PechaKucha Batavia – Questions That Matter

On May 25, I was one of the presenters at PechaKucha Batavia. PechaKucha is a format in which you present 20 slides for 20 seconds each. I shared “Questions That Matter.” Unfortunately, the accompanying slides are unavailable, but here are my questions:

  1. Do I have the courage to live a truly authentic, vulnerable life, remembering that changing the world is an inside job? What would true authenticity and vulnerability look like in my life?
  2. Do I have the wisdom and audacity to live into the miracle I was brought into this world to be with the understanding that that is a great mystery? Atoms and molecules dispersed across the Universe, coalesced to form me. Why?
  3. What would it take for me to know that who I am today is enough, so I can stop chasing the person I think I need to become? The Buddha would say that we are in this moment is perfect.
  4. What can I learn by exploring the distinctions between the person I believe myself to be, and the one to whom others are witness? What if all I see are my imperfections?
  5. How might I understand that the thoughts I believe to be mine, are, rather, gifted to me from others…and from beyond? In reality, I am nothing more than a confluence of influences.
  6. What would it mean for me to live each day with a deep sense of my own mortality? Would an infinity of days rob me of the importance of today?
  7. To quote Hillel the Elder, “If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am only for me, who am I? And if not now when?”
  8. The Persian mystic Hafiz once said, “I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” Who must I be to help you witness the astonishing light of your own being?
  9. How might I always see others as beloved? If I am unable to see others as beloved, how can I expect them to see the beloved in me?
  10. Do I have a strong enough sense of self to allow you to be you? Or do I require you to be something you are not in order to make my life whole?
  11. How might I listen to others as if the thoughts they share are gifts? If I see others, also, as a confluence of influences in their lives, how might I see and hear differently?
  12. When you see the world differently than I, can I learn to respond with deep and sincere inquiry? Or am I quick to judge the views of others as either good or evil?
  13. Can I remain cognizant of the power of questions and the destructive nature of opinions untainted by open and honest examination? Can I learn to end more of my sentences with question marks and fewer with overpowering periods?
  14. Can I learn to be with you in your pain and sorrow without trying to fix it, make it better, or make it go away? Pain and sorrow are, after all, portals to wisdom that we dare not close too soon.
  15. Can I see the world, and everything in it, as Martin Buber says, as “thou” rather than as inconsequential resources to be used and discarded? Can I see, as do the indigenous peoples, all things as alive and worthy of love and adoration?
  16. Can I learn to appreciate every sentient being as beloved? If I cannot see the beloved in all things, can I truly see it in myself?
  17. Neil Postman wrote “Children are the living messages we send to a future we will not see.” What are the messages, conscious and unconscious, I am sending to a future I will not see? What are children learning from my presence?
  18. Am I being the messages my foremothers and forefathers hoped to send into the future they no longer see?
  19. What is expected of me in order to facilitate the emergence of an astonishing future? Who must I be to honor the extraordinary beauty and complexity that is Mother Nature?
  20. Were others able to make the world better because we traveled this road together?

2 thoughts on “PechaKucha Batavia – Questions That Matter”

  1. Roger, could one ever stop asking questions such as these? Rather than comment on several of these piecemeal, I will offer a song lyric from Learn To Be Still by The Eagles. This song means a great deal to me, a resource for growth and strength for hard times, which I have drawn upon many times.

    Learn To Be Still

    Just another day in paradise
    As you stumble to your bed
    Give anything to silence
    Those voices ringing in your head
    You thought you could find happiness
    Just over that green hill
    You thought you would be satisfied
    But you never will
    Learn to be still

    We are like sheep without a shepherd
    We don’t know how to be alone
    So we wander ’round this desert
    Wind up following the wrong gods home
    But the flock cries out for another
    And they keep answering that bell
    One more starry-eyed Messiah
    Meets a violent farewell
    Learn to be still
    Learn to be still

    Now the flowers in your garden
    They don’t smell so sweet, so sweet
    Maybe you’ve forgotten
    Heaven lying at your feet
    Ay, yeah yeah
    There are so many contradictions
    In all these messages we send
    Keep asking
    How do I get outta here?
    Where do I fit in?
    Though the world is torn and shaken
    Even if your heart is breakin’
    It’s waiting for you to awaken
    Someday you will
    Learn to be still
    Learn to be still

    Just keep on runnin’
    Keep on runnin’
    Oh, oh yeah, mm, mm
    Just keep on runnin’

    Songwriters: Don Henley / Stanley Lynch

  2. I live alone but am not lonely. True I’m the only one in my home but I’m surrounded by family and many friends. Answers to my questions about life as well as my support and guide through my allotted span of time are found in God’s word, the bible. I believe I was created by Him to add beauty to the world through the talent given me and when I am no longer here there are hundreds of little works that will speak for me, not to say, “I was here” but to affirm the beauty of God’s creation to others.

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