Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Payments and Why, a Two Part Blog

One of my favorite US myths is that you will always have payments, specifically credit card and car payments. I often wonder who started this myth and why it has been perpetuated. I do not have a car payment and I do not have a credit card. I do have some debt but it is 100% tied to real estate. I am not better than anyone else out there. I just decided that I will NOT always have a car payment or credit card payment. I made that decision because it provides freedom.

There are lots of myths out there. I have written about many of them. One surefire way to identify a myth is to look for absolutes--you will always have a car payment. Before you blindly believe things like this, don't be afraid to ask, "why?"

Part 2
"Why?" is a dangerous question for some folks. It challenges the status quo. It makes you stop and think about your actions. It may even make you realize that you don't know why. That means you have been doing something blindly, like sheep. That makes you uncomfortable. I love "why?" If I can't come up with a good reason, then the answer has to be preference or tradition (pretty much). I am ok with those answers if, and only if, you are ok with giving me those as the reasons. If you have thought about it and your requirements are your requirements because of your preference, great. I am for it. If I want whatever it is from you, I have to go with your preference. Whats dangerous, however, is when you tell me to do something, I ask "Why?" and you have no idea. I am not ok with that. That means the action is up for debate or adjustment.

I asked "Why?" all the time growing up and I used to get frustrated with my parents for saying things like "because I said so." That was never good enough for me. Give me a reason. Even if the reason truly is, "no reason, just my preference." I think it is lazy to not give a why. Believe me, I catch myself now saying "because I said so" to my son. I acknowledge that it is laziness.

When folks ask you "why?", don't be offended, don't feel like they are challenging your authority. Perhaps they are building their own basis for understanding and trying to use you as a role model. Most kids build their sense of morality, right and wrong, from their parents. Finding out the motivation for things--the "why?" is an absolutely essential part of this moral code. Not just that you do something but why you do it is very important.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

What a fantastic point to make about asking "why" as well as being ready to give an honest answer about one's own "whys".

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