Many of us have had a teacher or leader tell us there are no dumb questions, but have also experienced asking or being a wrong question.
Like Jack who asks Keeley if there are any more videos “out there.” Or Roy who asks Keeley who the video was for. Or Ted, who asks Rebecca to hire a private investigator to follow his wife on vacation, and finds himself asking Henry about whether “mom’s friend” Jake ever reads to him at night.
“We’ll Never Have Paris,” Ted Lasso season 3, episode 8, is filled with bad questions.
The questions come from an understandable place. When we are hurt and scared, we often want to focus on the facts. Our curiosity gets the best of us. We think knowledge will help us deal with the situation. We want to assess responsibility, blame, and to see if we could have done something differetly.
It’s funny how these situations can cause us to lose focus on the person we care most about. Both Jack and Roy aren’t thinking about Keeley, the victim they care so much about, when they pose their questions. Ted is obsessed with what he doesn’t know, forgetting about the emotional well-being of his son.
Make it better
Coach Beard, however, maybe because he is a bit separated from the emotion of the situation, is able to talk to Henry. Riffing on the lyrics of “Hey Jude” that a street musician is singing in the background, Beard recognizes what Henry might be feeling—as if he’s living in a “sad song.” But, he continues, you can “make it better.”
Beard offers Henry a lot of support in that moment that Ted almost misses. So focused on the facts—wanting to “find out before you freak out”—he’s across the street, in a park, hearing advice from Da Boss. Rebecca, like Beard, has the person in mind—addressing Ted’s feelings rather than the facts.
When dealing with the tough times in our lives, it is nearlyi instinctual to focus on what we can control: facts, the pursuit of justice, even blame. We want to know how vulnerable we are, and if we might have done something differently to prevent the situation.
The truth, however, is that none of those answers—if there even are answers—are going to make much of a difference. What is needed most is support for those we love. When you do that…
Then you’ll begin to make it
Better better better better better better, oh.
Naaa, naaa, naaa, na na na, na na na, hey Jude.