I’ve always been attracted to the power of a good question to illuminate ways of understanding the world. At every point in human history there has always been at least one person willing to ask, “What’s across that river? What lies beyond those hills?” Without questions we have no real way of finding the answers we need.
For many years it has been my practice to solicit written questions at my public speeches. I ask people to think of a hard question, assure them that they can “ask me anything” and then collect their queries. That’s when the fun starts. It turns out that soliciting written questions places the introverts on par with the extroverts. Extroverts (I love extroverts so much I married one.) find it easy to stand up in front of the crowd and hold forth while introverts almost always prefer to remain silent. Also, submitting questions in writing let’s everyone ask about things that might be too painful or awkward to ask in public.
The best part of this practice, from my point of view is that I am free to offer an unvarnished answer. I do not have to hedge my opinions to protect a person who is standing up (in a very vulnerable way) and asking a question. I am free to let my freak flag fly.
Why I am I telling you all this?
A few weeks ago the team responsible for creating the Age of Disruption Tour was in our secret online chat cave talking about the value of good questions. It turns out that the people who read about the Tour or visit me on Facebook or on the ChangingAging blog have lots of questions. In fact, we are now getting more inquiries than we can answer individually.
Some emails we receive almost daily, such as, “how do I build a Green House home?” or “when is the tour coming to San Francisco?” (spoiler alert– 2017!). Often people email just to share a personal story about their own or a loved one’s experience growing older, both the good and the bad.
Somebody suggested that we create a podcast called #AskDrBill How to Play Life’s Most Dangerous Game that would feature in-depth discussion of and answers to some of the most penetrating and provocative questions we receive.
It didn’t take long to see that this was a good idea. Beginning in March 2016, we will be delivering a bimonthly #AskDrBill podcast– to you. We’ve created a special portal for people who have questions and we look forward to hearing from you! Click here to check it out: www.drbillthomas.org/ask-dr-thomas/ You can also:
- Ask a question via Twitter using the #AskDrBill hashtag.
- Send an email to tours AT drbillbillthomas DOT org with the subject line “Ask Dr. Bill.”
- Send us a Voice Memo recording of your question to get aired on the podcast.
For my part, I am eager to take this bit of stagecraft out for a spin in a new online/digital format.
Will it work? I don’t really know but I am looking forward to learning from you and doing my best to offer useful answers and insights. Who knows, there may even be a surprise guest or two popping in along the way.
Turn on, drop in and hang out with us and the new #AskDrBill podcast.