What If for a moment we set reason aside? What If for a brief second our wildest dreams were given permission to surface? In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye…
What If … that favourite 3 year old’s phrase. You know what I’m talking about. That annoying, repetitive, unstoppable, groan-inducing question that has the ability to be crazy-making some days! And then it starts all over again with the next one. Said kids are taught that they shouldn’t be so annoying, right? Stop asking so many questions, stop driving me insane, then our own resigned “What If, child” to end all the questions. What an endurance test!
Those little questions turn into bigger ones. What If the earth wasn’t square? What If we could fly in space? What If a candle wasn’t our only source of light after dark? Curiosity in its purest form, its truest state. That one question has propelled many an invention or discovery, and yet we so easily squelch it when it surfaces in our own adult minds, and way too often in the brilliant minds of our young ones.
What If we allowed ourselves the privilege of visiting that state of curiosity once in a while. What would we find there? Who would we become? What If …. we transformed our doubts into solutions, What If we allowed creativity to blossom once more? What If we set aside our ‘thinker’ for a minute and became a ‘be-er’ instead, or vice versa depending on our vice?
One of my kids uses that What If phrase almost constantly, but usually when considering worst case scenarios. Sometimes I get irritated but when my brain is functioning in some sort of capacity I try to offer a best case to ponder. It isn’t always at the tip of my tongue, but I’m grateful when I kick into gear! It can change the focus in an instant, even for me.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the What If’s, as I’m learning. In fact that very question should be encouraged at every turn. After all, What If no one had been curious or determined enough to fly a plane or discover the genius of a light bulb? Who knows what could come of our own internal questioning, what big thing we could accomplish, whose life (or lives) we could change, If we only allowed ourselves the time and energy to ponder such things. What If we actually allowed ourselves to rise to the possibilities?
And so it is, I wonder What If I just be grateful for everything – the good, the bad and the ugly – and remind myself that as I teach my kids, so should I do. Maybe it’s me who should start asking that one childlike question and see where it takes me.