Dear Delightful Daughters,
At the ripe age of two-and-a-half, you are just beginning to explore the wonderful world of “Why.” While I expect, at times, to become frustrated by your incessant questioning of everything you see and hear, I do truly hope that you will stay curious forever.
Curiosity will take you far, much further than acceptance and blind obedience could ever hope to bring you. Most of our advancement as a species has depended on our natural penchant for curiosity, the pursuit of a better way of life or greater understanding of our world. Aristotle and Charles Darwin challenged assumptions made by the society of their times and I implore you to do the same. Any time that you feel something isn’t right, something isn’t just or humane, or simply doesn’t make logical sense, stand up and ask “Why?” And if you don’t get an answer that satisfies you, keep digging. Push for the answers and if you can’t find them, make your own. I have questions of my own, things I am curious about and I am looking for the answers. Why is there still a pay gap for women? Why is the wealth gap expanding? Why are so many people in debt? Why does society encourage us to buy things we don’t need?
At your age, I expect to hear more age-appropriate questions. Why do I have to eat my dinner? Why do I have to go to bed so early? Why does my sister get the bigger piece of cake?
And as you get older: Why does my sister have more friends than me? Why do I have to do my homework? Why do I have to listen to my parents? Why am I judged for my physical appearance more than my intelligence?
At times your curiosity will lead you to issues bigger than yourself. Why haven’t we found a cure for cancer? Why do people think it’s OK to litter, to pollute, to mistreat the environment? Why are people racist, sexist, ageist or homophobic? Why don’t more people care about these issues?
I commit to you that I will do my best to answer your questions. When I don’t have the answers, I will help you seek them. If you are passionate in your curiosity but are met with “that’s just the way it is,” I will work hand-in-hand with you to dig deep. Where change is needed, we will bring it.
Curiosity will take you far, and I’ll be right by your side.
This post is the first in a series called Generation to Generation (#gen2gen). The idea for this series was born out of a desire to pass on little nuggets of life advice for future generations. Not all of these posts will be written by me, in fact I hope to include many more from my family, friends and readers. If you have a little nugget of life advice (serious, inspirational, humorous or elsewise) you’d like to submit, please contact me.