The little girl who cried, “Why?”


A long time ago there was a little girl who asked,


She asked it all of the time.

She asked when she was supposed to sit quietly, go to bed, when she saw injustice in her world & most of all- when she was curious.

She was curious a lot.

She never understood why one little word bothered people so much.

Then, one day she went to school.
The little girl loved school.
It was a place where she learned new things, met new people, & it piqued her curiosity even more.



When she was told sit at her desk to work she asked, “Why?” 
When she was told that 7 x 9= 63, she asked, “Why?”
When she was told to invert and multiply, she asked, “Why?”

They told her, “Because it just is.”
“Because I told you so.”


They told her she asked too many questions.



One day she realized that many people got mad when she asked, “Why?”
They grew frustrated when she asked, “Why?”


She vowed to become a teacher and answer those
from her students.


As she grew older, she focused on learning and stopped asking, “Why?”

Her teachers no longer scowled, her parents didn’t growl as much, & her friends realized that maybe she did fit in with them.

And she was happy.

Though she secretly wondered, “Why?”


She drove to the library to research aliens.
She loaded microfiche about the Lochness Monster & psychiatry.
She charted her biorhythms.
She learned more about astrology.
She learned about Leo Buscaglia.
She subscribed to Psychology Today.
She read and researched about everything that piqued her curiosity.

And she was happy.


She learned to answer her own “whys”.


She struggled to fit in & she struggled to stand out.
She gradually figured out that asking, “why?” was a private question; a private quest of sorts.

She was happy & others were happy.
Though her sense of humor seemed perfect to her, it was a little offbeat to others.

She studied philosophy.

Some people called her “obsessive” the way she threw herself into learning topics, the way she felt the need to share her knowledge, the way she would focus on the same subject for hours, days, & weeks before she’d move onto something else.


She thought everyone was like her.
Yet, she also felt like an outsider.


Sometimes she found herself lying to fit in.
It made her feel different, but the same as others.
It didn’t make her happy, but it made others happy.
And that was comfortable.
Sort of.


Then it was time to enter her classroom.


She collected 100s of quotes and gained confidence.
She read inspirational books that reminded her to be herself to be happy.

There were many children in her classes like her.
That made her happy.

There were other children who struggled.
She tried her best to inspire them to ask “Why?”


And she told every child she met that her very favorite word was,


She cultivated curiosity.
She praised risk.
She craved novelty.
She read obsessively to learn about how to reach all different kinds of children.

She dreamed about learning without bounds.
And she was happy.


But, she still wondered, “Why?”


She fought to give her students learning opportunities that matched their interests, their needs, their goals, their level, at their pace.

But others fought her.
They said discovery was a poor was to learn.
They said she needed to tell the students answers to help them & that they couldn’t figure things out on their own.

They said she needed to be more like the other teachers.
They said she needed to follow their lead; their rules.
They said she needed to be less her, more them.


All of this time, she wondered, “Why?”

She left.
She had to save her soul.
She had to save her mind.
She had to save HERSELF.


She had a couple of “Why?” children herself.
That made her happy.
But something was missing.

Something made her curious and

she had to find out why.


That’s part of my journey.




More ways to explore “WHY?” ……………….

Start with Why.

Ask “Why?” in your work.  

Designers ask “Why?”

Never stop asking “Why?”






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