In today’s world, it’s probably risky as hell to make a big, generic reference and think that you’re being accurate. You may hear someone saying people don’t care about this or that, everyone thinks this is good, that is bad or nobody would ever do such a thing – if you’re still capable of having an innocent mindset, though there’s a merit for positivity we can’t turn a blind eye to. But here’s a fact: curiosity is a blessing and a curse, and just to keep it real, sensitivity and wonder aren’t seen as paramount skills to develop when the high stakes of life come to play. You can disagree, but you know the slogan: just do it. What on Earth you’re supposed to do or what you actually wanted to be doing isn’t so important after all. Go with the flow, be like water, don’t worry, be happy. Again, I know it’s generic, but I think it’s fair to say that pretty much everyone who’s still too young and sort of fueled by criticism but old enough to start making their own mind will realize that this is bullshit. So you can’t just sit with a seventh grader and ask where they want to see themselves in five years, pass judgment and disregard everything they say, but it doesn’t mean they haven’t thought about it. The question is: did you know better?
We’re always asking questions. Some of us are more inquiring, prone to investigation and analysis; others are either super practical or awfully lazy. But it’s not about what you want to know: your grades aren’t going to solve most of your real struggles, and that’s just a practical example. Fast forward to that job interview you didn’t land because you forgot to say you learned a lot in college, and you’ll find out later that it wasn’t about your education at all. It doesn’t matter if you’re available or prepared. You have a strong vision, you’ve got the right talk, but where did you buy that shirt? Alright, you’ve got what it takes according to this singular person who granted you with a chance of a lifetime. Others don’t, and the questions are entirely different: how am I going to get to the end of the month? Why are these lemons so damn expensive? If I get my kid a cheap pair of pants, will it be a reason for bullying?
No doubt that stuff is going to stay in the back of your head for a while. Eventually, though, we look at the beauty of the simple interactions we get throughout the day and everything seems to make more sense, even if it doesn’t really. I don’t know you, but I can totally ask how you’re doing. Works great in life. I do know you, I’ve known you for my whole life, and I actually mean it when I ask how you’ve been. There’s beauty in that too. No matter what stage of life we’re at, it’s always good to have someone there to ask us the simple questions, and maybe the difficult ones are going to come from strangers, and we have to decide if that’s okay or not. Texting to ask what someone is doing is a lot easier than asking what they like about you. On a different level, asking why makes you grow as a person, but too much of that can make you desperate and lonely. We’re all searching for answers, some of them will be temporary, in case we ever find them, but the truth is that we all like to think there’s a moment where everything’s going to be okay because you don’t have to ask anything to know how you’re supposed to feel or act, whether it’s in a good relationship, a good song, a good book, a place you like to be. We just want to know how to get there.