As my friends ushered me to the table at their home, I looked at everything on the table and the only thing I could recognise was the boiled Irish potatoes, everything else looked strange. 

Initially, I did not want to ask any questions because I did not want to embarrass myself and present myself as a “local boy”. My friends were vastly travelled. 

But I summoned up the courage and said, “Please, can you introduce the meal on the table to me so I can relate to what we are about to eat”. 

The answer of my friend’s wife still rings in my mind. She said, “We are also trying this recipe for the first time”. Then she goes ahead to mention what was on the table. They had new names but they were things I could eat with all joy. 

I smiled and said, “Since we are all newbies on this table, can we dig into this meal”. We all had a good laugh. 

Shame will keep a man in the same spot. The fear of being ridiculed has prolonged the journey of many in life. Never be afraid of asking the right questions when the occasion arises. There are times that shame will say “Do not talk” yet wisdom knows that it is very important that you ask questions. 

Asking a question can make you look like a fool for five minutes but you then become a wise man for the rest of your life. I realise that sometimes the people laughing at those asking questions also do not have a clue. They are mere pretenders. 

There is an adage in my culture that says, “The man who keeps asking questions will never miss his way”. Eliab ridiculed David for asking questions on the battlefield about Goliath and the King’s reward. David did not allow that to discourage him. He kept asking till he got answers. 

Eliab, his older brother, heard David fraternizing with the men and lost his temper: “What are you doing here? Why aren’t you minding your own business, tending that scrawny flock of sheep? I know what you’re up to. You’ve come down here to see the sights, hoping for a ringside seat at a bloody battle!” “What is it with you?” replied David. “All I did was ask a question.” Ignoring his brother, he turned to someone else, asked the same question, and got the same answer as before. 

1 Samuel 17:28-30 MSG 

If you will go far in life, there are voices you must ignore. One of such voice is the voice of shame and ridicule in your head. Shut it down. Ask questions without shame. Press in. You will soon realise that asking questions is not a weakness but a strength. It makes you wiser. 

Stop nodding your head when anyone says things you have no clue about, pretending as if you know. In humility, kindly say, “Please, that concept you spoke about or that term you used was a bit hard for me to understand, can you kindly explain to me what it means”. Stop nodding and pretending. Ask questions. 

Kill shame. 

Do not pretend.

Ask questions.

You are on the journey to wisdom.

There is love in sharing

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