Two Thirds

This is a follow-up to my most recent post. I’d suggest that you read that one before this one, but hey – it’s your life…

As I mentioned toward the end of that last post, the notion of the ‘Third Why’ is helpful as a means of constructing and organizing the meaning of lots of things around us. For me, the first thought that came to mind in hearing the quip had to do with that pivotal moment at which I pretty much decided that I was done with the corporate rat race, but there’s another application of the same idea that I’m interested in exploring.

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The Third Why

On a podcast I listened to recently, a far more articulate speaker than I summarized the familiar experience of being interrogated by a preschool-aged child, in the following way: “the first ‘why’ is easy to answer, the second one is usually a bit more challenging, and by the third ‘why’ you have only one option, which is to buy the child an ice cream.”

How true. As the child strips ruthlessly away at your layers of flimsy logic, such a conversation has the potential to devolve into dark, nihilistic territory. Alas, the chicken may have crossed the road because he didn’t have a whole lot else to live for…

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