NORMAN — The simple question “why?” has the power to transport adults back to those carefree days when the sole purpose of their rug rat existence was to eat, fill cases of diapers, and occasionally sleep. Babies may be small and helpless and yet they reign supreme in their homes, causing more than one parent to occasionally wonder why they felt compelled to create replacements and thereby complicate their lives.
Mind you, those little perpetual motion replicas are cute, sweet, loving and lovable. However, when the words “why” or “what’s that” pass through their innocent lips, they unleash the verbal equivalent of Niagara Falls. As any parent can attest, the initial “why” is magically recorded on a perpetual loop which repeats the word following every answer given until the parent runs out of answers or the child falls asleep?
Intellectually, we recognize that human beings are inquisitive and eager to learn. Well, most of them are eager to learn. Although the content of the synapses formed in those inquisitive skulls may or may not be practical. Nevertheless, knowledge for the sake of knowledge is what eventually converts the average adult into a fountain of wisdom once they become seasoned citizens.
The good news is that there is always room for more knowledge, even if you believe your mind is overflowing with important as well as random bits of information. No matter how old we are our innate curiosity and the need to ask “Why” never diminishes, only the stimulus for the question changes.
As may be the case with you, there are questions which have been begging to be answered far too long. Some will have fairly simple answers while others may result in complicated and varied solutions.
Let’s begin with the approaching holiday that is only six weekends away.
When you purchase an artificial Christmas tree with lights attached, which may be a one-piece wonder or one that requires a little stacking, it usually comes in a box. But after the gifts are opened and the decorations are packed away for another year, a strange phenomenon rears its pesky head. Why is it that the artificial tree no longer fits into the box in which it came? Since it is artificial, it could not have grown, and yet it does not fit. The struggle to fit Tree A into Box B is similar to changing the diaper of a squirming baby who plopped a considerably messy present in said diaper.
Why do people attempt to be clever when naming their children? Cities, places, foods or a play on the family name are all fair game. Do they need a reminder of where their children were conceived or what they were noshing on at the time of conception? Did Dr. Hurt, the urologist, think before naming his son Ben? Why did Chef Choke name his son Artie?
Why is traffic always backed up or at a standstill when you are running late? Did a text message go out to all drivers?
Why do children like to prove us wrong? We were at a family dinner and hoped our five-year old daughter’s selective eating habits would not be a problem. Then the hostess placed a sizeable T-bone steak on everyone’s plate. “Please don’t give her that huge piece, she’ll never eat it,” the mother said. Before we could say T-Rex, the little darling ate two T-bone steaks.
Why is it that those who know little or are woefully uninformed delude themselves into believing they are smart?
Why do some people give others, whether they are lovers, co-workers or relatives, the power to affect their happiness?
Why do decent people go into politics? Do they want to be turned to the dark side?
Why does the big ticket item you just bought go on sale within a week?
Now it is your turn. What inspires the ubiquitous “why” to pop into your mind and pass your lips?
Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Her novels The Dionysus Connection & The Marathon Man are available on amazon.com. Visit her website: www.elizabethcowan.com
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