I presume that any of you who have a two-year old, or who have ever had regular contact with a two-year old, are familiar with the question in the title. Why, Mommy? Why you in a rush? Why you have to go to work? Why need money? Why need to pay bills?
I was out a-wandering in a rare captured moment that (once again) had to do with a broken down car. No, the other one. We’re not going to think about that right now, OK? … Probably the starter motor.
Anyway, I was out a-wandering, and I realized. I’m what happens when somebody never outgrows the why habit. Sure, patriarchy… but WHY do people want men in charge? Why does anybody care what colour my hair is? I didn’t ask them to dye theirs… For that matter, why is the speed of light a constant? Why is the fourth integral of the load the shape of the deformed solid? Why do people care so much that other people agree with them? Why, why, why?
All day long, every day, the voice in my head demands the answers to unanswerable questions. Why is the fine structure constant 1/137? Why can’t we get better at sharing? Why do we try so hard to keep other people down? Why is there evil?
And eventually, every day, I find myself thinking, “It just IS, OK? I don’t know why. Could you just stop asking for one MINUTE?”
And, don’t you know, that little voice will wait for a few seconds before it asks, “Maybe. But, um… why?”