Wait, I dropped The Why

By | January 11, 2012

A crutch story: One day a woman saw me walking with my crutches and suggested that my two walking devices had not been properly adjusted to my height. I was walking too low, she said. I did not think twice. I adjusted the crutches one notch higher and it all seemed better. For less than a day that is. Following a couple of close calls with the pavement I reverted to my previous fitting. Now, for those ready to say “Oh, I wouldn’t have listened to that,” well, I guess this post will not enrich your life much. But for the rest of us mortals who admit taking someone’s opinion just because it was stated – sounds weird but that’s how I see it – here’s my take on it. I listened without questioning her credentials in any way because I assumed she knew more. Why? I don’t have an answer, I really don’t. I just assumed she did. My next question is this: How often do we do that? If I tell my children to change something in the way they’re doing things,  they ask “Why?” If I have an answer that makes sense they will consider my suggestion. If not, they’ll skip it. It seems fair. If there’s a why, there should be a good enough answer too. I usually ask enough questions to clear any existing brain fog, but it bothered me that I did not question the information I was handed this time. Some facts are strikingly evident, sure. They belong to the truth pile. But what about the rest that should be seasoned with a “why” or two?

Now, my question is this: Have we lost the “why” along the way because of too many unsatisfactory answers or because asking was becoming bothersome to others so we dropped it to fit in and not be the catalyst for polemics? Either way, if we did, I believe that’s called complacency. Doing it occasionally on a personal level is not advisable but we’ll live to tell the tale – hopefully – but doing it as a society is downright scary. Complacency is a slippery slope, is it not? “Why” is a good accessory to take along on this journey called life, it really is. Why, you ask? Because the colors are brighter. Just my opinion, feel free to question it.

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