For those of you who don't have kids... just sit back, relax and prepare. For those of you who have kids I am sure you run into this situation very often:
Mom, Dad, WHY does this happen? (Why is the sky blue? Why are the clouds moving? Why are ants so small? Why do pretzels have holes?... you get the picture).
Now you, as a parent, are very keen in teaching your child everything that has to do with the world and are getting excited about sharing your knowledge. So you usually have a pretty good explanation for this. And then they ask... but, WHY that?... at this stage things are getting a bit more complicated but you can still give a reasonable explanation. And then they ask WHY? again... at which point you have only one alternative, which is to buy them a toy.
Asking WHY? 3 times in a row usually gets us into trouble, but it also challenges us and our understanding of the world around us... and this is how kids learn.
Kids are naturally curious about the world around them. They ask a lot of questions and they challenge the common sense. And I believe that challenging the common sense is very important because it allows us to progress, to look at things differently and ask WHY? And this is when innovation happens.
As adults I believe we find it much more difficult to innovate. WHY? Because it is harder for us the challenge the things we take for granted. WHY? Because we find it really hard to find things that we take for granted. And WHY? Because we take them for granted.
As kids we are natural innovators, but something happens between early childhood an adulthood that changes that.
Picasso once said: "All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up."