May has come to an end. At this point in the year, I expected to be focused on developing the six-month plan for my life and business. Instead, I am busy sucking my teeth and rolling my eyes as I ask myself an all too familiar question… “When did ‘Why’ become the new F-word?” This question has been plaguing me for a few days… weeks… let’s be honest… it has bothered me for years! Even as a child, ‘Why’ was one of my favorite words, closely followed by ‘How’. But somewhere along the way, as I grew older, I started noticing that asking ‘Why’ was, in fact, regarded as a curse word. No longer was it seen as the terminology of a growing and inquisitive mind. To the contrary, it stood out as an undesirable form of rebellion. Thus, it had become the new ‘F’.
Having a semi-introverted nature, I hid my disapproval and resolved to find answers to my questions on my own through obsessive observation and learning. Though my research proved effective, it was not enough. I still wanted to know why… I wanted to know why women were asked to accept certain behaviors yet were not encouraged to portray the same behaviors. I wanted to know why it wasn’t okay to love and believe in yourself, but self-ridicule and gossip were considered acceptable. I wanted to know why there were only certain occupations viewed as suitable and worse yet attainable. I wanted to know why companies did business the way they did, even when it was clear that it was no longer effective. I wanted to know why people enslaved themselves and then poured the poison into others. I wanted to know why people were expected to accept toxic behaviors and ideology. And then I wanted to know why the heck people thought that I would groom my daughters to accept the same. No matter the situation, no matter the person, I wanted to know why.
As I am approaching 41 years on this earth, I realize that I am no longer willing to keep my Whys inside. My voice has aged; it is no longer willing to be silenced. Not only am I going to ask why, I am also encouraging others to do the same. When people are free to be inquisitive and ask the questions that fill their minds, not only will they be able to provide new viewpoints and solutions, but they will also be able to better empathize with the process and mindset. The legacy we should want to leave should be one that provides a transparent platform and enables growth.
When a child questions their parent as to the reason why their request was denied, we should feel comfortable to explain our reasoning instead of labeling them as being rude. Do note, I am not saying we have to always provide excessively heavy responses. But why can’t we tell them the truth? If we are unwilling to tell the truth behind a decision, does this not show that we ourselves are unclear and unsure about our rationale? Why do we hide behind the cape of tradition, seniority and ego, pretending that we demand respect, and in this form of respect, never be questioned? Respect does not make you a dictator. Rather, it comes with the responsibility of teaching, instructing and preparing the younger generations and their inquisitive minds. I have never fully learned how to respect a person just because they have been given a title, have attained a large sum of money or acquired fame. For me, my respect of/for an individual is earned through their willingness or ability to elucidate, exhibit and embody the procedures, attributes and characteristics that I find admirable. This would probably explain why I am here sucking my teeth and rolling my eyes yet again. I am seeing the ramifications of when not enough persons feel free to ask why.
I mean…how hard is it really to answer why? Why did you start the business? Why did you say that? Why did you do that? Why are you staying in this? Are we afraid to admit that, in many instances, we do not know why we do what we do or say what we say? Are we afraid to admit we have not been taught to think and create but, instead, replicate what is already being done? Rather than hiding behind our egos, let’s ask the question… What response would you give an 11-year-old if they asked you a barrage of why’s concerning every choice/decision in your life? Why do you eat this…wear that…work there…study that…do this…talk to that person…have that relationship…live there…? And don’t give them blanket answers like “it is the right thing to do…,” or “you would not understand the reason…” You know that is crap! If you cannot truthfully—and I mean Truthfully—break it down to an 11-year-old child so they can understand, then maybe you need to start asking yourself ‘why’ a bit more. Because Why should not be a curse word and clearly you don’t know why either.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
- What questions are you afraid to ask yourself?
- What questions are you afraid to ask the people around you?
- Do you even believe that you deserve to know why?
- Can you truthfully explain tell an 11-year-old why you make the decisions the way you do?
- Is your decision making process yours, or have you inherited and adapted to someone else’s expectations?
- Have you shared this blog post with others or mentioned it on social media?
- Have you purchased your Overcoming Failure Book as yet?….. If not click the button below