How to Make Time for Deep Thinking & Asking Difficult Questions

The other day, my daughter thought she could try to tease me with the game of “why”. You know this one, when a child asks you a question and you give them the answer and they ask “Why?”. So you give them another answer and they ask again “Why?”. Well, my daughter and I kept going back and forth until she stopped and looked at me and asked, “Isn’t this irritating?”
And I responded, “The only thing that’s irritating about this is that I don’t have all the answers to give you.”
“Oh.” she replied
Then I got down to her level and looked at her directly into the eyes and firmly said, “Don’t ever stop asking why. Always ask questions, if someone doesn’t have the answer, keep asking and searching until you are satisfied.”
“Okay mommy.”

And off she went to play.  My only hope is that she really will continue question things as she gets older and as an adult. When I was a child, I was told that I was a “daydreamer” and to snap out of it. I really would just sit there and stare off into space and  just think about things.  If only I had a journal back then, I would love to read my thoughts as a child.

Leonardo da Vinci: “I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand. Why shells exist on the tops of mountains along with imprints of plants usually found in the sea. Why thunder lasts longer than that which causes it. How circles of water form around the spot which has been struck by a stone. And how a bird suspends itself in the air. Questions like these engaged my thought throughout my life.”

I’ve always questioned everything. I cant help it. It’s why I cant stick to the same religion or boyfriend or stay in the same place.  Sometimes I get stuck on a topic for days, it’s just swimming around my head, question bouncing off of question, I research and read and more questions develop.  And I either burn myself out, or I get the answer I was looking for.

It wasn’t until I started back running that I realized how distracted I was from this deep  thinking.  I mean, after all, there is so much to think about already in every day life, work, kids, home, bills, car repairs, money. I just want to veg out sometimes and read a juicy novel or watch TV and not think at all. I think the occasional veg out session is good and important, we need that release, but deep thinking is so important for our personal development and growth.

I usually run with an audio book, it keeps me from getting bored, it makes the time fly by and my run a little easier.  But lately I didn’t have an audiobook so I just ran out the door and pounded the pavement, and you know what happened? I started thinking, deep thinking.  All these thoughts and ideas and questions started popping up. It was like a flood gate opened up, things I wanted to look up and research and write about. I started recording memos on my phone while I ran so  would I remember what I was thinking.  I carry around a little notebook with me everywhere and when I have a question about something, I write it down.

Lego Library

I still get distracted by all the stuff I have to do, errands to run, groceries, laundry, kids to pick up.  Most days there is just not enough time in the day to do all the research and reading I want to do.  I just spent over 2 hours at our local library with a mountain of books reading about philosophy and this topic, critical thinking, and it’s still not enough, all it did was open a door inside me that craves more.  I was going to do some research online, but instead, I’m going to sign up for a philosophy class so I can pick the brains of other people and absorb as much as I can until I am satisfied.

My point is, you have to make the time for deep thinking. For asking questions, for asking why?  Walks are great for this, the middle of the night is so quiet and peaceful-perfect for deep thinking.  Free writing really helps me, just to get it out there, even if it’s in a jumble. Driving in your car on your commute, shut the radio off and just think.  Sometimes its just an inkling of a thought that seems to grow and manifest into a huge topic. And then you need to make time to find the answer. Research, read, ask more questions. Talk to people, get opinions, but always keep an open mind. You never know what you’ll find out or get to experience.

Think

 

I wonder….

What if…

Why….

Maybe…..

I’m curious about…..

How…..

 

Some of the things I’ve thought about and questions I have are:

  • What if  there are multiple dimensions to the Universe? If so, how do we go there? What level are we at? Maybe there is another me, how do I talk to her.
  • How exactly does this energy thing work? If everything is made of energy, then everything is connected. Are some energies stronger than others? How do we control this?
  • Animals are nothing like us and are more intelligent than we give them credit for. But how much do they know? What do they think and feel?  How do they see us?  Why don’t we treat them with more respect?
  • Where are all the feminists?  Why does it seem like we are going backwards when it comes to the rights of women?
  • Why has money become so important?  More important than life?
  • Why is everyone so prejudice?  If the most important commandment in the Bible is “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  Then why don’t Christians do that? And what about God? Why am I always let down and pissed off at him?

Some people wont like these questions, and wont like that I’m asking them. It would be really easy for me to keep quiet and just write about it in my personal journal where no one can read it. But maybe someone else is asking these questions too, and maybe they have some answers for me, or maybe I have some answers for them.   Bottom line is, I want to know.  I don’t want to die with any unanswered questions, when my daughter plays the Why Game, I want to give her the answers. I want to continually to grow as a person and be more today than I was yesterday.

I don’t fear judgement, I fear ignorance.

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