The Authentic Assistant

When do we stop asking why?

Who springs to mind when you think of asking why? When do we stop?

For anyone who spends any time with small children they know their innocence and excitement and their thirst for knowledge.  

The constant stream of questions. Why seems to be the most used. 

  • Why is the sky blue? 
  • Why are our fingers different lengths? 
  • Why is the grass green? 
  • Why is dessert after dinner?
  • Why? Why? Why?


Most of these questions are amazing and very interesting and quite a few catch parents out. Of course now we can say “oh I’ll look online and find out.”

However some of these questions are not easy to answer even with the internet handy. 

The fact that children ask the questions is because they are curious and want to learn and understand. If their level of knowledge has been fulfilled they will move on to something else or lose interest. So it may only be a short answer required, and that is perfectly ok. The more questions they ask the more in depth they want to go. 

At what age do many of us lose that natural curiosity of asking why?

I am an adult who still loves to ask why? Of course not the level of children and appropriate topics and settings. We do learn some etiquette when we become adults. Most of us do anyway. Maybe that is the inner child in me and the thirst for knowledge. 

The amount of information I have gathered is phenomenal and it is surprising how quickly you can catch people out. Whether I can remember it all is another thing. 

Often with so-called professionals who give an air of authority about them, they think no one will ask them if they have convinced themselves they know what they are doing.

It is like the salesman. We have all heard the one “Sure X could sell snow to the eskimos” as in they can charm and convince anyone they are offering the solution to your problems and only they can do it.

Then, here I come with a question. Why is it done like that? For what reason is it? 

If they can answer logically and explain it in a way that makes sense to us normal people we realise ok they have an understanding of the issue and how it can be solved. Others may ponder and have to consider why it is done this way and not any other. They have been doing it for so long they have not even thought about it. 

Then you catch those who are unsure of their so-called field of knowledge. They try to charm their way out of it and basically fob you off so you don’t question their ability. 

When you manage to meet someone who knows their hobby or job you notice immediately. The spark of enthusiasm, they love being able to talk about their passion and explain it to others. 

Meet a gardener and ask them how to do things and why and the information is more meaningful and basic. They don’t have to stuff it full of keywords or information that is irrelevant. Sentences are kept short and simple and above all else logical. They know what works and what doesn’t. They know of a friend or acquaintance who knows more in that field of expertise than they do and willingly share their knowledge and experience. 

A plumber comes to do work in your home. As you are paying them to do the work you have the right to ask questions about what and why they are doing something and to explain it.

You should get an explanation of what they are planning to do and of course to give tips or advice on how to avoid this issue again. 

If you find they cannot explain why and how and for what reasons it could be the difference between finding a competent professional and the cowboy.

The importance of asking why?

It is in your best interest to understand things that are relevant to you and impact you. The maintenance of your home and garden, your health, your car, your equipment, your work, your child’s education. 

The list goes on and on. You do have the right to ask and it is in your best interest to do so.

There are people who love what they are doing and enjoy when people ask them questions about it and sharing their knowledge. They know that they can interest someone else in their passion. Or they can save customers from more serious issues. It builds up a level of trust and respect between the professional and the customer. Once that trust is there it is literally priceless.

Keeping a loyal valued customer means repeat business. The positive referrals they give to their friends, family and acquaintances is golden. 

This is free advertising for them and increasing the customer base. Who doesn’t love that? 

Talking with an animal lover or one who works saving animals, the passion you can hear and even feel in their voice says it all. 

Finding a doctor who answers your questions in a calm, easy to follow manner makes you feel valued and respected. 

Don't give up asking questions

We all lead busy lives and are all dealing with so many different things at any one time. Taking those few minutes of your time to ask a few questions to really understand things can save you a lot of time in the long run as well as stress, energy and money. 

Sometimes a short answer is all you need and that makes your decision making easier or you can move on and focus on the next thing.

Don’t lose the habit of asking why. If you don’t understand why they are doing it this way they should be able to explain it. 

Who knows what you will learn by asking the questions. If you don’t get the information that you need you are probably learning how the person is and whether they are competent in their job or not. It seems to be a win win. No one person can know everything and I find I respect the person who knows their limits and acknowledges it while stating I am not sure about that but I will find out for you. They realise they need to find out that information for themselves as well and respect you in the process. 

I’m sure you can think of someone within your contact circle who has achieved something that impressed you. How do they seem to be in control of their life? Why don’t things get to them? Maybe they have not lost that curiosity in life and have been asking questions along the way and gathering the information or contacts to go to when they require the knowledge. 

Maybe it’s time to fall back in love with asking why.