Everyone is either. You are a “why?” or a “why not?” person. You look at life, people, experiences, even your past through lens that say: “why did that happen,” “why me,” “why must I,” “why should we,” “why now.” Or you approach life and its opportunities and people and lessons as “why not now,” “why shouldn’t we,” “why can’t we,” “why not try, why not see, why not hope, why not go?” It’s that famous expression by George Bernard Shaw made even more “famouser” by JFK that exclaims:
“You see things and say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were . . . and I say ‘Why not?'”
Clearly, I have a bias. 🙂 And when I began reading about this and talking with a dear friend about it – I didn’t think I would have a bias. It’s like the roller coaster and the carousel, right? Either is great and vibrant and fulfilling, but you have to choose and you have to stay on your ride. Neither is actually better or more alive or objectively more human.
But this why or why not way of living, the prose v poetry approach regarding your days and choices and relationships – I do think there is a more fulfilling of the two. I find the honest, vulnerable, lively look at life – well, more alive. More attractive.
I understand that it’s important, vital even, to be critical of your choices, thoughtful and discerning of forks taken in life. I’m not advocating to throw caution to the wind and ignore everyone and everything that questions your dreams! Hardly. That would be foolish. Surround yourself with people who question, caution and present varying options. Sure.
But. Also surround yourself (and be this kind of person TO YOUR OWN SELF) with people who say yes. Who support your dreams, who grab the pom poms and cheer for your hopes and ideas. Be wary of dream busters, naysayers, bad attitudes and narrow-minded people who can’t see what you can, who can’t advocate for your future because they’re afraid of it.
Think about what your life would look like, the people you wouldn’t cherish and laugh with and delight in – if you’d always said “why.” For me that’s so easy – I have moved enough times (I hope in part to being the kind of “why not” person I’d like to be!) that I call the most interesting, varied, fantastic people my friends. 🙂 And to think I wouldn’t know them, wouldn’t share life memories and challenges and stories and triumphs! with them – had I said, “why?!” instead of “why not!” Notre Dame. Bush School. Houston. Phoenix. New Jersey. Tyler. Boise. Kathy. Jory. Michael. Chris. Megan. Melissa. Shelly and Shelly. Elizabeth. Janice. Helen. Kristy. Tabitha. Valerie. Lisa. Betsy. Diana. Laura. Brandon. Courtney. John.
I am so blessed. Why not be?