I ask a lot of questions. I like to know things, personal things, human things, things that help me to know you...really know you. To me, learning about someone even if I think I know them well, is magical. It is like peeling back an artichoke to find that a flower has been forming inside. I savor every leaf until that purple comes into view. Umm, good.
Working with middle schoolers, having lived as adults on a college campus, generally embracing humanity from strangers, friends to family; I have discovered that asking questions could be a special trait.
For Joel and for me, this is commonplace. We both ask and people almost always tell. Even the most complex 6th grade boy eventually tells me if he has been kissed if it comes up in conversation. The truth is: people want to be known.
All people want to be known. Even people who say they don't, totally want to be known. We desire it so deeply that it messes with our heads, hearts, decisions and journeys. We try to trick ourselves out of getting to be known because we are so scared that being known will leave us undesirable and then we will feel rejection.
Through my journey of learning people's stories, I have been surprised to find that there are families and friends out there who don't know a lot of things about their loved ones. Perhaps, I think this is really strange because I come from a family of storytellers. I get it fair and square from both sides, but there are people out there who don't know their loved ones stories. They just don't know.
I've heard people say, "ah, well she just has always been so secretive." Or I've heard people say, "I wanted to know but I couldn't ask, you just understand that he isn't going to tell." Or someone might say, "I am embarrassed to ask because if they wanted me to know they would just tell me."
What I'd like to propose today is that people WILL tell IF you ASK. When it comes to telling your story, really getting to tell your story to someone who wants to know, people will answer your questions.
In my book, unless there is a crime involved, secrets only exist because you don't ask questions. So if there is a story out there you've always wanted to hear, a reason you've always wanted to know, just ask. The worst that can happen is that person will say "no, I am not going to tell you." So there you have it.
At the end of the day it is really on me if I think there are secrets out there...all I have to do is ask.