I recently overheard my children discussing a big truck which passed us on the highway. My oldest two started to wonder why someone would drive a truck “that huge!” Ideas were volunteered by all three.
2. Big person
3. Rich, bought it just for fun
4. Looks good
5. Carry big stuff
6. A friend gave it to you for no reason
7. Rented it for a trip
I wonder which one of the 7 applied to the owner of that truck. My guess is number 4. More importantly, I enjoyed listening to their creative explanations. I was reminded of the importance of imagination. I was also reminded of how important the word “why” is. My children were wondering why instead of making fun of the big truck.
In my work I try to help people connect with the why of a person. In short, I help churches invite locals to a discussion group where the parishioners can learn how to get past difficult statements such as “the idea of a loving God makes me nauseous” and ask why. Asking why will focus on the story of that person.
During my work with churches I give mock presentations, and one of those presentations is on the right to bear arms. My goal is not to get anyone to change their mind, but to get both sides asking why the other side believes the way they do. This exercise helps them realize the importance of connecting with the “why” of everyone. This connection usually produces the compassion and love which was lacking. For example, have you ever wondered why God loves you?
Question: How often are we asking why instead of criticizing the what?