Monday, June 13, 2011

In Why's Defense

* Why did we meet that Kroger shopper?

* Why did we hear that NPR interview?

* Why did we win Bob Dylan concert tickets?

Why, why, why?

Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “Theirs not to reason why…” (The Charge of the Light Brigade) might suggest there are times it is irresponsible to question why. Example: in defense of country.

But a closer look at events that inspired Tennyson’s poem—half a league’s attack during the Crimean War—begs the question: Why should we not believe the men silently reasoned why?

Or, maybe the more important point to explore is this: Is there a "right" why and a "wrong" why? Or a right time and a wrong time?

Once you’re actually riding into the valley of Death, you may already want to have the “whys” pretty much sorted out and resolved. Just sayin’.

Before that charge, though, that’s the time to reason why. So that when the big day comes, we know who we are, how we got there, and what really matters.

Problem is, today we seem to have it all turned around. First, we ask what matters; then we ask how we go about getting what. But the thing is, forget how we get what, we never asked “why” what matters. (Is there a “who’s on first routine” emerging?!)

Again, just sayin’, might we ask ourselves why meeting that shopper seems special; why that interview sparks our interest; why tickets to a Dylan concert makes our heart sing.


That’s the leftfielder’s name.

- Diana Black