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The search for truth and understanding is one of our greatest tasks in this life.  Much of what we learn originates from asking questions that are both specific in nature and prodding by design. We yearn for knowledge that is both factual and based upon truth and not conjecture. From the time we are born until the moment of our passing we are exploring life in search of truth and verification to the unfolding secrets and mysteries of the Universe. Like a newborn kitten, it is our nature to be curious. It is also our nature to ask “why” in our efforts to meld together raw information with a sense of logic and visible verification that what we are told or taught has basis in fact not fiction. 

Most children will wear our patience thin by responding with an inquisitive “why” to almost any statement, instruction or directive. As irritating as these youthful quips may be, they are the earliest signs of our human nature to want an expanded explanation and a reassurance of both logic and fact that what is presented is indeed truth. From the earliest age we want to know how things work and the factual basis for the laws of both nature and society. That inborn yearning for explanation serves as our BS meter as we grow and are subjected to many opinions and attempts to sway or mind and capture our attention. We enter the world with an open mind but with the intuition to be curious and question everything. 

Curiosity and the willingness and fortitude to question all things in search of a reasonable and logical explanation are the key to learning and knowledge. It is how we open doors of comprehending what makes things tick…how the puzzle pieces fit…what is fact and what is fiction. Within the context of purposing the perpetual question of “why”, we should filter and identify responses and explanations that originate in personal opinions rather than fact. We should search for any underlying intent to sway our opinion and acceptance through emotions and indoctrination aimed at a predetermined and guided response. History has been dramatically altered over the centuries by those who could sway opinion and guide behavior and responses without the presentation of facts. 

Some things in life are bound by proven scientific law and anchored in years of repetition, research, testing and consistent definition. These identified and proven hypothesis we call facts. Other things in life often reside in the opinions and practices of others based upon theories, traditions, and prejudices or even so called “tribal” standards. The manipulation of facts and the glitter of an attractive presentation or promise is often the attempt by the unscrupulous to capture and control the mind, attention and support of those who accept fiction over the facts. Therein resides the necessity for us to be curious…to question everything…to ask why. 

The best teachers are those who stimulate the seeds of our curiosity and ignite our hunger to know both the truth and the mechanics of the Universal laws that govern our world.Telling me something is an exercise to inform and persuade. Showing me and allowing me opportunity for personal hands on discovery provides the greatest learning environment of all. It is not enough to build a resume of repetition if our learning, knowledge, and experiences aren’t evolving from a solid foundation of facts and truth. 

The same principles are true of our social development and our ability to define for ourselves the truth in both life philosophy and daily actions. Those who scheme to indoctrinate us or scam our intellect in some manner are counting heavily on the general fact that most people simply follow the crowd and listen to the loudest and most consistent voice, regardless of the information and facts. 

If we simply digest and accept the thoughts, experiences and viewpoints of others without question then we are failing to stretch our own mind, heart and spirit. Our failure to respond to our curious nature and to question everything allows for fiction rather than fact to rule our world. 

Adolph Hitler, Jim Jones and other cult like characters of the world counted on the premise that no brave and intelligent person among them would dissent or speak up out of fear. Even when they knew the possible damnation and tragedy of the vitriol that was being championed by these twisted minds, silence by the knowledgeable became a signal of approval. 

If we simply accept that running with the other lemmings off the cliff of conformity is our conscious choice, we risk never finding our own place and purpose in the Universe. If we choose to follow the herd because of peer or societal pressure because it presents the path of least resistance, then we are willingly yielding our life’s purpose and our opportunity to co-create our existence with the Divine. We must be curious and question everything. 

Being in tuned with life and the Universe requires that we naturally embrace a certain degree of skepticism. We must be swayed less by the verbal testimony, the usual acts of smoke and mirrors, and give credibility and validation to the evidence that offers confirmation to the associated facts. 

Those whose problem solving skills and learning processes involve a healthy dose of skepticism are often criticized or ridiculed for not immediately following the crowd, jumping on the popular band wagon or embracing the popular theme of the moment. There is only a true system of checks and balances in life if we remain willing to be curious and question everything. 

Trusting the source of our information, education, and experiences is vital to the eventual acceptance or rejection of certain life knowledge, dogma and situations. Those who appear agitated or offended by someone’s request for a deeper and more specific explanation or demonstration of facts, may be seeking to indoctrinate rather than educate us. 

We should be wary of these personalities and persistent in our duty to be curious and questions everything. Conversely, we should be willing to surrender our own ideas and point of view when the facts and evidence presented are against our own theories and popular position. 

It is in carefully sorting through the evidence, facts, answers and solutions to our inquisitive utterances of “why” that we can truly define our world and our personal philosophy of life. Blind acceptances of opinions, philosophies, and judgments have been the root of many injustices and atrocities throughout history. 

Repeating a falsehood or fabricated narrative over and over and over, does not make it fact. It makes it an attempt to gain control of the minds and actions of those who find human comfort in avoiding confrontation even when our inner voice tells us otherwise. It is our duty to shrug off the court of public opinion and the seeds of doubt that perpetuate and give life to fabricated stories and false facts. If you and I don’t ask “why”, expose the facts and unveil the truth, then who will?  The greatest obstacle to those who seek to control our minds and actions lie in our willingness to demand that inquisitive nature and our “whys” have been addressed. 

Denial is willful doubt in the face of overwhelming credible evidence.  Attempts at the manipulation of the facts and mind will shrink into the abyss of denial once confronted with the facts. Mind you, these manipulators will not go easily and will seek to attack or discredit those who present the truth and facts. Stand strong. Be curious and question everything. I will close with the quote and urging of the words below: 

 “Keep exploring. Keep dreaming. Keep Asking WHY.  Don’t settle for what you already know. Never stop believing in the power of your ideas, your imagination, your hard work to change the world.” - President Barack Obama 

Fred Clausen   author of The Fork in the Road Leads Home: Reflections From My Life's Journeys...A Collection of Essays and The Essential Elements of Successful Coaching