Why not?

  • Michael Aun
    Michael Aun

George Bernard Shaw made those words famous. His actual quote: “You see things and you say, “Why?” But I dream things that never were… and I say, ‘Why not?’”

Maybe… just maybe a little second-guessing should have been part of the decision-making process we suffered through in 2020. You could extend that question by saying Why me? Why not now? When you question things to what appears to be an illogical conclusion… it makes for an interesting life.

“As long as you are thinking anyway,” as Donald Trump would say, “Why not think big?”

What is the worst that can happen? You try and you fail, or you could succeed as Trump did in 2016. However, as 2020 proved, it was not exactly a lifetime guarantee!

Bumper stickers sum things up nicely sometimes. “One day or day one. You decide!” Pretty good advice. The key to the decision is all in the mind and hands of the dreamer. The overriding question should be “Why not you?”

My twin grandsons, Cameron and Keenan, are 5 going on 20. When something of a mathematical nature comes up, Cameron, aka “Yogi” always refers all arithmetic questions to Keenan.

“He’s the numbers guy Jiddy (Arabic for grandfather).”

Keenan is the math wizard, no doubt about it. Cameron, on the other hand, is a “calculated” risktaker. His philosophy in life is simple: “Take a shot; why not? Ready, fire, aim… why not?”

Out of the mouths of babies flow lots of wisdom. After all, life itself is a risk with no guarantee of tomorrow… and no redo on yesterday’s failures. Yogi sees himself as the sun that brightens another’s day. Keenan, on the other hand, is content to be the moon, which can brighten one’s darkest hour.

Children see things much differently than their elders. Kids work for applause, not a cause. When they realize a cause is important, they take the first step to maturity. Children live their lives to “impress.” Definitely… Yogi’s mantra.

Keenan, on the other hand, is challenged most in his inability to “express.” Cameron is primarily interested in making his presence felt. Conversely, Keenan can go down the hall and have a party all by himself. His absence is felt. Only courage stands in the way.

Cameron has this tendency to hurry over stuff, while Keenan tends to linger over things… and enjoy them. Two approaches to reach a goal. Which works best? In some ways, life is but a journey from the “whys” to the “why nots.”

My doctor recently challenged me to do two things: 1. Turn off cable news. And 2. Make a “grateful” list of something or someone for which or whom you are appreciative every day.

An old speaker friend, the late Suzy Sutton, once privately told me of an exercise she goes through every year. She took a big Mason jar and cut a slice in the lid. Each day, if she has something to add to her “grateful list,” she writes it on a piece of paper and slips it through the slot of the jar.

At the end of the year, Suzy’s joyous triumph concludes as she opens the jar to remind herself of all the good things for which she was grateful over the past year.

On New Year’s Eve, she empties it out and starts the process over again.

Why not? What a terrific way to end one year and begin another.

Michael Aun is the author of “From Fear to Fame in Public Speaking!” He lives in St. Cloud.