Ours is Not to Question Why

Good morning and happy Monday, you marvellous creature!

We like to understand things, don’t we?  We like to have a firm grasp of the whys and the wherefores, the cause and the effect.  Religion, science and Wikipedia all exist because the human race is obsessed with finding stuff out.

This extends, somewhat inevitably, to our personal lives: why did that relationship fail?  What made that friend drop out of contact?  Why didn’t the guy/girl we met last week call us when they said that they would?

We want to know the reasons behind emotionally affecting incidents because we think that they reflect upon us.  We think that if were were taller, better looking or more amusing that our emotional lives would be incredibly easy.  For insecure and unhappy people in particular, there is a very strong temptation to latch on to these upsetting circumstances as an excuse to highlight personal inadequacies: “Obviously the reason he never called is because I’m no good at small talk.”  “She probably thought I was being arrogant.”  “He could tell that I always put empty milk bottles back in the fridge.”  Obviously, this is not the case (except the milk bottle thing, which of course we can all sense at twenty paces).

Let’s be honest: sometimes we could have said or done more to make a situation better; we could have made more of an effort to be the best versions of ourselves.  But if we weren’t being our best selves with someone, don’t you think that there might be a reason for that?  When you really want a friendship or relationship to work, you want to be the best you can be for the other person involved.  If you’re not being that version, then you ought to think about why that is.

Conversely, we shouldn’t think too much about why other people behave the way they do.  We can’t do anything about it, and we can’t change people’s minds about us.  Sometimes it is very difficult to let go of a situation that you don’t entirely understand: “I’m still not sure why she broke up with me.”  “He just stopped texting; I thought it was going so well.”  “We’d been friends for years, and then we just lost touch for no reason.”  The sad thing is that – pretentious Shakespeare reference alert – “man is a giddy thing”, and sometimes people disappear on you.  They shouldn’t, because you’re wonderful, but they do.

And this is my point: if you’re going to question why something might be, don’t waste time worrying about other people’s motives.  Question yourself instead – you’re far more likely to get answers.  Don’t obsess over what that nice guy you met (but never heard from) didn’t like about you, or why your girlfriend suddenly decided that she preferred your best friend.  They’ve made their choices, and you may never get to find out why they behaved the way they did.  What you can find out is how you feel about things, why you behave the way you do, and what kind of relationships you are looking for in life.

On a far less serious (and much more adorable) note, here is a picture of a little girl seeing a penguin for the first time:

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Have a brilliant day.  I hope that you get to wear your favourite shoes.

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