Allow me to share with you a story about ripples.
One day a young man with a troubled look on his face approached the Master.
"On such a beautiful day, it must be difficult to stay so serious," the Master said.
"Is it? I hadn’t noticed," the young man abruptly replied.
"Please sit," the Master invited, patting the ground next to him. Looking carefully before sitting, the young man brushed the ground to clear a space for himself.
"Now, find a stone and throw it into the pond," said the Master.
The young man grabbed a pebble and threw it into the water.
"Tell me what you see," the Master instructed.
"I see ripples."
"From where did the ripples come?"
"From the pebble I threw into the pond, Master"
"Please reach your hand into the water and stop the ripples," the Master requested.
Not understanding, the young man stuck his hand into the water as a ripple neared, only to cause more ripples. The young man was completely baffled. Where was this going?
"Were you able to stop the ripples?" the Master asked.
"No, of course not, I only caused more ripples."
"What if you had stopped the pebble from entering the water to begin with?" the Master asked with such a beautiful smile the young man could not be upset. "Next time you are unhappy with your life, catch the stone before it enters the water. Don’t spend time trying to undo what you have done. Rather, change what you’re going to do before you do it."
The Master looked kindly upon the young man.
"But Master, how will I know what I’m going to do before I do it?"
"Take the responsibility for living your own life. If you’re working with a doctor to treat an illness, then ask the doctor to help you understand what caused the illness. This way you will be able to avoid a recurrence. Do not just treat the ripples. Keep asking questions."
The young man stopped, his mind reeling. "But I came to you to ask you for answers. Are you saying that I know the answers?"
"You may not know the answers right now, but if you ask the right questions, then you shall discover the answers."
"But what are the right questions, Master?"
"There are no wrong questions, only unasked ones. We must ask, for without asking we cannot receive answers. It is our responsibility to ask. No one else can do that for us."