We’ve all been there.
We started out small, arrivals to a world outside the womb. And soon, we were brimming with all kinds of questions.
Asking questions, especially til around age 5, is what children naturally do. Like giant sponges, they continually absorb and absorb . . . and absorb! Children are busy inquiring about all that they see, hear, think and feel in an attempt to understand an unfamiliar and uncharted environment. Children love to explore. They’re often fearless, eager to learn, expand, try new things and even imagine the unimaginable.
If you remember your own childhood, or have recently been around small children, you’ll easily recall how questions containing the word “what” are soon eclipsed by others containing the word “why.”
One new piece of acquired information begets another. Questions continue as puzzle pieces are moved about in developing minds to form a cohesive story, a picture or paradigm through which we form a sense of self and the world around us.
Have you noticed that somewhere along the line, many of our what’s and why’s dissipated? For some, they are practically nonexistent.
Our questions decline as externally formed conformity begins to take shape. Slowly, as if by rote, we learn to sit in a certain chair at school, to parrot back what we’ve learned through teachers and textbooks and to become part of a larger pack. We respond to the demands of schedules and expectations and learn how to follow previously established tracks.
Over time, we lose connection with that original, inner child even as our outer world plays a more concrete, fixed role in our existence.
The Dissipation of Youthful Curiosity and Self-Learning
As conformed “adults” we ultimately forget our own curiosity and can suffer from overwhelm. Instead, we learn to search for wisdom and direction externally: from experts, authorities and other pre-approved sources. Today, few think twice when looking for answers: Google becomes primary font and source for our every what and why, providing us with popular resources, trending news and issues and suggested topics to follow.
Few realize how adults have exchanged their own curiosity and self-learning for a prepackaged set of concepts, ideas, initiatives and attitudes. As siloed and slotted members of a defined class or demographic, we surrender our sense of self — and our personal awareness.
We follow rather than explore, going along passively with what the majority of what others espouse.
Yet sometimes, especially during times of dissonance and confusion, we realize that we have our own part to play.
Rather than surrendering ourselves to normative voices, we may recognize that we have some questions of our own to ask, some new knowledge and perspectives to acquire in life!
Latest Podcast: Asking Questions
As any reader or follower will note, I major in the art of asking questions. I’m also a purveyor of stories to help others reflect upon what they personally think, know and believe.
I owe it to a childhood belief that so much of what is in front of us needs to be tested, quality-assured and resting on truth, unity, cohesiveness and consistency.
For example, if we could be convinced as youngsters that Santa Clause was real — through dressed up actors, songs, media hype and more — might we also have been lulled into believing other fantasies?
With a challenge to Santa Clause and several other stories, I invite you to listen to my latest podcast: Asking Questions. Afterward, I invite you to listen to my previous podcast: Be a Light!
Expect to remember your own childhood fantasies and travel with me into adulthood as I break through a few more.
Perhaps you’ll be inspired to remember your own “what’s” and “why’s” and ask some new questions, too!
Click here to listen to Podcast 171 – Asking Questions
As a timely and thoughtful reminder, I invite you to also enter in to my previous podcast. Click here for Podcast 170 – Be a Light.
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