I remember, quite a few years back, I was on a trek with a group comprising of few colleagues and a senior of ours. I and the senior colleague were the only two, in that group who had a general idea of the area we were in (at least I thought so). It was early evening and we had to hit our destination before sunset. At a particular junction the senior who was leading the group took a wrong track leading top a ridge line which was actually leading away from our destination. I had an idea that he was going wrong but did not ask thinking since he was senior and had been in that area earlier, knew better.
As expected we lost our track and managed to reach our destination early next morning, losing nearly eight hours of precious time. In the morning while interacting with the senior, it emerged that he had not been in that area before (though he had been in similar areas). Basically, it was my fault of not asking, which cost everyone extra fatigue and lose of precious time.
Many of us have this habit of not asking, rather I would say a majority suffer from this drawback. We do not ask for variety of reason. Some think no one else knows more than them, they know all, some are too shy to ask while there are others who are scared to ask; scared of being made fun of. We are all prisoners of the environment we grow in. The society doesn’t encourage questioning. In the initial years of life, the elders and the teachers are the ones who know all and the child is supposed to just follow. Later in life the bosses (in some cases the spouses) take over this responsibility of guiding and the others follow.
In the society, I have grown in, the date of birth generally decides the right to decision making. An elder, because of his age, and not necessarily because of his experience is supposed to be more knowledgeable. Questioning of the wisdom of the elders is something very rarely encouraged. The majority, not intelligence, decides what is right.
Things are changing but at a very slow pace. If our children do not learn the art of questioning they will continue to get lost in the life path and lose precious time and maybe lives too for no reason. It’s the one who takes risks, takes the lead who will discover a new path, a new way of doing things, doing good for the society at large.