The Architect: Hello, Neo.
Neo: Who are you?
The Architect: I am the Architect. I created the Matrix. I’ve been waiting for you. You have many questions, and although the process has altered your consciousness, you remain irrevocably human. Ergo, some of my answers you will understand, and some of them you will not. Concordantly, while your first question may be the most pertinent, you may or may not realize it is also the most irrelevant.
(Source: Matrix Reloaded)
Our relationship with the questions we ask are often times just like when Neo asked the Architect an array of questions, that were … unimportant. Our questions are our connection points with understanding and wisdom. And so, there are questions that we ask that have no answers, questions that have answers that we’ll never understand and questions that aren’t silly, they’re just unimportant. Today I want to examine some of the questions that while they seem so important to us, are typically unimportant.
“How do I get there?”
Whether figuratively or literally, this is an unimportant question. I don’t mean to belittle anyone, but hear me out; this question is the epitome of laziness and craziness. Ben Franklin says that the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In the literal sense of the question, we live in a world enabled by Google. I typically respond to this question with, “It’s Google accessible.” In the figurative sense of the question, why would you ask someone how to get to where they are when they can only take you as far as they’ve gone. Ambition is priceless, but it starts with wanting to surpass, not meet. In the figurative sense of the question, “How did you get there?” is a better and more effective question.
“How are you doing?”
I’ve never quite understood why people ask this question to others. Outside of the far chance that you know that someone is going through something in their life right now, I’ve never seen this question as important. It’s usually meant as a cordial question to another person, but it’s often said so quickly that the response doesn’t really matter. For me, I always answer in a way that lets people know everything about how I feel about the question, “Given my circumstance, the best I could possibly be.” You see, most times when that question is asked, you have no clue what happened leading up to that point to be able to digest any complete answer.
“What are your strengths/weaknesses?”
I hate this question with a passion. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve aced this question on every interview I’ve ever been on. Think about it, isn’t it the most often asked question? Therefore, wouldn’t it be the most rehearsed? I know my strengths and weaknesses, but just like my past, do you think I’m going to share with you the ones that you really want to know? Employers and prospective partners would be better to ask situational questions rather than asking what the strengths and weaknesses of a person are. If you feel the need to really ask that question, ask this instead, “What are some things that you need to start, stop and continue?” You’ll get a totally different answer to the question, and you’ll inspire thought beyond the confines of strengths and weaknesses.
“Can you tell me about the people you’ve dated in the past?”
As many of you know, I believe in the sanctity of a past. Those without pasts, typically don’t react to the present the same way as others. Nonetheless, a person’s dating past is typically unimportant. Yes, past relationships are determining factors for future relationships but asking about them is almost like asking a college grad to tell you about Freshman Seminar. It doesn’t matter, all that matters is if you are able to do the job today. The people you’ve dated in the past represent building blocks or debilitating moments in their life from which they might not ever recover. Men and women never want to bother themselves with questions like, “Why doesn’t she trip out about the things my ex-girlfriend used to trip about?” or “Where did she learn that from?” All that matters is that they have what it takes now, and if they don’t, then they don’t. I don’t care how much they try to rationalize their behavior.
The most important lesson to take away from the movie, The Matrix is understanding that all the decisions in your life have already been made. Most of the time, we spend more time asking “what?”, when in reality, it’s more about the “how and why?” We need to understand that we’ve already made a decision on what to do, and by focusing more on why we’ve made that decision and how we made that decision we will find our guiding light. The “how and why” develop your decision making skills, moreover, it will help you to predict decisions you will make in the future. Question, have you ever been faced with a difficult decision but deep down you already knew how you would respond even if you weren’t ready to say so at that time?
Those are my questions that I see no point in asking, I’m sure we’ll continue to ask them but hopefully when we do in the future, we’ll reconsider and reflect on them even more. My important question to you is, what are your questions? What are those that you consider important, and those that you consider unimportant? And as a wildcard, riddle me this, are you a fan of questions that you already know the answers to? One of the first questions ever asked to man, to me, was irrevocably unimportant, “Cain where is your brother?”
– Dr. J