Your first question matters.
In my travels, I frequently meet new people.
And to my disappointment, the most frequent question I am asked, (even before one introduces him/herself) is this-
Where are you from?
And I say to myself- WTF, Rowena. They’re just curious. Why make a big deal out of one stupid question. Why be such a fucking tight arse?
And yet, no matter how chill I am, no matter how I try to convince myself otherwise, I know deep in my heart that if we want to change for the better, we need to ask better questions. And this first question we ask a stranger is not a good start.
You see, life is richer with connections. And I mean meaningful connections, not facebook or instagram likes and comments.
So in this lonely world of meaningless virtual connectedness and search for approval, and this funny universe where what you need is actually staring at you right now in the face, we need a better approach to connecting with each other.
We need to be free to be ourselves. Without judgement, fear, envy.
We all take this for granted but we have labeled ourselves our own mental prisons.
- We identify with our job title and social status, that when we lose it, we lose our sense of self worth.
- We label our gender and then take personal offense when anyone calls us by another label
- We wear our flag as our identity and rate others as colonies or enemies.
- We romanticise our age that when we grow old, as one does, we fall into a lying pile of surgically enhanced shambles
And these labels limit our freedom to just be, a part of one interdependent human race. We become a divided us vs them – separated by race, age, gender, status, defined by ego rather than self, struggling to justify ourselves.
So, instead of a first question that seeks to separate. Why not ask a question that seeks to unite. I have a lot to suggest but start with this first one:
What brings you here?
Because that question seeks to understand a person’s intention.
And if you dig deep (and please do), even the most seemingly heinous act, you will find that the answer to this question is always love. It is sometimes a desperate, even twisted act for love in the most desperate of situations – but it is LOVE. And this love binds us to find ourselves in this very space at this very moment.
So the next time you meet a stranger, please mind your question.
Do not divide by asking “Where are you from?”. Ask instead” What brings you here?” and be united by love rather than divided by fear, anger, superiority or jealousy.
Ask what brings you here and take it from there.
And let us be united in love.
I have a set of questions that I ask to connect and I post and answer them here. Read them, answer them and use them in your personal encounters.
- What message would you give your 5 year old self.
- What is it you wish others do not have to lie about?
- What is it you wish that you do not have to lie about?
- Of all the senses (hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling, tasting) – which sense do you use/like the most?
- Have you ever pity fucked someone? What was your reason?
- If you need to sleep with someone from the same and opposite sex to save humanity. Who would they be?
- If you had to give up all vices and just be left with one, what would it be?/ What is your poison of choice?
- What would you like to be doing when the world ends?
- If you were to give a speech about what you learned in your life, what song would be playing as you walk towards the podium?
- If your life were played into a movie, who would play your character?
Do you have other questions that connect? Share them here and let us answer them together and be connected in love.
Life is a hell lot of fun if you ask the right questions.