I Never Grew Out of………Asking WHY??!!

The parents reading this will remember those lovely “why” years when their children would ask “why” about everything!! The innocent, pure, inquisitive, curious mind of a child that is learning about all that surrounds them, how it works, and what is expected of them in the crazy chaotic mix. Every now and then I would have a lot of fun by responding to them with my own “why” question; asking them why they thought it was the way it was. The expression I would receive with this surprise asking was priceless. Their little faces would light up and become quite animated as they realized that I did not know everything and thought they were smart too… The answers I would get were fabulous and often way better than the boring response I would have shared. Recently I found myself pondering why do people stop asking WHY, why do they accept, not question, or seek to understand – what has taken this natural curiosity out of them???

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."  ~Walt Disney
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
~Walt Disney

Those of you who know me, bosses that have employed me, students who sat in my classroom, and people that have met me in passing, you have all experienced that I forgot to grow out of asking WHY!! I am a curious mind, always exploring and wanting to understand the deeper why…. I fondly remember in my classroom when I would ask my students “why” they would sometimes grow frustrated with my inability to accept that just because others say it is so, that makes it right  – WHY??? Digging deeper always opened up a whole new world of questioning. One glorious path we explored through questioning was “Who defined perfection?” This topic came up around a research project that some of the students were working on about “image” and the pressure as a teenager to look, behave, and be a certain way. Sadly this is a topic that impacted every young person I had in my classroom, and the world around them. My big WHY to these students was “Why do we accept the “perfection” society has told us is beautiful/handsome?” The amazing domino effect of this inquiry led to some powerful experiences, as the link below shares.

“I am beautiful movement”

"I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

To this very second, and the next, and the next, my curious mind wants to know WHY!! Some of the BIG WHYS I explore are:

  • Why do we accept and perpetuate some of the behaviors we know are unhealthy for ourselves and the planet we live on? (pollution, finite resource abuse, starvation, obesity, stress, anger/hatred, and….)
  • Why do we keep doing the same thing day in and day out if we are not happy with it? If we do the same thing, are we magically going to see different results? (I hate my job…., I want to get healthy, but…., I don’t like where we live…., and…)
  • Why do we believe that we cannot have an impact? (So often the end answer to a why inquiry would lead me to the response of, “I can’t change it, it is too big!” or “No one will really notice if I role model something different, so why try!” or “I can’t impact that kind of change!” …you get the gist.)
  • Why do we not seek to manifest change if we are unhappy with our lives? Why do we accept that we can’t change it? (This one really saddens me, for I meet more people unhappy with their lives, than those that are happy and contentwhy? And why would you not try to change it?)
"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."  ~Albert Einstein
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
~Albert Einstein
  • Why do we not treat others as we would like to be treated? (This one is basic to me. One day at school I took a poll of my 108 junior high students to hopefully point out our similarities no matter our walk of life – I asked, “How many of you want to be accepted? How many of you want to be loved? How many of you want to have friends? How many of you want to be treated with kindness? How many of you want to live happily? etc… I think you can guess the responses. Despite our genetic differences, our gender, lifestyles, etc…we all crave and desire the same things at our core. So, why do we not give each other the easiest gift possible, kindness, acceptance, love, and compassion???)
  • Why do we carry around anger? Especially about something from long ago? Does it suddenly change? (This one I always find interesting for I personally am not that fond of staying in the energy of anger. It can however be the energy necessary for GREAT change; examples would be Gandhi and the laws in India, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, you get the point. Thus, at times I do welcome its pure force to push me to manifest change and then I get to move into the new positive space created.)
  • Why do so many people live vicarious lives through the various forms of media; YouTube, TV, video games, reality shows…? (I observe the expanding detachment in our world, no longer do we sincerely interact with one another without the distraction of some form of media – do we not wonder what the long term implications of this will be? The other side of that is, why are we not creating our own precious lives versus living through watching others?)
"What interests me in life is curiosity, challenges, the good fight with its victories and defeats." ~Paulo Coelho
“What interests me in life is curiosity, challenges, the good fight with its victories and defeats.”
~Paulo Coelho
  • Why do we accept systems that we are not satisfied with? (Health, education, financial, cooperate, …. these systems will not change unless we take action to be a part of manifesting what will work NOW. I find it fascinating that we accept that all is constantly changing, but we are unwilling to change the systems to meet the new now – why?)
"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." ~Albert Einstein
“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” ~Albert Einstein
  •   Why when people are suffering all around the globe do we allow so much spending on our Presidential Campaigns? (Personally I can’t wait for the day that a person runs for president by walking across this great land to visit face to face with the people they meet along the way, living in an RV or sharing in the homes of “strangers” who become friends. This courageous person will experience the base truth of the people who populate the United States of America, and the land they live upon, not just what gurgles to the top the national statistics, media attention, etc… I might not be alive when this happens, but I hope I am.)
  • Why are we not willing to listen to the youth of today? They are inheriting what we pass down and they have some GREAT ideas! Why do we not listen to our elderly? They have a long life full of wisdom! Why do we not listen to ourselves? For often the answer we are seeking resides within us!
"To me, having the courage to tell your own story goes hand in hand with having the curiosity and humility to listen to others' stories." ~Sarah Kay
“To me, having the courage to tell your own story goes hand in hand with having the curiosity and humility to listen to others’ stories.” ~Sarah Kay

Oh my!! I could go on and on and on! As I sit here writing this I smile at the pure joy I feel when I explore the why, yes it does spiral and swirl sometimes circling back on itself. I am however immensely grateful for the people who continued to ask why, people like Einstein, Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Rosa Parks, Gandhi, and…, for their curiosity brought forth great change. I suppose I am naive or “Mary Poppins” like, in that I still believe ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE – however not without action with pure belief that we can!  We are here but a brief time and the world is our stage, thus I invite you to ask WHY! And WHY!!

"Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will." ~James Stephens
“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” ~James Stephens
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