There’s an old story of a child who sits down to breakfast with his father and starts asking a million philosophical questions: “Why does the world exist?” … “What happens after we die?” … “Where do people come from” … “If God made us, who made God?” … and the father, struggling to answer all of them, finally gets fed up and shouts “Oh, shut up and eat your donut!”

That might not be the most effective parenting style, but sometimes we all need to shut up and eat our donuts. I, as much as anyone, love to ruminate over the questions of my life until I’m blue in the face, but what does that earn me? More questions and a lot less energy to actually do the things I was thinking about.

You aren’t alive so that you can return to heaven and write God a well-documented research paper about this world. Sometimes the goal is not to find the meaning in your work (or life, or relationships) but to accept that the meaning is deeper than your conscious understanding and to do it anyways. Enjoying it – not figuring it out – is where the real answers can be found.

Donuts don’t exist so that you can figure out why they have a hole, they exist so that you can enjoy eating them.

[A quick aside for the scientists who now hate me: It might seem like I’m arguing against the scientific process that is built on asking questions. Not quite. Asking the questions is great as long as the asking is, in itself, the fun part. The trouble comes when you expect to find meaning in the answers…]

2 Responses to “Oh, Shut Up and Eat Your Donut!”

  1. Lucky kid! How come my dad never gave me donuts for breakfast?!


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