The Power of a Three Letter Word.

September 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm 2 comments

I remember when my children were small. As they started to understand there might be interesting things beyond the end of their noses the inquisition started. The questions were incessant, off-the-wall and sometimes plain embarrassing. I remember walking home one day with my son, he was three and a great talker (wonder where he got that from). We were happily dawdling and chatting about nursery school when he noticed a lady I knew. She had been ill and had problems with fluid in her legs. To aid her recovery she walked every day but this was slow and painful for her. My son watched her from behind, he asked in that loud and crystal clear voice of his, ‘Mummy, why are that lady’s legs so fat’. To say I hoped for the ground to open up and swallow me was an understatement. I quickly muttered that we had to go back to the shop to get bread so could let my face cool down. He and I chatted ‘later’ on that one.

He was also quite obsessed by death at the age of three. I have no idea how this came about but every night he would look at me with a little solemn face and say ‘Mummy, will you die while I am sleeping?’. I hated that question. Also, I didn’t want to lie to him just on the off-chance so I promised him I would do my very best to stay alive until he woke up. We would then read about Thomas the Tank and sing Postman Pat, Ride a Cock Horse and old King Cole so he would be smiling when he went to sleep.

Not all of the questions were so scary but they did illustrate the working of an exploring mind. My personal favourite will always be my son and my mother. They used to sneak off and lie on her bed reading Ogden Nash, his poetry made them both giggle. One day, they read a poem about God. This prompted ‘Nana, does God wear clothes? And, if he does wear clothes, does he have a washing machine?’. He has always had a practical bent.

However, there is one question that ends up making any parent want to tear their hair out. It is one word and the word is WHY? Let’s go to the shops. WHY? We will go for a walk. WHY? You are too little to play in the street. WHY? Because the cars are dangerous. WHY? Because cars are hard and can be fast and you may forget to watch for them. WHY? This can go on and on and on. My kids did learn that when I just said ‘Because’ the conversation was over….

It does make me wonder though. Do we not use that word enough? Should we not ask WHY more? What would you ask WHY about? I will give you some of mine….

  • WHY don’t we think more about the distribution of water. We are told about think-tanks and quangos and brilliant minds coming together; can’t they think of something that will benefit millions?
  • WHY do we go in to assist those countries that have conflict and oil but not those with conflict but no natural resources? Is this me being simple? I don’t think so.
  • WHY do those who claim to believe in peaceful deities preach hate and intolerance?
  • WHY can’t we solve starvation?
  • WHY is there war?
  • WHY don’t more people talk?
  • WHY do I have to write this list?
I don’t have the answers, we all know I don’t have the answers. I am happy for you to add your questions to this post; I am interested to see what your burning question is. We may not have the answers but at least we are asking the questions. I just hope that one of us or all of us together will figure this all out.

I close with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.


Entry filed under: Africa, Blogging, Children, Donating, Drought, Famine, Giving, Life, wheniwas8. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Where Were You? Where Does the Money Go?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ladymaryan  |  September 15, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Why don’t we understand that we need to seriously try and stop violence against women and children on our own soil before we point the finger at other countries and cultures?

    Why can’t everyone feel their own responsibility for the condition of their society instead of blaming others?

    Dear Lesley,

    another thoughtful and thought provoking post of yours.

    Thank you. xx

    • 2. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  September 16, 2011 at 6:53 am

      Good points Maryan,

      The blaming of others puzzles me. There are circumstances when it is not within your control but many times people can and should act on their responsibilities, not deflect to everyone else.

      Lesley xxx


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