionary. It destroys Rules, Myths, and Accepted Wisdom. It is a call to action.
It is a question which not only begins one on a journey of discovery, it maintains and guides that journey. It is the answer to writer’s block. It is the compass that works when all others fail.
This one question of two words is the fount of Creativity, for to answer it requires thinking outside of the box, beyond the cage.
It is the one question from which the impossible is made possible.
It is the one question which when asked requires answer and which, indeed, answers itself.