Letters to a Friend

Questions… 34 Observations, Criticisms & Challenges For the Brave Who Ask Them

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5a812ce11fc270ed0bb8e22d045efdd6“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”  Robert Kennedy


 “Ask with Confidence, listen with humility.” Charlie Van Hecke


“He who has a ‘why’ to live for can bear almost any ‘how’.” Friedrich Nietzsche


“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” Voltaire


 “Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it.” J.D. Stroube


“There are some questions that shouldn’t be asked until a person is mature enough to appreciate the answers.” Anne Bishop


“Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.”  Primo Levi


“The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he’s one who asks the right questions.” Claude Lévi-Strauss


“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” Thomas Pynchon


 “Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. Mortal or immortal, few really ask. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds — justifications, confirmations, forms of consolation without which they can’t go on. To really ask is to open the door to the whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner.” Anne Rice


“At the end of the day, the questions we ask of ourselves determine the type of people that we will become.” Leo Babauta


“He explained to me with great insistence that every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer.” Elie Wiesel


“Indeed, the only truly serious questions are ones that even a child can formulate. Only the most naive of questions are truly serious. They are the questions with no answers. A question with no answer is a barrier that cannot be breached. In other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limit of human possibilities, describe the boundaries of human existence.”  Milan Kundera


“Questions are great, but only if you know the answers. If you ask questions and the answers surprise you, you look silly.” Laurell K. Hamilton


“The power of asking is the key to abundance living.” Lailah Gifty Akita


“It’s not that they can’t see the solution. They can’t see the problem.” G.K. Chesterton


“There are no right answers to wrong questions.” Ursula K. Le Guin


“Ask the right questions if you’re going to find the right answers.” Vanessa Redgrave


“He looked at me intently, from what seemed behind the veil of a grave experience. Then slowly and prophetically, he said the scariest thing I’d ever heard: “Because the answer to a heartfelt question, Jack, will always break your heart.” Thomas H. Cook


“An infinite question is often destroyed by finite answers. To define everything is to annihilate much that gives us laughter and joy.” Madeleine L’Engle


“Pretend I asked, now answer the question…” Laurell K. Hamilton


“The soul may ask God for anything, and never fail.” Annie Dillard


“If you don’t have the confidence to ask, you will never have the confidence to convince.” Amit Kalantri


“We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong.” Bono


“Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers.” Robert Half


“What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question.” Jonas Salk


“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” Werner Heisenberg


“The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.” Antony Jay


“In school, we’re rewarded for having the answer, not for asking a good question.” Richard Saul Wurman


“In all affairs, it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” Bertrand Russell


“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.” Pablo Picasso


“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” Voltaire


“My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.” Peter Drucker


“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” Chinese proverb



(that was mine)


Little Boy Memories

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I’ll never forget the day I was a boy from outer space, 

Or the long look on the face

Of my friend who wore a costume from the store.  

Mine was home made, but he was the one who was poor,

And I was glad you were my mom.


Then there was the time I came home from a fight all black and blue,  

But you knew just what to do;

Cause your hugs and your tears made my world seem right,  

Then you threatened the mom who sat and watched the fight!

And I was glad you were my mom.


I watched you love my dad and pay a price for his life success, 

Your work made his “good”, “the best”…

Some of your dreams were laid quietly aside.  

Instead, your joy came as his friend, and as his bride.

And I was glad you were my mom.

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And what about the times when cooking Sunday lunch gave you fits, 

Burned beans were little briquets!

But you always made sure that our meals were fun!  

Cooking for seven… How’d you ever get anything done?

And I was glad you were my mom.

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I’d tell folks about Cub Scouts, bridges, and your radio show,  

Making ice cream out of snow.

My favorite of all was the store of  “Joy”!  

You MADE Christmas for many with love, ham and toys.

And I was glad you were my mom.

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I’m a parent now with precious children of my own to raise.  

I see your “grandparent days”.

Nurture, encouragement and prayers sent above.  

Are the gifts you’ve given them, you’ve modeled God’s love.

And I was glad you were my mom.

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I have seen you strong and proud and standing up for what is right.  

Seen you cry and be uptight.

But watching you has taught me how to be real,  

How to love, how to sacrifice, and how to feel.

And I was glad you were my mom.

 Cole Family2

So I guess I want to say for Dad, me, the boys and our wives,  

Thank you for touching our lives.

If it was ours to give, we’d give you the moon.  

Instead, how about if we all go clean our rooms?

I’ve been so glad you were my mom.


Now you’ve joined Dad in Heaven, Your work here on Earth is done,

Enjoying Mother’s Day with your Mom, Wow, that’s got to be fun!

Our lives have been changed by your example and your heart

And we’ll do our best as parents till it’s our time to depart,

I’ll be so glad to see you again Mom.


I’m so thankful you were my mom…   And I still am.


Love you Momma!

Sometimes Wisdom isn’t Enough…

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Wisdom & PatienceSome days just bring greater frustration than others.  It seems as if the Idiots Club of the World convened yesterday, and in a unanimous vote, determined that their membership would make today the worst day of YOUR life… EVER.  Stupid people in traffic… loud and annoying people in the grocery store… inattentive parents with bratty children in the restaurant… and yes, even some of your coworkers or bosses are members of that club.

Sometimes knowing how to react is not enough.  We know that we should walk away… or that we should bite our lip.  We sense that the situation would be handled best if we deflect, ignore or vacate the situation.  Knowing what we should do, and then following through with it are two different things.  

Aristotle said, Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”  Just the idea of “patience” implies that in this moment something stinks.  It’s awkward and uncomfortable, and that we’re irritated, frustrated and upset.  Patience isn’t ignoring what is happening now.  It’s a life preserve with “It wasn’t always this way!” painted on one side, and “It won’t always be this way!” painted on the other.  So hold on.  Let the good of the past and the expected blessings of the future keep you afloat.

And try not to kill anyone in the meantime.


The Hunt For Happiness

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going-home-ian-barberHappy people… Miserable people… Surely I’m not the only person who has ever wondered about what makes the difference… Why happy people are happy, and miserable people miserable… If I told you what I thought the difference was, you probably wouldn’t believe me… But I think I’ll tell you anyway, because if I am right, and you buy into it… well… then maybe, just maybe it’ll help you to be a happy person too.

Now I’ll admit that a lot of factors affect our happiness.  Our health, our friends, the amount of money left in our checking account when we finish paying bills.  And wherever you turn, people seem to be desperately in pursuit of this elusive state of mind we call happiness.  Lonely hearts look for it in romance and relationships… the driven labor for it by climbing the corporate ladder… The selfless search for it in spending their life in civic service.  But hearts break, ladders collapse, and service thankless.  So where do we find happiness?

The biggest cookie on the plate when it comes to being happy doesn’t have to do with others, with money or power, or even with something as wonderful as sacrifice.  It simply has to do with being at home.  No matter where you are… feeling at home.  Happy people don’t have to “go home” to feel at ease, comfortable or peaceful.  Because for them home isn’t somewhere you go, but something you choose.

What’s strange is that sometimes it just happens.  You find yourself in a new place, and it just clicks.  Every face is friendly, and there is an air of comfort ability in everything you encounter… in the sales person who waits on you in the downtown store; in the panoramic view of the city from the hill on the edge of town; even in driving under the canopy of overgrown trees as you survey the neighborhoods…

But then there are times where it doesn’t just “click.”  Nothing feels right.  You’re in a strange place with strange people.  Not really strange, but different.  New.  Unfamiliar.  You’ve worn a warm cloak of contentment for such a long time, but now this new environment you face leaves you shivering and bracing your soul against the harsh winds of dissatisfaction and loneliness.  This change of seasons in your life stirs up feelings deep inside you’ve not encountered in ages.

So what do you do now?  How will you ever find the happiness that you’ve enjoyed in the past?  I would say it’s worth a try to be at home.  You may have changed jobs lately, and it just doesn’t “feel” right… CHOOSE TO BE AT HOME RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE… You may have recently gone through a divorce, or a marriage has blended two distinct families into one… CHOOSE TO BE AT HOME RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE…  It doesn’t matter if you’ve changed schools, changed churches, changed jobs or changed towns.   CHOOSE TO BE AT HOME RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE…

Home is where you make it… it’s a choice… and with the pressures of life and the worries that it can sometimes bring, there’s nothing quite like being at home.  So consider this encouragement from a friend who’s been on the same treasure hunt for happiness that you are… go home.  It’s a great place to be.”

Page Cole


10 Sentences That Can Change Your Life for The Better

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Sometimes life just grabs you by the throat… or 1somewhere else, and it won’t let go!

It’s times like those that we need PERSPECTIVE… Someone to come along and encourage us.

Help us see through the clutter.  Shake up our mind and wake up our heart.

Give us hope.  My hope is that maybe one of these graphics will do that for YOU!
10 Sentences That Can Change Your Life for The Better – StumbleUpon.






You’re Not Gonna Die Today!

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Man_dies_for_45_mins__comes_back_to_life_851060000_778133_ver1.0Tony Yahle, a 37 year old diesel mechanic from Dayton, OH coded for 45 minutes, and after the doctors had tried every procedure and medication they had at their disposal, he was declared dead.  But wait.  That wasn’t acceptable to his 17 year old son, Lawrence.  He charged down the hall towards his father’s body and shouted, “Dad, you’re not going to die today!”  Doctors saw tiny electrical movements on his heart monitor, and began efforts again to revive him.  It worked.  Amazing.  His son refused to give up, and his dad was saved. But how did it happen?

  1. Someone believed in his ability to survive when everyone else had given up.  You are surrounded by people who suffer the same affliction.  Their business is failing, their marriage is falling apart and the world looks at them and calls them a loser.  They. Are. Not.  Could it be that they just need someone to believe in them, encourage them and say out loud “Hey, you!  Not today!  You’re not going under, your marriage is not going to fail.  I believe in YOU!”  BE that person who speaks hope into their life.
  2. Survival meant getting help from the right sources.  Tony Yahle’s family got him to a hospital with skilled physicians.  They had the tools, the training and the heart to help.  But his family believes that the doctors had some help.  They are convinced that God intervened, and that made all the difference in the world.  When someone’s world is crumbling around them they may need more than just an encouraging word.  Counselors or financial specialists may need to be enlisted.  Partnering with or seeking advice from someone who is more experienced can be a life saver.  There’s no shame in admitting that there is a need for someone who is wiser, more skilled or more educated.  Beyond that, things may have reached a point where divine intervention seems to be the only source of help.  My encouragement would be to not wait until that’s the only option left!  It’s OK, no, it’s a good thing to ask God for help!
  3. Ultimately, making it through tough times rests the shoulder of the individual.  Somewhere deep inside, Tony heard his son’s cry for him to stay.  I believe he made a choice that he wasn’t ready to go yet.  Each of us gets to make a similar choice when the circumstances of relationships and life overwhelm us.  We can believe in and encourage a person who is struggling.  We can offer the best help available.  But even with all of that, the person in the midst of the tempest has to choose.   You can be the voice of encouragement, but you may also need to be that person who pushes them to make a choice.  Help them understand that their future truly does rest in their own hands.

So stop in the busyness of your business and look around you.   Do you have a friend, neighbor or co-worker who is struggling?  Is a business owner you know considering tossing in the towel?  Be the voice of hope, help them or get them help, and remind them that they get to choose if this is the day their dream dies!