Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Skepticism Is A Virtue

[Posted by reader_iam]

The essence of which is asking questions.

[On the way to the bathtub for my 6-year-old son, at the end of a crazy day in a crunched week and it's become clear it's only gonna get more so, here on out, for the most part, until at least Valentine's Day:]

"Mom, we have to talk about a question."

"Well, we may have to do that tomorrow. It's past your bedtime and you haven't taken--"

"But, Mom, I have a question."

"Well, repeat it in your mind and ask me tomorrow!" [Half-day of school tomorrow, with a special program the main item on the morning menu.]

"But M-o-o-m, I need to know what's accurate or not about something!!! If I don't ask, I won't know what's true."

[Pause. Eye-narrowing sense of caution battles with potential teachable-moment imperative.]

"O-o-o-o-K. What's the question?"

"Is there really such a thing as belly-button lint, or is that just another one of those myths?"

Sheesh. Where the heck do these things come from? And does it ever get easier to answer such things seriously, and with a straight face, while laughing hysterically inside at that which seems not just weird, but even parody from the vantage point of "so-called" maturity?

Well, at least he's got--or so it seems to me--the right mental attitude, and a certain insistence on asking questions that he feels will help him sort things out.

Belly-button lint: Reality Or Myth?

Inquiring minds want to know.