Last week I bought a second-hand book that was sold by a couple of good friends who are on their way to minimalism. It is written by Gregory Stock, Ph.D, (according to Wikipedia) a biophysicist, best-selling author, biotech entrepreneur, and the former director of the Program on Medicine, Technology and Society at UCLA’s School of Medicine. The book is called ‘The Book of Questions’. It was initially published in 1987 and revised and updated in 2013.
I didn’t expect much, but this book turned out very interesting. It consists of 291 random questions about human and technology, life and death, friends and family, moral and responsibility, endless dilemma and possibility. And of course: no answer. They might be asked to everyone: partner, friends, parents, or children as small talks or iceberg breaking (you know, like ice breaking but deeper haha).
However, I found out that the best person to be asked is myself because I thought that I was too old for surprising myself. I was wrong. As I went through each page, I realized that some of my spontaneous answers didn’t comply with my religion and I surely would keep them to myself. I realized that I would give some different answers if the questions were asked by strangers. It’s not that I’m a dishonest person, but some questions would really get you thinking and rethinking and rethinking even more than twice. Some questions even seemed too hard to answer.
Like this one:
OMG HOW DO I ANSWER THAT?
*BRB crying in the bathroom*
Some questions are reflective. Like this one:
And some will let you know how deep is your love to someone. Like this one.
Somehow this book reminded me of a section in my childhood favorite magazine, Bobo, called ‘Uji Imajinasi’ (‘Imagination Test’). Readers could send a question and if it got published, the other readers could send the answers. I never sent my answers, but I was often amazed by the others’ answers those days. I don’t know if kids nowadays will have that kind of experience or chance to really think about things that can’t be Googled. I don’t even know if kids in this era need to think about things that can’t be Googled.
But there’s a really good paragraph written by the author on the Introduction of the new edition:
“Everything was different. And nothing was different. People struggled then as they do now, with money and family, love and loss, hope and fear. They grappled with illness, death, failure, and frustration. They sought meaning and fulfillment. The knew temptation and betrayal. They struggled, as we still do, to carve a place in the world and to understand themselves and others.”
Okay, as a conclusion, I’ll recommend this book for you guys who like to think. This book will bring quite a lot of inspiration, reflection and even intriguing ‘Black Mirror’-like scenario if you need to write any.
‘The Book of Questions: Revised and Updated’
By Gregory Stock
Paperback, 312 pages
Published: September 10th 2013 by Workman Publishing Company
ISBN 0761177310 (ISBN13: 9780761177319)