Wait and What?

waitJames E Ryan’s ‘Wait, What?: And Life’s Other Essential Questions’ tells us about how to find true wisdom. Don’t think too much, it comes from asking the right questions

Penned down by the eleventh dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, James E. Ryan, Wait. What is a rare work which seems quite appealing. It has relevant insights which lead to a deep understanding about the matters in life.  In simple terms this book is a true reminder that true wisdom comes from asking the right questions.

Based on the widely popular commencement address, the author starts the art of asking and answering good questions.

Whether we are in the boardroom or classroom we spend far too time and energy looking for the right answer. But here in the book dean tells that questions are just as important as answers often so. If you ask the wrong question for instance you are guaranteed to get a wrong answer. A good question, on the other hand inspires a good answer and, in the process, invites deeper understanding and more meaningful connections between the people.

Asking a good question commands us to move beyond what we think we know about an issue or a person to explore the difficult and the unknown, the awkward and even sometimes the most unpleasant.

In this book, Jim Ryan, dean of Harvard University’ Graduate School of Education, celebrates the art of asking and answering some of the good questions. Further he traces the importance of five questions in particular as it goes- Wait, what? I wonder… ? , Couldn’t we at least..? How can I help? And what truly matters?

Using these five questions he further discusses in each chapter. He’s using examples from politics, history, popular culture, and social movements as well as his personal life.  Ryan demonstrates how these essentials inquiries generate understanding and spark curiosity, initiate progress, fortify relationships, and draws our attention to the important things in life.

All in all it is a good book and would help those who gives least importance to frame a good questions to ask anyone whether in boardroom or classroom. It would change their perspective about questions. It was a good experience reading a different genre. It is simple and short. One can easily finish the book in one go.

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