Years ago, a good friend of mine gave me some advice that I still live by, he told me "Question everything in life, and always ask WHY?"
I know that you parents are probably cringing about the word WHY, as that is probably the question your kids ask the most. Answer their questions whenever, and however, you can. When they get old enough, teach them where to get the answers to their own questions. That is probably one of the best things that you can do for your children. One of the worst things that you can do in life is to let your children, as well as yourself, go through blindly accepting everything you see or hear. A lot of the problems in the world including hate and bigotry are caused by people blindly accepting what they read or are told. Asking the reason behind a statement or action, will help you understand the statement, or action. By asking questions you not only increase your own knowledge about the statement or action, but you may also cause the person who made the statement to think. Getting people to think and especially getting people to think outside the box will open up lots of doors and opportunities that may not have existed otherwise. Can asking questions, especially Why, cause issues and possibly trouble? Yes, they can, I have been in trouble lots of times during my life for challenging existing beliefs, and knowledge. Was it worth it, absolutely and I would do it again? Yes! I once challenged my California Experience Teacher in high school because she had an error in the textbook that she wrote. She was absolutely furious with me, not because I caught the mistake, but because I challenged her in class. She later apologized to me and had the error in the textbook corrected. A lot of false ideas and knowledge is propagated because no one challenges that knowledge or asks questions about it. Just because a supposedly knowledgeable person or the Internet tells you something is true, doesn't make it so.
I could never be in the military because I would question every order I was given, and either be washed out or spend all of my career in the stockade or brig.
There are two perfect examples of things that we knew to be true that were adamantly false, the first one is the Battle of Bunker Hill, we now know that the battle was actually fought on Breed's Hill. I learned that early on as a child because my mother lived just down the street from the battle site. The second major falsehood that was taught in school for years was the supposed fact that no African Americans fought on the side of the South in the Civil War. Although some historians and others still ignore the fact that both Free and Slave African Americans did fight for the south. These are just two of the things that everyone knows are true that aren't. Another example is Father Junipero Serra, who in some books is given credit for creating Missions that he couldn't have, as he was never in the area or dead. One thing that I have learned thanks to always asking WHY, is that just because a lot of folks say that something is true, doesn't make it true. So, remember "Question everything in life, and always ask WHY?"
When I was first taught arithmetic in grade school, I was taught that "you can't take 3 from 2, 2 is less than 3." Of course, as a fifth grader, my asking the teacher why, didn't work out to my advantage. I really didn't accept that postulate, but it did me no good to protest.
Once I made my way to high school, and took Algebra, I was told that, of course, you can take 3 from 2, and you get minus 1 hurray!
Marconi didn't invent the radio.
Alexander Graham Bell didn't invent the telephone.
Lee Deforest didn't invent the vacuum tube.
Daylight saving time does not save one Nano second of time, or one lumen of light.
Thank you for putting all this terrific info and the great ideas, always bring things like this to our attention.
Darryl AKA Radio Rancher
I for one totally agree with you. It reminds me of those protest chants in the 60s and 70s, Question Authority. Not that the protesters were necessarily questioning that someone had authority, they wanted to know the reasoning behind the authority figures actions, and if those actions or rulings reflected what was good for all the people. WHY was a certain action taken by the person in authority? I think TSL is finally coming into his own as a great social commentator.