Question Everything and Remain Open to Truth

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

“Question everything!” was supposedly a slogan of the rebellious 1960s.  At least, that’s what my dyed in the wool conservative mother always told me.  I wonder what she would think if I told her it was actually an ancient Greek playwright who said it several centuries before the 1960s?   For her, to question everything was synonymous with question authority and that was something terrible to be avoided.  But that presupposes that whichever authority one might be questioning is omnipotent and always has the good of everyone at heart.

I don’t know about you, but all the humans I know are exceedingly flawed, often ignorant, sometimes stupid, and are rarely 100% altruistic.

Children are naturally curious and question everything from a very young age.  I like to think I never outgrew that “but why?” phase.  To question is to acknowledge that I don’t know everything and thank heavens – life would be super boring if I already knew everything!  And human authority should be questioned.  It’s when we stop questioning that life gets either stagnant or dangerous or both.  And as I mentioned the other day, our memories are fluid and hazy things.  If we don’t question our ideas or beliefs now and then, we may end up believing some very wrong things.

Fake news or the use of media to propose a false idea has been around as long as power hungry people have lived.  And propaganda is a terrible political tool but everyone uses it.  So it’s good to be wary and question everything.  These days it’s so much easier to just click the share button without doing any personal investigation.  Because that takes time and who has time to go down a rabbit hole of information?

Oh, we do.  Since we’re at home all day now.

I’d like to say that my memory is still like a steel trap and I remember what Euripides said in one of his plays (the actual quote is “By arming them with fine-edged/rules and versicule-contractors/To mark, see, understand, and twist, make love and/try inventions/Suspect and question everything.”) but I wanted to make sure exactly where this quote came from.  So I did about fifteen minutes of research.  Not that everything I wonder about takes that short amount of time to research but it is time well spent.

It must also be remembered that when questioning something, it is always good to stay humble in one’s search.  Experts have their place and unless you are willing to go back to school and obtain a degree in virology or molecular biology or any other -ology, questioning something and stubbornly holding on to a contrary belief simply because you don’t like the expert or you don’t agree with their politics is not a sign of wisdom and questing after truth.  It’s just fear wearing the mask of incredulity. And fear almost always leads to bad decisions. Truth, however, is always worth searching for, even if it leads to pain and suffering. 

So suspect and question everything, but remain humbly open to learning the truth.

During the month of April, I’ll be participating in the Blogging A-Z Challenge.

A member of the Water Street Writers, Mikaela D’Eigh is a writer, poet, gardener, mental wellness advocate, and a lover of Scotch, K-Pop, and KDramas.  She writes about anything and everything, using all the crayons in the box.  Currently, she lives out in the country with two Egyptian gods disguised as cats, a herd of cows, and the occasional flock of wild turkeys.

Check her out at La Belle Dame Merci, Medium, Facebook, or Instagram for more essays, poetry, and shenanigans.

Image niroworld ©  Used with permission.

4 thoughts on “Question Everything and Remain Open to Truth

  1. Weekends in Maine says:

    It’s good to ask questions and always be learning. One of the most important skills we can possess right now is the ability to process information and distinguish valid, reputable sources from not so great ones. It does seem like conspiracy theories are in overdrive and the re-posting of incorrect, wrong or just plain made up stuff occurs with way too much ease. I am also a fan of science and listening to experts or those with more knowledge than I have in certain areas. Weekends In Maine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mikaela D'Eigh says:

      Exactly! The biggest crazy I’ve seen are friends who are not stupid by any means, yet are clinging to these weird and crazy theories and are super upset that they can’t go to the theater, etc. As if the reports from Italy and NYC are hoaxes or something. I’ve had to unfollow some of them because I was rolling my eyes so often I was getting a headache.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tamara says:

    I find it increasingly hard to find the “truth”: whose truth? Everyone, especially politicians and media have an agenda they’re pushing, and they’re doing a great job. Pictures of beaches in Florida are floating around. On some they are crowded, and the caption says “how crazy, they’re all going to be infected with the virus.” On other pictures, claiming it’s a live webcam, the beaches are empty. “See, nobody there, quit whining already!”

    So one of my trusted filters is my husband. He’s somewhat of a news junkie and seems to have found some sources that seem pretty trustworthy. But who knows, maybe they just mask better?

    Either way, your basic statement “question everything” certainly applies. Now more than ever!

    My Q is about Switzerland being a quadrilingual country:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mikaela D'Eigh says:

      I agree – it’s difficult to discern – and everyone has a bias. It’s just how we’re wired. I rely on a good friend who is absolutely brilliant and as objective as a human can possibly be – meaning, he has his own biases, but in a time when voices on both sides are at times raucous and downright nasty or insane, he sticks to the scientific facts.


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