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Mon Dec 19, 2011, 06:56 PM

The power of "Why"

The word "why", though small, can be so powerful when used. Ask any parent of a small child how powerful the word "why" can be.

Many can instantly think of examples - had "why" been asked by the media, by ourselves, by our politicians - perhaps the war in Iraq would never have started, rather than now just ending after 9 years and thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars wasted.

"Why" was the start of learning about climate change - why are glaciers disappearing, global temperatures rising, and why are we experiencing such extreme weather phenomena.

"Why" is a central theme in the OWS - why is there such a huge gap between the 1% and the 99%, why do we bail out banks but not our neighbors, why is corporate welfare acceptable but not social welfare?

These examples I consider to be big "whys" - questions that effect us all, questions we all benefit from answering.

But there are little "whys" in my everyday life - some I ask all the time, some I don't ask enough.

This was recently brought to my attention by my wonderful husband during the barrage of holiday advertising that has managed to convince me that I *need* a Kindle.

My husband in IT, so he has every gadget imaginable - iPad, iPhone, laptops, desktops, iPods, flash drives, digital cameras... its like a little Best Buy in his office. I am more old school - yes I am writing this on a laptop - but I prefer books to ebooks, film to digital, CDs to downloads, and smart phones make my head hurt.

But suddenly, I started asking for a Kindle for Christmas. My husband, who was more than happy to get me one, just asked me one question "why". I started to get defensive - because I said, what's it to you. He said well, its just that you always said you never wanted one - you prefer paper books.

And I didn't have an answer - I realized I had gotten swept up in the consumerism I see around me daily. I am an educated woman who seriously thought I was more cynical to advertising - and that I was immune to such obvious ploys.

Not asking "why" - about big things, little things, personal things or worldview things - is lazy. Its easy to sit back and not ask "why do I believe what I do" or "why do I want what I want", I realized that those questions are answered for me who don't have my best interests at heart.

I need to do more asking - of myself and of others.

As this election cycle continues to rev up, spin out of control and threaten to divide DU even more - I hope before we start demanding others answer our "whys" - we can answer those "whys" ourselves first.

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Reply The power of "Why" (Original post)
nadine_mn Dec 2011 OP
seabeyond Dec 2011 #1
OffWithTheirHeads Dec 2011 #2
tblue Dec 2011 #3

Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 07:05 PM

1. i ask a lot. who i am. why? i could tell you but that is not the point. what is funny is....

so many have a problem with people asking questions instead of just accepting or going along with, or making assumptions.

i prefer to ask, instead of assume and think i have it right, when really, i am clueless.

now... kindle. i had NO desire for a kindle. hubby is a tech dude, too and bring me in kicking and screaming. i read 5 books a week, or more. i love my library. i love my books i have accumulated and....

i LOVE my kindle. lol. i didnt want it. and i love it. tons of free and cheap stories. easy to read. a blast.

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Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 07:16 PM

2. The best reason to own an e-reader is for travel.

I, like yourself, am an avid reader and much prefer a real book to the digital version. I don't collect books anymore because I simply don't have the space. After taking several truckloads of books down to donate to the library and other places, the space on my bookshelves is reserved for important books like a signed copy of Herb Cain's Bagdad by the Bay or reference material.

Where the e-reader is great is in the fact that you can damn near take the library of congress with you in a small slot in your suitcase. I love that.

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Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 07:31 PM

3. Why did you post that and why did I reply this way?

Just kidding you! I love this. It's thought-provoking.

I have had people answer a question with "Why do you want to know?" or else they answer a statement with "Why do you say that?" It sure makes you stop and think and it's usually a legitimate question. I keep forgetting to do that myself.

Here on DU there is so much vitriole and emotion, so I do try to ask for some clarification so I know what I'm dealing with. But rarely is it given. There's an assumption that we all know what others mean. But how can we know that if we don't ask?

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