The Eight Questions

Critically engaged citizens are in the habit of asking fundamental questions concerning social issues. The asking of the questions represents habits of mind that have been developed over the years. Here are the eight questions habitually asked by critically engaged citizens.

Photo by Steven N. Fettig

1. What are the facts?

This shows they are informed, critical thinkers who seek the facts to support a position. They try to get to the bottom of things.

2. Says who?

They are critical thinkers who consider diverse points of view and bias. They are discriminating readers and viewers.

3. So what?

They put things in perspective, prioritizing things.

4. What if?

They are able to imagine alternatives. They are willing to consider alternative solutions to problems.

5. Is it fair?

They are committed to equity and fairness, not just for themselves but also for others. They are committed to the common good.

6. What do YOU think?

They engage others in a dialogue about the issues, seeking their points of view. They listen to alternative points of view, seeking to understand.

7. How can I help?

They consider how they can contribute to the common good, they make a decision, and they act.

8. Would you lend me a hand?

They recognize that they are part of an inter-dependent community. They are not afraid to seek help from their community members. They tap into the strength of the community.