Question everything

April 3, 2018

An open letter to my daughter:

Dear Nova,

Ever since I could remember, I’ve been curious about how things work.  For example, I remember when I would break apart a telephone handset, just to see the wires inside, then put the phone back together so I wouldn’t get trouble if I broke it.

Today I still like taking things apart and putting things together.  Things like pens, computers, IKEA furniture, LEGO sets. It’s just so fascinating to see how things work. This fascination has lead me to my current day job.

Currently, I work as a customer success specialist for Webflow.  What I do is help others with their websites or issues with Webflow. It’s just like taking things apart but with more empathy and understanding since you’re not doing it for yourself, but for someone else.

As I watch you grow, I can see this same curiosity in you. Instead of playing with or eating your toys, you’re more interested in how they work. When you play with your xylophone, you tilt your head as if you’re trying to understand why each different metal bar has a different tone.  When I put you on top of a slide, you’re more interested in the shiny screws than going down the slide. When we turn on the bubble making machine, you’d rather fiddle with the machine itself than run after the bubbles.

Curiosity is a beautiful thing and I want to tell you now don’t ever let go of that curiosity and question everything.

 

If ever you have a question about anything, write it down. Always keep a running list of questions until you run out of questions.

For starters, you might have questions like:

  • “why is the sky blue?”
  • “why can’t we breathe underwater?”
  • “what does [word] mean?”
  • “why are boys gross and have cooties?”
  • “why is this person mean to me?”

Then maybe later in life you’ll have more questions like:

  • “Where do babies come from?”
  • “How did you and mom meet?”
  • “When can I wear makeup?”
  • “Why do I have to go to school?”

Even later in life you’ll continue to have even more questions. Maybe those will be like:

  • “Why did [name] break up with me?”
  • “Did people really have to manually drive a car?”
  • “Why can’t [thing] be easier to use?”
  • “How do I prepare for college?”

Any question that comes to mind, no matter how big or small it is. Just write it down. Then every night we’ll research the answers to your questions together. Making this a habit will help you understand your life, other people and everything around you better.

Life can be scary at times.

When there is something presented to you that you’ve never experienced before, you may first fear it. This is natural. Fear is usually created by something that is not yet known to you.  To conquer whatever it is that you're afriad of, start by questioning it and then learning from it.

 

Lastly, remember that the internet is a beautiful tool that holds humanity’s knowledge. If your mom and I are not with you to help research a question, use the internet to find the answers and provide new answers so your future and other’s futures won’t be as scary.

As for my question that I’m writing down now…

“What will you become?”

Love you so much,

Dad