The "Why?" Stage
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Earlier this week, my colleagues were trading stories of young children in their families finally dipping their toes into the "Why?" stage. It seemed that once their kids/nieces/nephews hit two and three years old, they started to demand a justification for everything. Why aren't we taking the stairs instead of the elevator? Why is the elevator there? Why did mommy say we had to use the elevator? Why? Why? Why?
My coworker friends shared feelings of exasperation and a loss of words. How many questions can you answer before you don't know the answers yourself, or start to pull out your hair in an effort to stay sane when under the constant scrutiny of a toddler?
I do not have children. So, I am fully acknowledging what I am about to say is delusional - but I think this so-called "Why?" stage is magical. In fact, I am a little envious. I wish that I could rediscover my surroundings all over again.
These curious little babies are exploring the world, and I think we could learn from that.
Lately in my creative work, I have been focusing on curiosity and making an effort to stay curious. It's important to ask the Why questions, even if there isn't an answer. Little do these toddlers know that their little baby brains are exercising philosophical thought!
How do things work, and why do they work that way? Digging down into the Why can lead to new discoveries, and even change. When people ask Why, it may make others uncomfortable. You may even feel unsettled asking. Embrace that disruption and dive deeper until you can really figure things out.
To wrap up, here are a few quotes I found about curiosity:
"Stay curious, keep learning and keep growing. And always strive to be more interested than interesting." - Jane Fonda (by the way I love Monster-in-Law. I tried to find it recently on every streaming service I have with no such luck. WHERE IS MONSTER-IN-LAW??!)
"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." - Albert Einstein
"Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose." - Zora Neale Hurston
Stay curious my friends! Don't be afraid to have your own-delayed-adult-baby-Why?-stage!