Why?

I was visiting with an old friend of mine several months back. He now has a couple kids, including a daughter around three or four who had entered the exasperating stage of constantly asking the question, “why?” She would see a police officer arresting someone on a television show, and ask “why?” You might state that the person being arrested head stolen a loaf of bread. She would reply, “why?” You might proffer a theory that the person being arrested was out of work because of the recession. She would ask, “why?” You would explain that jobs become scarce during an economic downturn. She would ask, “why?”

I was reflecting on this experience, and it struck me that out of the classic quintet of who, what, where, how and why, why is the most philosophically sophisticated — it really gets to the core of man’s desire to explain the universe. What is that? It’s a sandwich — no further questions are needed. Where is daddy? He’s in the bedroom, case closed. But “why?” can never really be answered. From the primitive tribal savage who invents a god of weather to the modern philosopher who applies pretzel logic to argue for moral absolutes embedded in the universe… each is attempting (and failing) to answer “why?”

Towards the end of my visit, my friend’s daughter asked “why?” once again. I replied, “There is no answer why. We live in a rudderless, morally blank universe devoid of any meaningful cause. You may grow to adulthood, find love, have children, but ultimately it will all be meaningless. Eventually you will grow old and die, and your flesh and bones will turn to dust and absorbed into the cold, inky black, infinite night.”

“Why?” she replied.

1 Response to “Why?”


  1. John Saleeby

    Darryl Hall from Hall And Oates has a TV Show called “Darryl’s House” where R And B Musicians drop by to “jam” and “kid around”. I saw an episode with Smokey Robinson and Tod Rundgren. I can’t believe I watched that shit.