So many times we’ve heard someone say “There are no stupid questions.” They’re trying to invite us to ask any question that comes to mind. But we don’t trust this phrase because too often even though this is said, we still worry about appearing stupid or foolish.
And the truth is: There are stupid questions.
And the other truth is: Those questions are often the most important ones to ask.
If someone has a basic or naïve question (aka a “stupid” question), then it might mean that we haven’t explained things well. Or it might mean that we’ve been overcomplicating something. Or it might mean that there’s a perspective that we haven’t considered yet.
It might mean all kinds of things that we missed or didn’t notice because we were so busy “knowing” and “explaining.”
So I’d offer up instead that we stop saying “there are no stupid questions” and replace it with:
“I hope you ask some stupid questions because we all need to know what we haven’t thought about or made clear.”