Sometimes I think that it is better to never ask why.
As I was working out in the gym this AM, this song (Try) came up in my playlist. I have sung the lyrics 100 times, but today, I questioned the thought behind this lyric. In the song, it is about a love affair that is dying….
Ever wonder ’bout what he’s doin’?
How it all turned to lies?
Sometimes I think that it’s better
To never ask why
Where there is desire, there is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame, someone’s bound to get burned
But just because it burns doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try, try, try
So, given my propensity to not lose the lesson when you have lost, I started to question if there are other opportunities in life where it is wiser to not inquire as to the reason behind a disappointing (or devastating) set back. Certainly if you want to learn the lesson, it feels as if you would be wisest to always ask why. But, in doing so, you open your mind to negative influence. Perhaps that decision was made with intelligence and forethought and as a result of aspects of something you did, you are or you emote, the decision did not go in your favor.
But the converse may also be true. Perhaps the person you wish to ask why of, is the issue/problem. In fact, perhaps their distorted view of reality is a negative that is the essence of the reason why. And, if they have issues, it could be very likely that it is their issues that are the problem, but you would hear their response and perhaps take something they said to heart and it could demoralize you for a very long time.
Take the example in which you might be interviewing for a position that you are so desirous of achieving. In that situation, you might find yourself being interviewed by a prospective boss, who is insecure at how intelligent you are, and as a result, opts not to hire you, for job security reasons. When you ask them why, they are likely to give you any one of many distorted responses. If this was something of tremendous importance to you and their response fed one of your insecurities, you could harbor those thoughts and fears for years and perhaps never aim for something so high ever again…. And to what end? It was actually all about their fear of how amazing you truly are!
People cover their own insecurities with bravado. A veneer layer of attitude designed to deflect any negative impression of them that they believe others may form. This bravado expresses itself in many cases as an arrogant approach to things, starting with an air of superiority and displaying itself through condescension and other ugly characteristics.
We are all works in progress. We are frail at times and rigidly strong in others. We are continuously formulating our own personal impression of ourselves, and working to improve that impression wherever we may. In that pursuit, opportunities come along in which we are given a chance to see ourselves through the eyes of others.
Raising money for Sizzle has been such a quest for me. I have been lectured, dismissed, cast aside, ignored, talked down to and laughed at. One of my friends has shared that their friends see me as arrogant and incapable of carrying out what I am proposing to do. In the course of these continuous wastes of my time, I have found a means to go way beyond the proverbial stiff upper lip. As they start to lecture me about how big the project is, or how complicated it is, or how impossible it will be to pull it off, I found great solace in listening politely and quietly while they mansplain* to me about how Bezos started with books and that the Sizzle model is just too big to be capable of working. You might think that in these moments, I tune them out and only hear the wah, wah, wah, of Charlie Brown’s parents speaking to me. But the converse is true. I did not ask for a why. I never do. You either want to invest or you do not, I never wish to sell an investment, ever. So as they explain to me how and why it will never work, internally all I am hearing is their personal confession that they are neither intelligent enough nor have enough guts to take on such a task, so their reaction is to dismiss it and project failure upon it. *Mansplaining is when a man condescends to you and explains something rudimentary as if you would not be capable of knowing it yourself with your pretty little mind.🤣
Outwardly, I thank them for their time and their thoughts. Inwardly, I smile at the fact that I showed them something so vast as to proverbially knock them on their butts with fear and their comments are a direct confession of such.
Coming back to Pink’s lyrics, in a personal relationship, asking why can be a very painful choice. And the answer you get can be any one of 31 flavors, none of which may bear true resemblance to the actual truth. So the answer you get to why will most likely not be the real reason anyway.
When you lose, do not lose the lesson. But sometimes the lesson must come solely from you and asking why will not deliver you anything of value and could actually provide you something that will do you far more harm than just walking away, licking your wounds and moving on.