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Why Do It If You Don't Know Why?

It takes an open mind to experience something new and invigorating.

Lately, I was reflecting on some of the things we do as a civilized society when I realized that most of the things we are so accustomed to, or things that are acceptable as the norm in our society today, were introduced by someone at some point in history and usually for specific reasons.

This led me even further into questioning why we do the things we do and if the things we do on a daily basis are justified when viewed through the lenses of our situations and the context we find ourselves in from time to time. Now, let's look at a couple of examples in personal and professional contexts.

Challenge what's challenging you


Let me give you a hint here. Have you ever considered why a wife is expected to change her last name when she marries? I did and my discovery was quite revealing!

Before the introduction of the name change for married women, last names were not even all that popular or considered important. People went by their first names. Interesting, I know. The concept of a wife taking her husband’s name became a thing in the 9th century when lawmakers debated the issues of legalities surrounding personhood, family, and marriage, which led to the requirement for women to assume the husband’s surname as their own as she’s now considered “one” with her husband (The History Behind Maiden vs Married Names).

A wife is indeed and should be considered one with her husband but does this really justify the establishment of a name change or the continuance of this tradition? This is why I ask why. But most importantly, I hope to bring to the surface the idea that traditions of this fashion are in no way compulsory or binding, especially when you become educated about their origins.

It takes an open mind to experience something new and invigorating


How many times have you cursed this system in your thoughts? Be honest. I have many times. When we look at our society, we see systems, rules, and processes, and not all of them are bad or faulty. But when it comes to creating an environment where people can flourish and be productive, a set and rigid system will often do more damage than good. And that is my thought on this industrial “revolutionary" idea that propagated the 8 hour work days in the 18th century, out of a demand to regulate working hours as the industry grew.

In my experience and interaction with people, I have found that what most people hate isn’t work but when they are required to work. Nature has its own course and timing. Put a system with little or no regard for natural order of things into place and you are met with an opposition born out of the natural instinct for survival.

As a matter of fact, a handful of poor living habits can be attributed to the demands of the 9-5 system, which forces people to compress the allocation of time and attention to healthy habits and living and focus more on fulfilling the stringent obligations of the workday.

Millennials are now rapidly ending this killer of a system, replacing it with more flexible and healthier work options and environments. And as many researchers have observed, there is a burst of creativity and productivity when workers operate outside of or around the 9-5 system.

What most people hate isn't work but when they are required to work

This is not a cry to be lazy but a call to understanding how some of the things we do are detrimental to our existence and evolution as humans, especially when we accept them without asking why.

There’s no limit to the questions that can be asked about most if not all of our “adopted” ways of living and I would encourage you to be a little more curious.

It takes an open mind to experience something new and invigorating.

Challenge what’s challenging you and ask why when you don’t know why. We stop growing when we stop learning. And whatever you do, participate with knowledge.

Tosin Adewumi
The All-Round You | Passion Reveals Purpose

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