Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Ask why


Why? questions are to do with meaning, and with seeking connection to something or someone that is hopefully dependable. In my culture, two-year-olds famously as why? questions all. of. the. time. But not being at ease with why? questions, we push them towards how? questions.

How? questions are not-unimportant, and yield not-uninteresting answers, but they do not share equivalence with why? questions, and, I would suggest, are best asked on the foundation laid by why?

Why am I alive? is an essential question for our time.

The answer to, how is it that I am alive? would touch on a wide range of subjects, from biology to anthropology to socio-economics. The how? of my existence would include that my father got my mother pregnant and that she was able to carry that pregnancy to full-term (despite being thrown from a bus) and survive labour (despite having earlier, before pregnancy, gone through a coma). That, with the help of others, my parents managed to keep me alive through childhood (despite a poisonous snake dropping from a tree onto me when I was a baby) and with the support of friends I survived adolescence (despite two episodes of suicidal thoughts) to reach adulthood. That so far, I have dodged the bullet of death (despite very nearly stepping in front of a moving vehicle, through sheer absent-mindedness, on more occasions than I care to confess to you). Such stories are interesting, and they reveal evidence of connection, but they don’t reach the heart of those connections.

Asking, why am I alive? opens-up other stories, in which I am found...


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