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How life unfolds is not why life unfolds

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  • sandeep chatterjee
        I was at the park with a friend, her daughter and her young grand daughter, who was the ‘why’ stage of life. As I sat talking with my friend, I
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 28, 2011
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      I was at the park with a friend, her daughter and her young grand daughter, who was the ‘why’ stage of life.

      As I sat talking with my friend, I overheard her grand daughter ask her mother why I was in a wheel chair.

      After gently shushing the young girl, she said in a subdued voice that I’d had a stroke and couldn’t walk.

      Of course the little girl asked, “Mommy,what’s a stroke?”

      Erroneously believing that this old guy, who somewhat proudly jokes about his being a crip, might be hurt or offended, the mother diverted her daughter’s attention to a lady bug that had just landed in the clumsy lady bug manner upon the grass.

      As they both got down upon their knees to inspect the bug, it nestled and disappeared in the deep grass.
      Mother and daughter fingered the grass assiduously as they searched for the lady bug, which they could not find.

      Frustrated, the little girl asked the universal why kid question, “Mommy, why is grass green?

      Her mother proceeded to explain as simply as she could about how sunlight comes down to the grass and something called chlorophyll in the grass makes it look green; a standard struggling answer parents give to this question when asked by their young children.

      I too had burdened both my young boys with this complexity when they asked that question, much to their glassy eyed confusion.

      Understandably bored with this answer, that was way beyond her young mind’s comprehension, the girl ceased looking for the lady bug, got up, came over to me and asked, “Why did you have a stroke?”

      Not even the neurologists know the full the answer to that one, and I answered, “Strange things happen and I just had a stroke, not even the doctors know why.”

      This seemed to satisfy the little girl’s curiosity and she ran off to rejoin her beckoning mother.

      This brief encounter got me thinking as she ran off that so often we adults answer children’s ‘whys’ with ‘hows’.


      That whole chloropyll rigamarol is not why grass green.

      It is green because it’s green.


      Young children will understand that answer because it’s the simple truth.
      Does anyone truly know why grass is green?
      I doubt it.
      The sunlight/chlorophyll explanation is how the grass is green.

      My neurologists spent days believing they were trying to figure out why the first of my strokes occurred when in truth they were searching for the causes of how it occurred.

      Do any of us truly know why we had our brain injuries?

      Sure we know how and many of us love to share our stories of that event repeatedly in great ‘how by how’ detail of how the event happened, but it certainly is not why.

      Why did we get stroked? Why did the accident happen? Why did the scalpel cut the wrong thing during the operation?

      Who knows? 

      The more we stop believing the how is the why, the easier it is to accept what is and move on just as this little girl did when she went back to lady bug searching.
      Think how glassy eyed and flummoxed she would have been had I gone through the whole routine of blood clots, artery blockages and brain bleeds that would have in no way explained why I got stroked.

      I don’t know where I’m going with this other than I’m probably boring you as much as I would have that little girl.

      The incident did get me thinking that all the why questions of a child are a young soul’s first steps on it’s life quest for meaning in life ....

      ...and we adults blunderingly muddy up the waters with answers of how life happens ...

      ...and thus misguidedly teach them that how their lives happen is why their lives happen.
       
       
       
    • medit8ionsociety
      This is a really brillant sharing. Much appreciated! If asked How this or that happens I could probably tend to speak about it , but if I added not knowing
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 29, 2011
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        This is a really brillant sharing. Much appreciated!
        If asked "How" this or that happens I could probably
        tend to speak about "it", but if I added not knowing
        "Why", most likely I think my grand daughters would
        then ask "Why don't we know why?"

        sandeep chatterjee <sandeep1960@...> wrote:
        >
        >  
        >  
        > I was at the park with a friend, her daughter and her young grand daughter, who was the ‘why’ stage of life.
        >
        > As I sat talking with my friend, I overheard her grand daughter ask her mother why I was in a wheel chair.
        >
        > After gently shushing the young girl, she said in a subdued voice that I’d had a stroke and couldn’t walk.
        >
        > Of course the little girl asked, “Mommy,what’s a stroke?”
        >
        > Erroneously believing that this old guy, who somewhat proudly jokes about his being a crip, might be hurt or offended, the mother diverted her daughter’s attention to a lady bug that had just landed in the clumsy lady bug manner upon the grass.
        >
        > As they both got down upon their knees to inspect the bug, it nestled and disappeared in the deep grass.
        > Mother and daughter fingered the grass assiduously as they searched for the lady bug, which they could not find.
        >
        > Frustrated, the little girl asked the universal why kid question, “Mommy, why is grass green?
        >
        > Her mother proceeded to explain as simply as she could about how sunlight comes down to the grass and something called chlorophyll in the grass makes it look green; a standard struggling answer parents give to this question when asked by their young children.
        >
        > I too had burdened both my young boys with this complexity when they asked that question, much to their glassy eyed confusion.
        >
        > Understandably bored with this answer, that was way beyond her young mind’s comprehension, the girl ceased looking for the lady bug, got up, came over to me and asked, “Why did you have a stroke?”
        >
        > Not even the neurologists know the full the answer to that one, and I answered, “Strange things happen and I just had a stroke, not even the doctors know why.”
        >
        > This seemed to satisfy the little girl’s curiosity and she ran off to rejoin her beckoning mother.
        >
        > This brief encounter got me thinking as she ran off that so often we adults answer children’s ‘whys’ with ‘hows’.
        >
        >
        > That whole chloropyll rigamarol is not why grass green.
        >
        > It is green because it’s green.
        >
        >
        > Young children will understand that answer because it’s the simple truth.
        >
        > Does anyone truly know why grass is green?
        >
        > I doubt it.
        >
        > The sunlight/chlorophyll explanation is how the grass is green.
        >
        > My neurologists spent days believing they were trying to figure out why the first of my strokes occurred when in truth they were searching for the causes of how it occurred.
        >
        > Do any of us truly know why we had our brain injuries?
        >
        > Sure we know how and many of us love to share our stories of that event repeatedly in great ‘how by how’ detail of how the event happened, but it certainly is not why.
        >
        > Why did we get stroked? Why did the accident happen? Why did the scalpel cut the wrong thing during the operation?
        >
        > Who knows? 
        >
        > The more we stop believing the how is the why, the easier it is to accept what is and move on just as this little girl did when she went back to lady bug searching.
        >
        > Think how glassy eyed and flummoxed she would have been had I gone through the whole routine of blood clots, artery blockages and brain bleeds that would have in no way explained why I got stroked.
        >
        > I don’t know where I’m going with this other than I’m probably boring you as much as I would have that little girl.
        >
        > The incident did get me thinking that all the why questions of a child are a young soul’s first steps on it’s life quest for meaning in life ....
        >
        > ...and we adults blunderingly muddy up the waters with answers of how life happens ...
        >
        > ...and thus misguidedly teach them that how their lives happen is why their lives happen.
        >  
        >  
        >  
        >
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