“When I was young I spent my days and nights with so much curiosity. Curiosity because I had the uncontrollable urge to learn, I wanted to understand everything. As a child I wanted to ask the questions that would enhance my knowledge of everything imaginable. Little did I know that I was using tools I was born with to help me grow and function in the world. Many years later now and I see the same thirst of knowledge in my son. Many people consider the question of why to be annoying, I look at it as an opportunity to explore.
But why do we stop asking so many meaningful questions the older we get? Perhaps it’s because we are taught fear and learn self apprehension. I say fear because maybe we’re afraid to find out what the answer would be, afraid to learn the truth. Perhaps finding out would change our path in life, which for some might bring about new opportunities but for others may bring about anguish and anxiety. I don’t suffer this fear, I want to know the answers good or bad. Maybe that is why I see many things and just cut to the chase and ask WTF.
I also say apprehension because to ask questions might bring with it uncertainty of what we may have to face the other side of the question asked. Sometimes we may feel it’s easier for someone else to ask the questions so that we can live our life without having to make decisions. Sometimes, more often than not, it is easier to be the sheeple. Why would people prefer to be lead? Why not cut your own path? Why? Because we are taught this way early on and many continue to live their lives that way. In the end continuing the cycle of ignorance.
Beyond parenting with school aged children I believe school should play a much better part. In school we’re taught to focus on finding the correct answers to questions that have already been asked, rather than ask our own questions. The problem with that is that one can never expand their minds that way. Without expanding our minds, we hold ourselves back, and we do not think out of the box. Someone else’s belief system will also become our belief system, someone else’s version of the right way to live our lives becomes our way, the way we mature into adults is someone else’s ideas, and so the cycle continues for generation after generation after generation.
We need to be allowed the opportunity to set up our own system so that we become individuals in our own right from a very young age. We also need to recognise other people’s beliefs just as we expect them to recognise ours too. When we learn new things we push ourselves beyond what we already know. We also allow ourselves to explore other people’s opinions of what they tell us so why not take the next step and ask why. Only then will we start to view the world differently. Seeing the world from a different point of view gives us more opportunities to be encouraged, to ask more questions so that we continue to challenge ourselves further. We may even make many new connections and many new discoveries along the way.
So I ask everyone here, why ever stop asking why?”
The above represents the first draft of a speech I have been asked to give on the final night of the science camp my son left to attend Monday morning. I was told that parents, teachers, friends, relatives, and the attending 7th and 8th graders would like to hear a motivational speech from me since many of the attending students are current and past Scouts (both Boy and Girl Scouts) that look up to me. Really? 90% of the reasons I am no longer a Scout leader is because I didn’t teach just out of the books, I tried to get the young minds to question what they didn’t understand until they found an answer which satisfied their inner curiosities. But, since I had been in many of their lives for around 14 or more years I saw no reason not to accept the honor. There is one requirement, it must be about learning.
While writing it I found myself thinking about if I were to write it right here what would it sound like? And I see it needs some polishing to say the very least. I can’t speak to this crowd as if they were reading a blog post. So, I will be refining it, tweaking it, and polishing it up so it will be a shiny turd of a speech. So far it has been interesting, I can’t remember writing a speech since high school because anytime I generally speak to a crowd I do it a la carte or very off the cuff. No, I am not nervous about giving the speech and no I don’t regret accepting the challenge, I only worry about dropping an F-Bomb (fuck) or three. I probably won’t bore all of y’all with the refined version other then reporting how it all went when the deed is done.