In the transition from childhood to seeing myself as an individual, I recall the stories shared between friends. There were many variations of how we were coming of age, stretching our boundaries, and discovering the freedom to choose within each.
It was during this time of my life that I discovered something unique about the “why” questions in my life. Everyone carried a “why” question with them, often several. What made mine unique was the type. With others, there were lingering questions of “why”. Some questions went back to the very beginning of their memories. In the adolescent curiosity of what lay ahead, they were still wondering about the past.
Initially I thought it was strange that I did not have any “why” questions from the past. In searching for a reason, I realized my father always answered my why questions. I could not recall an instance where the multiple layers of why went unanswered. With time and children of my own, I have come to see his response as a unique and priceless gift.
I have come to appreciate the critical value “why” questions have in one’s life and the process of living. When I hear others asking their why, I am encouraged.
Why questions inform our freedom and choice. When we know why, we own our choices with our emotions as well as our intellect. In seeking and finding answers, we create opportunities for healing and nurture.
Answering why opens unseen doors to harmony, peace, and hope. In addition to resolving conflicting ideas, seeking the answers to why gifts me with clarity and insights. I do not always like the answers. However, the answers sharpen one’s view and understanding.
Calls to action, in any form, are often acted on when the why is embedded. When the why resonates with one’s experience, it is heard loudly and clearly. The psalmist call, “shout ‘Hallelujah!’ because God’s so good, sing anthems to his beautiful name,” (Psalm 135.3) always triggers a response within me.
Seeking the why in life is at the heart of living fully and completely.