(A three letter word with Super Powers)
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
My kids are 22 months apart.
The first year of dealing with a toddler and a baby was really tough for us.
At times it got very challenging.
My newborn daughter had a developed a favorite hobby of waking up in the middle of the night and crying.
She consistently did that every night. She was a very happy baby during the day but at night she cried.
You know the type of cries with short repetition?? Uh-uh-uh.. The ones that don’t qualify as real cries but are annoying as hell?
On the top of that, just to give her company, my toddler son used to wake up and join her in those repetitive cries.
We spent several sleepless nights listening to their cry symphonies.
One day when I had taken my infant daughter for a routine check up, the doctor casually asked me how I was doing?
Grabbing that golden opportunity to let out all of my frustration I began telling her about the sleepless nights I was having and how difficult it was to take care of a toddler and an infant.
After hearing my sob story the doctor smiled and said, “This is nothing. Wait till they grow up and when you have to negotiate with them for every single thing. Then you’ll feel that sleepless nights were much easier.”
My first thought after listening to her was, “Well thanks for those encouraging words woman!!!”
But then I thought to myself, “She doesn’t know what she is talking about. It doesn’t make sense. How can anything be more difficult to handle,than this situation?”
However, then my son began talking,not one or two words but complete sentences. My daughter soon joined him.
And so began the phase of questions and negotiations.
Their favorite question was WHY???
Our daily conversation used to go some what like this,
Me — “Darling please brush you teeth.”
Them — “Why?”
Me — “Because that’s what you are supposed to do after waking up in the morning.”
Them — “Why?”
Me — “Because in the morning our breath smells bad and brushing kills the bacteria in our mouth.”
Them — “Why?”
This string of why(s) would go on for quite sometime , until -
a) They were finally convinced with my answer OR
b) I screamed and said, BECAUSE I SAID SO !!!
At times I visualize that doctor’s face, laughing at me and saying, “I told you so!”
Kids want to know ‘WHY’, for everything..
⁃ Why do I have to go to bed?
⁃ Why do I have to do my homework?
⁃ Why is that man hugging that woman?
⁃ Why is that person smoking?
⁃ Why are you and daddy allowed to drink beer and we aren’t?
⁃ Why doesn’t the moon fall down because of the gravity?
⁃ Why is the grass green?
⁃ Why can’t I have ice cream when I am sick?
⁃ Why is this rose red?
⁃ Why is this rose not red?
The list is endless.
Today my kids are 8 and 6. The questions still haven’t stopped.
But you know what.. I wish they NEVER do.
When I am more relaxed, patient, and not trying to make the difficult choice between pulling my hair or banging my head against the wall, I take time to answer their questions and observe them carefully.
Kids don’t ask questions to annoy you.
(Well sometimes they do) But most of the times they are genuinely curious, they are alert, they want to know the logic behind everything. This is the quality that makes them authentic, creative, pure.
Once they get an answer that makes complete sense to them, they are not just convinced but also very passionately do what they have been asked to do.
That’s the beauty of ‘Why’.
However as we grow older, we stop asking this question.
Not to the outside world but to ourselves.
We start living our lives on auto pilot mode.
We get stuck in the daily routine, day in and day out living the same day over and over again.
We stop being curious.
We stop evaluating our lives, the situations we are in, the problems that we are facing.
We run after the quick fixes, the instant solutions.
Let’s just pause, and ask ourselves .. Why?
Why am I in this situation?
Why am I not doing what I’d love to do?
Why am I depressed?
Why am I anxious?
Why don’t I ever have enough time?
Why can’t I stick to my diet and exercise routine?
Why can’t I finish what I start?
Why am I still doing the job that I hate?
Why am I blindly following the 100 year old customs that make no sense in today’s day and age?
We should keep on asking these questions until we get the satisfactory answer.
The answer need not make sense to anybody else.
However it should make complete sense to us.
Why should we ask ourselves these questions?
- Once we are convinced, we will find within ourselves, the same child like passion,curiosity,creativity and authenticity.
- We might be able to reinvent ourselves.
- We might find a solution to a problem that we’ve been facing for years.
-It will help us assess,reconnect,rebuild or strengthen our relationships with people around us.
-It will help us gain a sense of perspective towards life.
The solution to every problem hides deep within us. We just need to ask ourselves the right questions to find the right answers.
Let’s bring back the beautiful habit we had when we were little. The habit that was not forced upon us but came very naturally.
The habit of asking ‘Why’.
We might then be able to discover the super power this three letter word possesses.