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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Context

 

All conversations have some element of questions and answers and we have been told numerous times to be not only good listeners but also to understand the questions properly before answering them.

The following incident is a simple Q&A between a father and a son …

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"Dad, where did I come from?" asks this 10-years-old.

The father was shocked that a 10 year old would be asking a question like that. He was hoping to wait a few more years before he would have to explain the facts of life, but he figured it was better a few years early than a few days too late, so, for the next two hours he explained every thing to his son.

When he got finished, he asked his son what prompted his question to which his son replied, "I was talking to the new kid across the street and he said he came from Ohio, so I was just wondering where I came from."

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Yes … that was actually just a joke but don't you think it was entirely possible that it really happened.

I am sure you are smiling (if not laughing) but think about it.

How many times have we ourselves jumped in and answered questions without understanding the full context of the question as well as the conversation?
Any Question can have multiple answers and I am not talking about similar answers but widely different answers (as the above example joke brings out).

It is hence important that we not only understand the question but also its context.

 

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