Why is it so rewarding to ask questions?

Shortly after children learn to talk, they start asking Why.

Why is the sky blue? Why does that man have funny hair? Why do I have to go to bed? Why can’t I have a kitten?

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They’re certainly not rhetorical questions. When a child asks something, they expect answers with all the fervency of an determined interrogator.

Why? Well it’s what children do. It’s how they learn. It’s the way in which they make sense of the world around them (we hope).

Unfortunately like a lot of the stuff that came naturally to us as kids, we can be inclined to stop asking questions. Perhaps we feel our learning days are behind us, especially if our memories of school days are less than rosy.

But equating learning solely with school is almost certainly unhelpful. We didn’t, for instance, need the structure of teachers and classes in order to learn before we were old enough to start school, did we?

In much the same way, we have the wherewithal to keep learning long after we’ve hung up our school uniforms, and acquiring knowledge (sometimes simply for its own sake) is a fine contributor to maintaining a positive mindset.

When your mood is low it can be hard not to ruminate, turning problems over and over in your mind. But when your curiosity gets the better of you, causing you to hunt out answers to whatever’s bugging you, you’ll be inclined to forget your worries, if only for a while.

So why is the sky blue? Try Google. It has 302 million results for that particular question.

5 thoughts on “Why is it so rewarding to ask questions?

  1. One of my son’s first questions was looking up at the sky one evening….”why are the stars round not star shaped?” Great question!. I’ve started questioning a people a lot more….. it makes for more enlightening and interesting conversations. Thankyou x

  2. One of my son’s first questions was looking at the sky one evening….”why are the stars round not star shaped?” Great question!. I’ve started questioning people a lot more….. it makes for more enlightening and interesting conversations. Thankyou x

  3. I love this reminder. Getting stuck in our own heads can be so limiting….so world collapsing. We start to believe this is all there will ever be. But to start learning something new, anything really, to just start asking, can open our minds to the vastness of the world around us. It goes way beyond distracting or breaking patterns. I think it adds parts of the world back into our sphere of experience. People too. And I’ll swear there’s some study out there about this; that activating those learning centers of the brain bring curiosity on board and curiosity, that particular mind set, is more open and available and just FEELS better than any of the stress response states like anxiety and depression. Perhaps it even activates some of those feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters. I’ll bet it does….

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