Learning to ask ‘Why’

‘Why do we join our hands, Mumma?’

‘It’s a sign of respect, beta.’

‘Why do we respect them, Mumma?’

Pooja pointed towards her husband and said, ‘Look, Papa is calling you. Play with him, Koshi.’

Now, that’s what I call a question. The innocence of such a tender age is partialy because children can never stop asking questions, even if it had some obvious answers. Parents can run out of responses, but the kids are still full of items. As we grow up, we stop asking and start assuming based on our knowledge and learnings from surrounding atmosphere. I can faintly recall my teachers telling the class, ‘If you don’t ask, you won’t learn.’

Learning to ask WhyThe thing was, I, as a student was afraid of being judged by others in the class. I read and learned with my technique but couldn’t register many things in my head. I had to always re-read everything and memorize like a puppet. In subjects like Physics and Chemistry, when I did ask ‘why,’ all I got was ‘It’s like that.’ Maybe I didn’t get good teachers, or perhaps I didn’t ask at the right time, whatever the reason was, I was more than glad when my school days were over. But, as they say, learning goes on till you live.

I came across this conversation between Koshi and her mother Pooja, who’s a dear friend of mine and it made me wonder, ‘A child’s grasp on things is much stronger and faster than an adult. Why?

One primary reason is that kids are open. They’re happy to receive information. They don’t restrict their minds to what their parents tell them. Their relatives, friends, and teachers are also considered as a reliable source for them. The type of questions asked by a child includes, ‘What? Where? How? And most importantly, Why?’

When I joined a firm as an employee, during my training period, my mentor always told me to ask her, ‘Why’ for everything she taught me. I didn’t bother much to that in the beginning and then one day…

‘So, you click here. You get the draft. Mail that to your respective department head. Every time you do that, be sure to CC it to me as well.’

‘Got it. Draft. Mail. CC. Done.’ I noted down in my diary simultaneously.

‘Do you know why you should CC that to me?’

‘Umm..yeah. Of course. So that you can track my progress timely.’

‘Also, in case you do want to check whether your mail has reached the head or not, instead of bothering him, you come to me for confirmation.’

I smiled back at her. It was ‘Dumb’ written all over my face. The reply she gave was one I didn’t know. But since that day, I got the habit of asking, ‘Why?’

Then, of course, there are many reasons to help you out, to learn why is ‘Asking why’ important:

Keeps you from getting bullied

An old friend (since we aren’t in touch anymore) used to nag me to do stuff that she liked, and I had to follow her around since she was dear to me and my only friend in college that time. Once, when she wanted to go to a party and wanted me to tag along, it took a lot of courage when I asked, ‘Why?’ To which she replied, ‘Of course, you’re my best friend. That’s why.’ But I fired back like anything.

‘Yes, but why do I have to go to prove my friendship to you?’

We parted ways a few months after that, but it took me some time to understand how I was being bullied by someone who was dear to me.

Asking ‘why’ can mean keeping your foot down in situations you’re forced to do things.

AskingHelps in understanding a different perspective

The idea is to just get the point across in the best way possible. Suppose, if you’re working in an advertising agency, the question, ‘why will the viewer be interested in buying the product?’ will give you an insight to making the ad as ‘catchy’ as possible. Or, let’s say, if you’re working on the business idea of a start-up, the question, ‘why will the investors be interested in putting their money in your vision?’ will help in creating an effective presentation for them.

A different perspective is what constitutes ‘out of the box’ thinking. ‘Why’ is the key that leads you there.

Opens your mind to know about other possibilities

‘Why’ means there’ll be reasoning assigned to something. Every individual has a logic behind everything they do and sometimes, we just assume that it is so because someone told us to do it in that way and we believed in them, considering they’re right.

For example, Neena tends to click her selfie from the right side since two of her close friends told her she looks younger from that angle. She never even tried other angles because, in her opinion, her friends knew how to click good pictures of themselves. At a party when her daughter asked her the reason for her angle, she had forgotten about it. By merely, trying another approach from the top side, she found out there was more to it than she thought.

We do a lot of things in our everyday routines as well, without knowing the reason for them. Most of our behaviours are unconscious, instinctive or impulsive. If we wish to change our behaviours, we need to bring it into our awareness, why we do what we do. It’s essential to our personal growth and development.

It’s not about how much you know, but how well you know one thing

 The saying, ‘Jack of all, Master of none’ applies to situations like these. When asking ‘Why this?’ or ‘Why me’ or ‘Why now,’ takes you on a new journey of discovering about things in detail and much description. It gives you visuals to relate. So, the next time when someone asks you about it, the whole movie starts playing in your mind, and you can tell them the exact thing with much ease.

Perks are it might lead the others into thinking you know so much just by the way you describe one thing. Focusing on learning that gives you confidence and boosts your self-esteem at the same time.

Know before you give up

‘No regrets’ policy comes attached to the question ‘why.’ Before going for a new project, or let’s say submitting a resignation letter to your boss, be sure you know ‘why you want that project to happen?’ or ‘why you don’t want to work there anymore?’ It is indeed true that such logic and reasoning are for your mind alone, but it does help in manifesting something that you want as well. To know more about manifestation principles, click here.

Beginning to ask ‘Why’ is only the first step in evolving ourselves to understand this world better. It’s as harmless as the desire to know. There’s no age for learning. One tends to restrict themselves by thinking negative thoughts like, ‘What if they think I don’t know the basics.’, or ‘What if someone makes fun of me’ or, ‘Well. I guess I know this one’ (in reality, I don’t.) Even if you think you do know-it-all, it’s better to ask than to analyze and regret later.

Stand up for yourself.

Ask ‘Why’



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