Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Do you know "why?"

A husband of many years walked into the kitchen and noticed that his wife was making corn bread in a frying pan. He asked her why did she make corn bread that way. She responded because her mother did it that way. Curious he went to his mother-in-law and asked why did she make corn bread in a frying pan. She responded because here mother did it that way. Even more curious he went in search of the grandmother and asked her why she made corn bread in a frying pan and she responded, "Because we didn't have an oven."

Isn't kind of amusing that we can watch others do things and without even fully understanding why, we may repeat those same habits, beliefs or ideas in our own lives. We simply do it, because that's how it was always done. We don't question the "why" or even if it makes good sense in some cases. If it was good enough for them, then... But, was it really good enough for them, or did they also fall into the mindset of, "Repeated Generational Behavior."

In the above anecdote, the "why" belonged to the grandmother. She had a good reason for doing what she did and a clear understanding of why she did it. Through observation, the daughter and the mother repeated the behavior without questioning the validity of the behavior. From one watching the other, over time that behavior became one that was repeated from one generation to the next.

Now it would be great if all repeated behavioral patterns were as simple and tasty as corn bread. However in most cases it's not. Many of us go through life repeating behavior that we don't truly understand. You too may be making corn bread in a frying pan. Not that it's anything wrong with doing so, however would it be a bad thing to take the time to find out "why?" Not all behavioral patterns were meant to be nor should they be repeated.

Doesn't it make sense to know why you take the time and energy to do something other than to simply go through life doing things just because someone else did it that way?

1 comment:

Downes said...

On the other hand, cornbread actually tastes better when made in a frying pan...