Better Butter – The Importance of Asking Questions

Better Butter - The Importance of Asking Questions.

“Mum, why does everyone else have better butter?” my 10 year old son, asked me recently.

Thinking this was a rather odd question, I thought it was worth exploring further, so I asked Luke what he meant. He explained that every time he was at a friends or another family home and ate a sandwich or biscuits, or jacket potato, or anything that had butter on it – it was always better than our butter.

He looked bewildered as I burst out laughing, and I said “that’s because I don’t buy butter”. The poor boy looked totally confused so I reminded him that I am lactose intolerant. He still looked confused so I explained that butter is dairy, so contains lactose, so I can’t eat it, so I buy canola spread instead.

Finally clueing on he looked incredulous as he asked me “You mean to say that my whole life you’ve been giving me canola spread and calling it butter”? Then I really started to laugh. Yep, we sit at the dinner table with the family and ask them to please pass the butter… no-one has ever asked if you can please pass the canola spread.

Luke finally started to laugh with me while accusing me of lying to him his whole life. I pointed out that the tub is clearly labelled ‘canola spread’, and that it had never occurred to me to point out the difference between canola spread and butter. I guess I just assumed he knew.

So then Luke asked the game-changing question: “Well, could we buy some REAL butter for us then please?”

I was reminded of these questions this morning while I was planning for the next session that I’m running in the Women’s Development Program for the Department of Defence. The topic is empowerment, and I had just created a Powerpoint slide highlighting the need to ask for what you want.

You can’t reasonably expect to be given what you have never asked for – especially if your superior has no idea that you even want it.

Of course they may still say no, but you have a far better chance of getting what you want if you have actually asked, than if you stay silent.

So now we have Western Star supersoft spreadable REAL butter at home in addition to the canola spread.

Luke’s three older siblings immediately noticed the REAL butter, and asked how come we have real butter now. Luke proudly told them “because I asked for it”.



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