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Mon Dec 19, 2011, 07:56 PM

The power of "Why" [View all]

The word "why", though small, can be so powerful when used. Ask any parent of a small child how powerful the word "why" can be.

Many can instantly think of examples - had "why" been asked by the media, by ourselves, by our politicians - perhaps the war in Iraq would never have started, rather than now just ending after 9 years and thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars wasted.

"Why" was the start of learning about climate change - why are glaciers disappearing, global temperatures rising, and why are we experiencing such extreme weather phenomena.

"Why" is a central theme in the OWS - why is there such a huge gap between the 1% and the 99%, why do we bail out banks but not our neighbors, why is corporate welfare acceptable but not social welfare?

These examples I consider to be big "whys" - questions that effect us all, questions we all benefit from answering.

But there are little "whys" in my everyday life - some I ask all the time, some I don't ask enough.

This was recently brought to my attention by my wonderful husband during the barrage of holiday advertising that has managed to convince me that I *need* a Kindle.

My husband in IT, so he has every gadget imaginable - iPad, iPhone, laptops, desktops, iPods, flash drives, digital cameras... its like a little Best Buy in his office. I am more old school - yes I am writing this on a laptop - but I prefer books to ebooks, film to digital, CDs to downloads, and smart phones make my head hurt.

But suddenly, I started asking for a Kindle for Christmas. My husband, who was more than happy to get me one, just asked me one question "why". I started to get defensive - because I said, what's it to you. He said well, its just that you always said you never wanted one - you prefer paper books.

And I didn't have an answer - I realized I had gotten swept up in the consumerism I see around me daily. I am an educated woman who seriously thought I was more cynical to advertising - and that I was immune to such obvious ploys.

Not asking "why" - about big things, little things, personal things or worldview things - is lazy. Its easy to sit back and not ask "why do I believe what I do" or "why do I want what I want", I realized that those questions are answered for me who don't have my best interests at heart.

I need to do more asking - of myself and of others.

As this election cycle continues to rev up, spin out of control and threaten to divide DU even more - I hope before we start demanding others answer our "whys" - we can answer those "whys" ourselves first.

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Reply The power of "Why" [View all]
nadine_mn Dec 2011 OP
seabeyond Dec 2011 #1
OffWithTheirHeads Dec 2011 #2
tblue Dec 2011 #3