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Don’t ask

From the time that most of us were very little, we were taught that it was a good idea to ask questions. If you tune into a household with three or four-year-old children, you’ll hear the word “why” more than any other. My take on this is to call it intellectual curiosity, a quality that I revere and encourage.

As I get older (not to be confused with getting old), I have started to believe that sometimes it’s better not to wonder. Never will I cease learning, investigating and discovering information that I find meaningful. But I am thinking that sometimes the brain benefits from not asking why.

Please allow a few examples. In spite of having moved out of Austin, Texas over twenty years ago, my husband is a serious and dedicated University of Texas fan. He is not an alumnus, nor are his sons. It’s better in general not to ask why.

And speaking of rabid, why are Nebraskans so passionate beyond reason about their cornhuskers? Is it genetic or geographic? The same could be said about Green Bay Packer or Oakland Raider fans.

Then there are the New Mexico drivers to whom I’ve referred on several occasions. It doesn’t surprise me that our drivers are ranked among the top ten worst states in the US in which to drive. Rather than wonder why so many persist in driving 20 to 30 miles per hour over the speed limit, I’ve stopped doing so. Maybe if I don’t ask why, my frustration will diminish.

Why does the letter carrier arrive at exactly the same time that I want to collect mail? Why does my cell stop announcing texts? Why are all the avocados as hard as plywood when I need them for a recipe?

Some questions must be asked – why does that child behave as he or she does? But I’m learning that occasionally my intellectual curiosity is more appropriately put on time out or saved for fourth down situations. Shalom.


If I may assist you with any of your writing endeavors, it is my pleasure to do so. You can reach me at csbutts19@yahoo.com, but please don’t send spam.

2 thoughts on “Don’t ask

  1. I keep thinking about what happens when you ask someone ‘why’ and they say, ‘Don’t Ask’. Specifically this refers to someone who has ailments and is ‘dying’ to tell you about each one, but needs permission from you as soon as you ask, ‘Why?’ “What’s wrong?” They will say, “OY!” Don’t ASK!” Then, they proceed tell you everything that’s wrong with them that you didn’t necessarily want or need to know. I agree. Some questions are better left unanswered. Stay safe on those New Mexico roads!


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