Why is the world Round?Originating from Old English hwī, hwȳ ‘by what cause’, instrumental case of hwæt ‘what’, of Germanic origin, the Oxford Dictionary defines the word “why” as: for what reason or purpose.

Why is a question that has intrigued us from the moment we could reason, could think, could communicate. How often have you heard a three year old ask, “WHY is the sky blue”, “WHY do I need to go to bed”, “WHY does daddy need to take medicine every day, is he sick”, “WHY do I need to brush my teeth” progressing to “WHY are there ‘monsters’ in my mouth (plaque). If there were no monsters, I would not need to brush my teeth”. The question of WHY surrounds us.

As we grew older, we questioned, “WHY is he bullying me”, “WHY am I always picked last for the team at recess.”, “WHY is the teacher always so mean to me (after all the world revolves around us and we do not see the teacher being equally as tough on everyone else), “WHY does daddy need to take medicine every day, will I need to take medicine every day too, when I grown up?”, “WHY did she love me today, and dating Johnny tomorrow?”, “Why is the sky blue?” Why is one of those questions that has haunted us, and will continue to haunt and intrigue our imagination, curiosity, and need to know and learn until the day we die.

As adults, our question of why becomes more profound and more troubling, more serious, framed around love, or careers, emotion. Questions of WHY, “WHY do I hate my job” (I actually love my job just for the record), “WHY do people not hang up the towel after their shower”, “WHY is my pint of beer never filled to that ‘official’ line”, “WHY does it rain every time you set up a camp site, and again when you are taking it down”, “WHY do we keep making the same mistakes in life”, “WHY does she love me”, “WHY do I need to experience the joys of Crohns and diabetes and take medication every day”, “WHY did he or she get the promotion over me”, and truthfully, “WHY is the sky blue”. After all, it is the three year old hanging off of our ankles, that insists an answer through a “Daddy, why? Daddy why? Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, *tugg* *tugg*, DADDDDDDDY”, that reminds us that we never quite figured out the answer to that question.

So Why is the Sky Blue?

Sunlight is made up of all the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The gas molecules in the atmosphere interact with the sunlight before the light reaches our eyes.

The gas molecules in the atmosphere scatter the higher-energy (high frequency) blue portion of the sunlight more than they scatter the lower-energyred portion of the sunlight (this is called Rayleigh scattering, named for the physicist Lord John Rayleigh). The Sun appears reddish-yellow and the sky surrounding the Sun is colored by the scattered blue waves.

When the Sun is lower in the horizon (near sunrise or sunset), the sunlight must travel through a greater thickness of atmosphere than it does when it is overhead, and even more light is scattered (not just blue, but also green, yellow, and orange) before the light reaches your eyes. This makes the sun look much redder. (http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/planets/earth/Skyblue.shtml)

Pondering the Question of Why?

So why ask the question at all? The truth is, I was driving home tonight from work and you being to shake your head at yourself, your choices, I suppose, simply, your life. Why did we turn left, choose glasses over contacts, have an sweet with your coffee, give a good friend a second, third, forth, fiftieth chance. Why do we make the decisions we do? Is the answer as simply as….. (you know what I am going to say) …. “because?” Maybe life is not so complicated after all, maybe if you explore all of the simple why’s in life, answering the more difficult ones becomes easier? Just maybe? So what do we have to loose? If nothing else, it is an exploration into the question of “WHY”.

So feel free to jump in and give it your two cents…..

 

9 COMMENTS

  1. Mark, I’m so happy you put all these thoughts into words. It’s a wonderful post. ‘Why’ is still my instinctive reaction to date, and in fact irritates a bunch of people, while helping to open my mind by understanding things as they’re; including the people who don’t ask why anymore.
    I’ll be back here to read it again and again! Thanks!!
    PS. I thought you were Swiss. Sorry!

    • Thank you, thank you for the warm compliments. I have to agree with you, the world too comfortable with complacently, in our lives, our relationships, in the world around us, and we certainly do not take the time to stop and ask “why” the world is as it is. How can we improve as people, how can we learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of other if we do not take a step back and ask the question. Please feel free to give my little ramble a reread any time or include it in a reply post of your own.

      As for being Swiss, that would not be so bad! Actually come to think of it, my step mother is swiss, and so are my step siblings (although havr never visited the country), so you are not entirely off track. :-). I think I led the confusion with presuming the picture was local to yourself.

    • Hi Sandi: I am very am glad you enjoyed it – it was equally as fun writing. Now to live up to my original plan and add to the series as we always have so many questions in our lives.

  2. Why do I like this post so that I had to drop a comment?? Because it is a post on ‘WHY’. I was wondering why couldn’t I think of coming up with a great post just using a simple curious question like why!!
    Haha.. I was kinda over doing it I guess 😀 I liked your post 🙂

    • Over doing it, impossible. An interesting question, now isn’t it? The truth is that I have been meaning to write more under the topic … However, for now, as along as it makes others pause, think, ponder, I will consider it a success.

    • Thank you for the compliment — and it is true, I was using a poor Squirrel that danced (successful) between a few cars last night to help re-emphasize the merits of looking both ways to my four year old. As we are human, we question life, consequence, choice – it makes us accountable to ourselves, and the world around us. As for the Squirrel, was getting to the other side of the road, that important, worth the risk? For us humans — I am more curious to what was going through its head??!?

      Back to the @ — from the top right of the WordPress.com website, hover over our picture and choose settings. Check the section that says Web Address — I think the error may be there. This is where we set the link for the website that comes up if I click your name (Heatafire).

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