Rhetorically Speaking

They’re everywhere, used in a myriad of circumstances, and come in many different ways. Rhetorical questions. Questions that can’t possibly be seeking an answer. Those questions that can’t possibly be expecting an answer. They’re simply stated to emphasize a point or exasperation: Who cares? Why me? There are also those used to respond to inquiries to demonstrate just how obvious an answer is to an inquiry. If the apparent answer is yes, you may hear Is rain wet or does a duck quack? Or if the answer is an apparent no, one might say Is a pig clean? or Can a spoon talk? Choose how you may want to apply yours. Rhetorical questions…

When is enough enough?

We live in a problematic world. There’s discord at every turn…race relations, war and rumors of war, questionable judgement calls at every level, crime, abuse of power, etc. The rhetorical question one might ask here is when is enough enough?

I recall the infamous speech delivered by Sojourner Truth in 1851 at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio rhetorically named Ain’t I A Woman? “…Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman?…”

Or Shakespeare’s rhetorically written poem, The Merchant of Venice:
If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

My neurologist’s rhetorical question

And personal examples, upon my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, I began an interferon treatment, Rebif. Because it proved to be ineffective for me, I was switched to an infusion therapy, Tysabri, and I was very happy with it despite the risk of one of the side effects – contracting a fatal brain disease, PML. Over the years, my neurologist suggested that I try a different treatment to which I declined, adhering to the ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it ‘ way of thinking. His response at one point was highly rhetorical, in my opinion, when he asked me, You like playing Russian Roulette with your life?

The challenges of living with a chronic illness

I live with a chronic, degenerative disease and all of the many challenges that correlate with said condition. I had to medically retire at only 43 years old from a job I loved. Everyday, I’m fighting to not give in to MS and to remain strong, positive, optimistic and happy. And then there’s life: children, bills, household tasks, etc. I go to the doctor for a follow up after a seizure that randomly popped into my life and I was asked, and it just had to be rhetorical… Do you have stress?

Managing your circumstances

There are a variety of rhetorical question and statement styles. One can just identify which works for them and make it applicable. Such as it is with life… there are a host of resources and/or tools to help manage whatever your circumstances may be. Identify what can help and work for you and make it personally applicable.

Rhetorically speaking:
Q: Are finding ways to get through life’s daily demands beneficial?
A:Is the sky blue?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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