About five years ago, I met an extraordinary man named Daniel Burrus.
Dan is considered one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and business strategists. He flies all over the world consulting to Fortune 100 firms, governments, school systems and associations. I don’t know anyone who travels more — or is as influential.
He is also an incredibly generous and delightful individual.
Soon after he met, he told me this story, which appears very near the end of our new book, Flash Foresight:
If you picked up this book hoping to find some answers, I hope by now you have found something of greater value: some better questions.
One day I was out in the yard and a boy from my neighborhood came walking toward me, crying.
“What’s wrong, Tommy?” I asked.
He told me that his dog had died. He looked up at me through his tears and said: ‘Mr. Burrus, do you think there are dogs in heaven?’
What should I say? I could have given him some religious or theological answer, and it would have meant nothing to him. I could have simply said, ‘Absolutely! Of course!’ but would that reassure him or make him feel any better? I doubted it. Because what did it really matter what I thought? The real question was, what did he think?
I looked into his eyes and said: ‘Tommy, would heaven be heaven without dogs?’ He thought for a moment, nodded slowly, and gave a heartbreaking smile. ‘Thanks, Mr. Burrus.’
Sometimes the best answer is a question.