In some of my embarrassing parenting moments I answer my children’s “why” with “because I said so.” My wife has been better in this area and helps me recognize those moments when I need to answer why. After realization of my mistake I apologize and explain why. The why has helped my children embrace my parenting, like why we hold hands when crossing the street.
Once I was publicly challenged about a statement I made. The challenge caused hushed tension in the room. With genuine serenity I asked why she felt so strongly against the statement I had made. I was more curious about her story, the reason she felt that way, than I was about the awkwardness of a public challenge. Giving her the chance to explain why gave all of us in the room a chance to better understand her. As I responded with my story, she was able to find compassion for me. When we got past our statements and understood each other’s why, we shared an uncommon connection.
Lately I have found that my frustrations and anxiety with others comes not from disagreement but instead from a lack of understanding why. Have you ever wondered why God loves us? The more I ponder that question, the closer I come to loving God and loving my neighbor as myself.
Question: Are you paying attention to why people say the things they do?