I’ve learned a bunch of things from my three-year-old son, but the most helpful has been the power of the never-ending question.
It goes like this:
‘Daddy, why do I have to put my socks on?’
‘Because we’ve got to go out soon.’
‘Because we’re going to the cinema.’
‘Because you wanted to go and see Up.’
‘Because you liked the house with the balloons when we saw the poster.’
‘I don’t know. You liked the bright colours.’
‘Ummmm…because bright colours make you feel happy.’
‘I have no idea. Interesting question though.’
I like the fact that questions never really end. When you’re an adult you are conditioned to accept things as convention presents them, without probing further.
But that’s a crappy way to go about things.
The perpetual question ‘Why?’ is a great way of getting to the root of the matter and working out whether it should be done a certain way or reappraised and improved.
It also helps to work out questions such as illustration vs photography, or director A vs director B.
Or ‘Why have I written a blog post just like one of Dave Trott’s, only with less insight?’