Sunday, May 12, 2013
Some "What if...?" questions caught my attention today, so I'd like to engage in a little speculation. All of these questions except the last one are taken from a page in which children in the UK were asked to come up with questions.
I think this is a cool exercise for everybody, and it's fun to get kids to ask questions like this. I like to encourage kids to supply their own answers, because they need to learn to figure some things out for themselves. It's up to parents and teachers to model this kind of if-then thinking for kids.
Q: What if money grew on trees?
A: It would be worthless. Nobody would want your money because they would have their own money. There would be no incentive to work, which would mean that products would stop being made, anyway, and eventually there would be nothing to buy.
Q: What if there were no schools?
A: People would have to learn from life, and I guarantee that the lessons would be much harder. We've already had times like that in the past, and while life went on, human beings didn't make much progress, and life didn't change very fast. Girls learned how to cook and sew and keep house from their mothers. Boys learned how to farm, make tools, and build their homes from their fathers. People learned specialized jobs by being an apprentice to a master. People never stop learning. It's only the way that they learn that has changed.
Q: What if you could see what people were thinking?
A: We would certainly start to think differently, wouldn't we? Perhaps we would all become more honest, or perhaps we would invent some way to hide our thoughts. What are you thinking now, and would you be embarrassed if I knew?
Q: What if there were no police?
A: There would be nobody to catch the thief who stole your money. There would be nobody to help keep traffic orderly during rush hour. There would be nobody to call when you are in trouble. You would have to solve all your own problems.
Q: What if you grew every day?
A: You do grow every day. You just can't see it. You don't always grow up. Sometimes you grow bigger. Sometimes you grow in other ways besides physically: You grow emotionally and mentally and spiritually. You never stop growing. But to take your question literally, if we continued to grow physically every day, we would soon be too big for the earth, and then what would happen?
Q: What if your dreams came true?
A: Your dreams cam come true. In fact, your dreams are true – they are true experiences in the worlds of spirit. You can bring some of them out here in the physical, but it takes intention and perseverance and hard work. Your bad dreams give you the chance to learn how to solve problems in the inner worlds before you have to solve them out here in physical life.
Q: What if it was never cold?
A: There are places in the world where it is never cold. You can visit one or more of those places when you are old enough and have the money to travel. Warm places have their own problems, though. Bugs are bigger in warm places, and you have to learn to like sweating a lot.
Q: What if we could stay up all night?
A: You can, and perhaps you will when you are older. But know that you will eventually fall asleep, and you will probably be crabby and cranky the next day. That's what happens to adults. If you didn't get some sleep for more than one day, you would start to go crazy. Your body and your mind need sleep. Soul never sleeps, though.
Q: What if there was nothing round?
A: This is a hard-ball question. We would have a heck of a time getting anywhere, because the wheel has allowed us to build machines for transportation. The wheels get us where we want to go as quickly and comfortably as possible. Lots of machines have gears that are round. All of those machines wouldn't exist. Look around you and think about all the things that are round. Some things would exist, but they would be different shapes. Other things could not exist if there were nothing round.
Q: What if humans couldn't think of "what if" questions?
A: We would not be able to imagine anything that didn't already exist, and we would not be able to invent anything new. Life would be pretty boring. :-)