Why, Why, Why?

Why Not?

This is probably the first real post on my blog. Come to think of it, I haven’t published anything since January 9th. Woah. That first post back on the 5th was my introduction and filler space, my tiny little intro and that thing on the 9th was something like a rant or a vent that went up because I felt it had to be said somewhere. Does that make that the first real post? Does that make this? I’m not sure if this is going to be a rant or something about life as a whole, but here goes. I hope you’ll bear with me.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the “why” behind everything. My mom always told me that when I was younger, I’d always want to know why something was. I guess I still do, but it’s not always easy. Think about it. Don’t you hate those people who are always asking why? “Why doesn’t he figure it out himself? It’s not important! I wish she’d stop asking so many questions, it’s so annoying!” And that’s just in class. Now how about when those whys come to you? “How come she’s questioning me? Does he not like me? Does she think I said something wrong? Stop bothering me!” And suddenly we’re on the defensive. We feel questioned, interrogated, when people ask us a lot of why questions. [I speak only for myself and what I’ve seen, talked about, and experienced, so please excuse any use of ‘we’ or ‘us’, as I sometimes end up speaking about what I see in people as a whole.] We feel like we’re being asked to justify our actions and choices. Not only that, but we’re being asked to defend them. “Why did you do this” turns into “why didn’t you do that instead?” turns into “your decision doesn’t make sense to me” turns into “your decision is wrong”. Sometimes, that’s how it is, I will admit. Sometimes, however, it’s innocent. Or someone just wants to know what your thinking process was behind your decision. Sometimes, it doesn’t even take a question. The way people look at you, the way their stares run right into you, the crossed arms, the closed posture, the narrowed eyes… and suddenly, you’re trying to justify yourself, to defend yourself.

I guess that’s why I stopped asking. I got sick of people automatically assuming I was attacking them or questioning their judgement. I just wanted to know why. I won’t say I didn’t judge. Everyone judges. Here’s the difference. I wanted to know why and judge the thought process or reasoning. Whoever I asked thought I wanted to know why and judge them. It’s not the same. People are irrational creatures. Everything has a reason behind it, but I know that those reasons don’t always make sense. They don’t have to. …Part of that is a lie. It’s hard to distinguish between the thoughts and reasons of a person and the person themselves. Here’s what I can say for sure though. When I was younger, I asked why because I wanted to know how. “How is it that that math proof came about?”, “Why did they decide to make some document xyz?”, and so on. Occasionally, I got an answer. Most of the time, I got not-answers or ‘stop asking so many questions’. You’re not a smart-alec or nerd for wanting to the know the reasoning behind something. Here’s an analogy. Most people get along just fine using their car without knowing how most of it works. Not many people know how many volts are required to make the spark plug send a jolt of electricity across and spark the fire. That stuff isn’t important or doesn’t matter to most people. And it’s not a bad thing not to know. But when your car breaks down… don’t you want to know what’s going on with it? Or do you not care? I wanted to know. I always thought the more I knew, the more I understood, the better. I wasn’t mad that other people didn’t want to know. That was their choice, and to each their own. Go ahead, you can call a mechanic or someone to fix it for you. I just figured the more you knew, the more you could talk about, the more people you could interact with…

Something like that. At any rate, my ‘why’s were often met with hostility. Ever hear this? I know better than you, so listen! I’m doing what’s best for you. I love you, son, so just listen to what I’m saying and don’t ask questions. I know what’s best for you, daughter, so just do what I say. Right? For a while, I didn’t understand that I shouldn’t ask ‘why’ in those situations. I wanted to know why. In my head, it made sense. “If I know why, doesn’t that mean that if something happens, I can respond to it better? That I can deal with it better? And I don’t want to do things for no reason, I don’t like it.” I guess that came in part from my parents always telling me to be my own person, to not listen to everyone else and do what I thought was right, but then turning around and trying to get me to just listen. A little hypocritical, right? So I asked why. As any of you who’ve ever asked why to someone who doesn’t feel like answering knows, that wasn’t exactly the smartest of plans.

So my whys began decreasing. What I began to say most often wasn’t ‘why’, but ‘okay’. I understand. Okay. I got it. I’ll do what you say. As you wish. Whatever you say. That last one sounds a little flippant, doesn’t it? That’s probably because it is. I guess part of me still wanted to ask why, but I became afraid. Afraid that if I started asking why, I wouldn’t like what happened. So my ‘whys’ started disappearing. Slowly, slowly, until I only asked why as often as was acceptable and ended up saying ‘okay’ a lot more often. I guess I never really could get rid of that drive, as I’d stop asking ‘why’ and started asking “what if?” Not much better for everyone else, but there was less chance for hostility and more to figure out how things worked. I started asking after school or looking things up online. And my “what if’s” were really “why can’t we do this?”… Everything started twisting around, I think. It became a game of politics and bureaucracy at a place where I was trying to learn about math and science. I think that’s why I can’t stand being taught things. I just can’t keep interested. Piano, Guitar, drawing, writing, art, singing, acting… It all became ‘do this’. I think I found that strange.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the ‘why’ shouldn’t disappear. I wish mine hadn’t. I feel like more often than not, I’m not saying what I think, I’m merely catering to the people around me and what they think I should be saying. “Class Spokesman” or what have you. I guess that’s okay… but why? Right?

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The second kind of why is a bit weirder. Why did I make this blog?

Well, why not?

That’s really my answer to it. I wanted one and I didn’t see any harm to having one. Some place to dump my thoughts, some place to let things just exist. I’m hoping that this doesn’t become a problem. I know that it’s possible for some people to be offended or not understand what I’m saying. Maybe they’ll get defensive. I don’t really know, but for right now, I think it’s fine to just let it be said. [To my one reader, thanks for not spreading this around].

“Sing like you think no one’s listening” 

Existentialism On Prom Night by Straylight Run

I want to write, so I’m going to write. I’ll always be writing. I’ll always be drawing. I’ll always be singing. And I hope that when someone asks me “why”, they’ll understand when I say “why not?” I guess I’m a little tired of writing right now, so this is a bit of a shorter answer, but there you go.

Part of this, I realized, was ‘why do I have these categories’. I don’t really know. I feel like whatever I post might as well go in all three categories, considering the type of things I’m putting on this blog. I think it might have been a mistake on my part to try and create categories beforehand and try and fit my writing to those or even presume that my writing would fall neatly like I wanted it to. I made a ‘big picture’ thing ‘SnowFlakes’ and something more about introspection and something more about me specifically ‘Eye of the Storm’, but those are overlapping in my posts. There’s a lot of ‘whys’ running through my head right now. Why did I make things like this, why am I explaining this, why am I up late writing… Why? Eh. Why not. And so back we go, forwards to the rest of this entry: I think I may have to revise all my categories later and things will just fall into place. And if not, you get a giant cluster of things. Is that really so bad? We’ll have to see.

Also, why is the font different on the display as compared to the actual writing page. That makes me unhappy. It should be noted that I am pretty hypocritical, so keep that in mind.

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There was a third kind of why I was thinking about as I was writing this post. Earlier today, I was watching this youtube video about a Thai life insurance ad called “Silence of Life” [you can find it here]. When I showed it to my mom, she was asking me “Why do you watch this sort of stuff? Why do people even post these kinds of videos?” I was a little stumped. There was a lot of answers to that one and I guess my mind immediately jumped to something I had posted somewhere else that day about comparisons. It used the logical proof of the Raven [I forget if it was Hermes’ or Archimedes’ or what, but according to this, it’s Hempel’s Ravens]. The version I remember is there is some uncatchable raven. It flies so fast it simply can not be caught. Ravens are black. Thus, if you gather up everything that is not black [everything that is white, in the example],  and put it in one area, whatever is left must have the raven in it. What I said was [“For example, you can only say something is ‘blue’ by either comparing it to other ‘blue’ things you’ve seen, or by comparing it to all the things you know that are not ‘blue’.” This was making an analogy to my understanding of the way drunk people post replies and my conversation with another person on how he acts when he’s drunk and conclusions he and I had both drawn.] That’s basically inclusive of the idea of Hempel’s ravens. The idea behind that is a paradox, but my reasoning invoked only the first two statements. “1. All Ravens are black.”  This implies, “2. Everything that is not black is not a raven.” [Source: Wikipedia, some copied word for word]

When talking to my mom, I somehow drew this comparison to the idea of happiness and sadness. In a way, I was citing the age old idea that there can not be light without darkness. You can not know happiness without knowing sadness, and so on. To my mom, I replied this [and I paraphrase]: I think that happiness can only be understood by comparing it to one of two things. You can either compare it to happiness you already know about [oh look, shades of blue], or you can compare it to everything else you know is not what you’re talking about [well, it’s not red, green, purple, yellow, violet, fuchsia, or any of the other colors I know, and that only leaves this ‘blue’ thing I’ve never seen, so I guess it has to be blue?]. I told my mom it was a reminder. To remind myself that not everything is fine in the world. That there is sadness just as there is happiness. That there are two sides to everything. Sometimes even more. There are grays and blacks and whites…

I didn’t know the answer to that question then. I don’t think I know now. I just know it’s important. In the end, the thing I told my mom most resolutely was this: “I think it’s important.” What I really meant was this:

“Why not?”

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