Why?… a question so basic and simple that children ask it all the time,…
… often to the annoyance and embarrassment of their elders, who typically have no defensible answers.
With this dismal glimpse into human nature and ignorance in mind, it should be clear that the freedom to ask why is not just a fundamental right, but a sacred responsibility… so sacrosanct that no subject should be off limits… and so all-encompassing that no matter is too big to allow… or too small to deserve… an answer.
But doing so is not without danger. Directed inward, asking why risks the humbling exposure of my darkest shadows… and the arousal of so many demons that haunt me. Directed outward, it risks social isolation at the very least… and possibly violent backlash from the powers that be.
So, am I brave enough to put everything I think I know… about myself, about others, about my world… on trial… by asking a question everyone should be asking at least as often as we ask “What’s for dinner?”
Doing so may be the only way to penetrate so many stubborn defenses, the only hope to awaken us all from our individual and collective sleeps.