The three year old is curious about her world and asks an endless string of “why” questions. Why does the dog drink water out of a bowl? Why do grown-ups get to stay up late? Why does Bobby’s mom let him eat cookies for breakfast? Why do worms live in dirt? For every answer they receive, another string of “why” questions ensues. If you have been around this inquisitive child very long you know that it can become exhausting and the tendency is to brush them off with a “that’s just the way it is” answer.
The three year old is starting to understand the relationship between cause and effect and that things happen for a reason. Her mind is amazing and even at that young age it works hard to connect the information she has about her world with her imagination.
Why is a wonderful question, but sadly, as we grow older we stop asking it. We begin to just take life as it comes and we respond and react to it through our own filter of stuff seldom taking a moment to ponder the why. If we do ask why it often follows a string of unfortunate happenings and is more in the vein of “Why me?” Perhaps we have lost the wonder of living. The question why can open up our thinking and help us change our perspective. Think of how a circumstance could look completely different were we to ask questions like: Why am I thinking these things about this circumstance? Why am I responding to the issue and these people this way? Why are they responding to me in the way that they are? Why am I in this situation?
The list could go on, of course, but like the three year old if we are curious enough to ask “why” of our circumstances we might find a whole new way of thinking, feeling and responding. We might actually gain a little wonder regarding our lives. Give it a try sometime.