But why?

Musings on questioning 12/6

Looking back I’m quite surprised those two words, or really just why? didn’t drive my family crazy. Recently, I noticed I asked probing questions to coworkers and I noticed it wasn’t working out well. They didn’t like being asked questions that attempted to get to the root of something. Typically, this was just in casual conversation. I just like understanding things more deeply or in this spider web connected way. When I realized this natural behavior I had was meeting resistance I started to think differently about things. Maybe I shouldn’t ask so many questions. But it’s hard. So I have tried to change the way I ask questions.

It seems most people are stymied at a young age when they start asking probing questions. It is a real societal failure, at least in the more urban areas where I have lived. Essentially children are being punished for asking normal, probing, developmental questions. It is likely this has resulted in less curious children and adults over time. I believe the reasons for this are grounded in our modern societal structure and lifestyle. Just watch this tv show or watch this video on this iPad instead of making a ruckus. Consume this mind stimulating content, albeit the wrong type of stimulating.

This has reminded me of growing up. I realized I was much more fortunate than many people. I was not only tolerated but usually given answers. I do admit I was relentless and certainly annoying, but in general I feel I wasn’t shunned and thus have maintained a (presumably?) high level of curiosity into adulthood. I have interests in topics ranging from physics, astronomy, social and economic theory to building companies. I do think this questioning mentality has been practical also: I have tried wide-ranging things, believing most things are doable. From home plumbing and flooring to a variety of automotive work, while I may not always enjoy what I started, I will say it has allowed me to learn and think differently, typically utilizing problem solving skills because things never go as planned! (The best learning part)