Do all questions have answers?

Question without answers.

It appears that in the last few years that whenever the Village of Shorewood seems to become aware of a situation not readily understood by both Board members and staff that a consultant or consulting firm is readily sought.

A consultant is available to help them identify the question for which the consultants have the answer, usually for only several thousand bucks.

The the Village can then say that we are doing this because “our doctor or lawyer” has advised us to do this and we can not be blamed, for we are following the advice of a professional. We have a “plan”. No one can argue against a plan, especially when produced by a professional.

I think that in today's society, we find ourselves becoming over-dependent on professionals.

We send young adults to college first to broaden their knowledge and to learn how to make use of it, then on graduation, many are prepared to attend professional schools in order to focus on a narrow element of life, which will help them “make a living.”

These schools themselves first of all focus on a narrow area of life's knowledge. Then we have many specializations within each of the fields as well, so as it has been said, in humor of course, that “we know more and more about less and less” up to the point that we know everything about nothing.

There are medical colleges, engineering schools, law schools, schools of dentistry and many other schools designed to train professionals who will tell us how to do it, or even do for us.

To simplify my concern, we can view professionals, once they leave their training as carrying two boxes. One box is full of questions and the other is full of answers. The professional skills come from matching up the right answers to questions in that particular box.

Questions not in the box are usually without answers, or with one answer that claims that question is an improper one. Or that this hasn't been researched sufficiently so we have to go with what we already know, right or wrong.

Therefore the client or patient needs to ask the appropriate question to deserve a reasonable answer (treatment or advice), that is, the answer already in the box. Of course, this is an over-simplification.

Some professionals are even trained to help you sort out the right question from out of their box. Once that is done, it becomes their job to find the right answer. Easy enough. The questions and answers have numbers that match on the back.

So as we can see, it is only a problem of finding the right question. Therefore, the perspective in which the question is placed is quite important. Often the right question produces its own answer.

Most will say that this, so far, is a silly analogy of reality and it is meant to be, in order to get us to think about what we are actually doing in our society today.

Often communities like Shorewood are seeking advice, treatment and plans for questions that have not been appropriately framed and are likely to get the answer only with the right number on the back but not necessarily the required treatment. Sometime we are told what other communities are doing, although not necessarily the correct answer.

I have found, however that there are no consultants or professionals for the most important questions, for they usually are questions without answers.  

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