Living Our Questions

Feb 7, 2022
Melissa Butler

Fred Rogers loved questions. And he loved inviting YOU to ask questions about anything and everything.

Did you know? Did you know?
Did you know that it’s all right to wonder?
Did you know that it’s all right to wonder?
There are all kinds of wonderful things!

(Did you know?, Fred Rogers, 1979)

During our Educators’ Neighborhood Mid-Year Convening this January, we immersed ourselves in the beauty and bounty of questions. We began the day sharing big, authentic questions from our hearts. Here are a few:

Throughout the day as educators led sessions for each other, they invited questions for consideration and discussion, which inspired participants to find even more questions. Here’s a sampling:

Questions can lead to connections and applications, as well as to new questions that lead to further exploration towards connections and applications. And questions can also lead to more uncertainty and unknowing, as if they are inviting us to sit and stay a while. After all, questions are alive. And they like us to be alive with them.


Consider this: “Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” (Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet)

And this: “Good-bye,” said the fox. “Here’s my secret. It’s quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince)

There’s a lovely wondering space in the overlap of these two quotations. What might it mean to live our questions now and trust that what’s essential is invisible? What does this look like? How does it feel? What kinds of questions might we allow ourselves to ask if we approached questions in this way? What might happen if we allowed ourselves to live into a question (posed above by an educator) such as: Can I be brave enough to follow the nudges?

And so it is that questions are indeed alive because this blog about questions only wants me to write more and more questions. I’ll let the questions have the last word: What questions are you living now?

Melissa A. Butler is the Project Lead for Educators’ Neighborhood with the Fred Rogers Institute.

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