My two year old son discovered the word ‘why’ this weekend.
After having never really said it before, now he’s saying ‘Why?’ in response to everything.
We were standing out front of the house and he was staring into the sky.
— Where did the clouds go Daddy?
— The wind blew them away.
— Because… the sun shone on the earth which caused the air to heat up and rise causing the cool air to rush in underneath and blow away the clouds.
And so on.
The ‘5 Whys’ was a technique developed by Toyota to improve its manufacturing processes.
The concept relied on getting to the root cause of an issue taking just five iterations of asking why.
My son 5-Why’d me incessantly over the weekend — Why does the ice-cream melt if you leave it in the sun? Why do we breathe air? Why did his truck get rust on it when he left it in the backyard?
It all left me feeling a bit intellectually shook.
It was a stark reminder to ask ‘why?’ more, and more repeatedly. Both of myself and others.
And a display of the power of maintaining the intellectual innocence of a two-year old every time you try and understand something new.