Friday, December 28, 2012


Quick announcement: For the Spring Semester, starting in December, due to authors traveling abroad (to Italy, South Africa, France, and more!), Unleashed is being published once a month. This semester, we will include guest articles written by people of interest: musicians, wise parents and more surprises to come!

Coming to you from Spain... 

Something bad happened. How did it go wrong? How did it happen? When? Who was there? Who was involved? How did it get there? Who told you that?

Something good happened. This is so great! How did you do it? When were you there? What is it? When did you learn how to do this? Who is he? Is she the one?

You know the six question words: who, what, when, where, why, and how. But, when things happen in our lives we usually focus on the who, what, when, where, and how’s of it; we seldom ask “why?” Is there a reason we avoid this question? One reason is because this question generally does not have a simple, concrete answer.  And people like simple, concrete answers.

Asking why something happened allows us to explore not just the details of an event, illness, or occurrence, but also how we feel about it, and what role it plays in our lives and in the shaping of our character.   

Some of life’s most important questions do not have simple or concrete answers. But that doesn’t mean we should avoid seeking answers to them.  Complexity and uncertainty should be embraced, in part because it is precisely in these arenas that you allow yourself to explore your own suppositions, curiosities, hidden fears and insecurities. Between black and white lies an infinite spectrum of grey; between the known and the unknown lies the imagination. But to this terrain, you must ask yourself and commit to answering the question, “why”?

Why did this happen? Am I supposed to learn something from it? Is there an obvious life lesson staring me in the face that I simply do not see? Or am I choosing to blatantly ignore? Am I afraid of the answer? Did I learn something about myself from this? Did I just find something I am really passionate about? Was the (e.g.) occurrence attributable to love, or perhaps the absence of love?  

Maybe there is no simple, concrete answer. But maybe there is. Or, perhaps there are many equally plausible alternative reasons. But until you ask yourself, you’ll never know the answers to any of the important ‘whys’ of your life, e.g.: whether you traveled to learn about another culture, or to learn about your own self; whether you’re mad because of something he said or you’re really just frustrated with yourself; or whether you gave the street musician your spare change because you thought he needed it or to tell him that his music just made your day.

So ask away! Ask questions without simple, concrete answers and see what you discover. Let your questions lead and teach you. And, don't be afraid to explore the darker sides or yourself or life, because though it doesn't seem like it, it will give you light.

Feel free to contact columnists or Unleashed at 
The Words of Wisdom Column, Lia Vosti:

Lia Vosti is an undergraduate at Santa Clara University, majoring in Bioengineering. Growing up together, her words always made the most obscure situations crisp and clear. She is the up and coming Renaissance woman, able to give homely advise after a day in the lab, and wise beyond her years.  

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