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  • Melissa Knowles

Living Questions

Updated: May 24

As the school year draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to the future. One of my go-to sources for spiritual nourishment is On Being with Krista Tippett, a podcast that has become a Sunday tradition for my partner and me. In one episode, Krista Tippett talks about how small questions can limit our understanding and growth. This resonates with me as an educator, where questions and answers are an integral part of teaching. Some questions may seem insignificant at first but can lead to profound insights over time. 

I am reminded of the wisdom of Dr. John Diamond, who emphasized the importance of paying attention to the little things in life. This philosophy inspired me during a photo walk I organized for students, where I encouraged them to focus on the small details and by doing so see if meaningful questions and answers naturally emerge. The photos here, are my own, from that same photo walk.

In the same episode, Krista Tippett referenced a passage from Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters To A Young Poet about embracing unanswered questions: "Be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. 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.” This idea of living with unanswered questions and allowing them to shape our journey deeply resonates with me and influences my approach to teaching and learning. Rilke's advice to "live the questions now" and trust that the answers will reveal themselves in due time can to be honest challenging at times but has become a guiding principle in my life.

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