Dr Interested (part 1 of 20 in a series called, "The Moodscope Men.")

I answered the loud knock at the door to find a beaming Dr Interested on my doorstep!

"You rang?" she said, her eyes twinkling with good humour.

My relief was tangible – I'd had a tough time getting interested in anything these last few weeks, and my Moodscope scores had fallen accordingly.

"Yes, Dr," I said, "I need a cure for my lack of interest."

"I have just the prescription that'll fix that," she said, opening her Gladstone Bag.

She took out six cards, handed them to me, and said, "Meet the Kipling Boys!"

I said, "'Kipling' as in 'cake'?" (a cake manufacturer in England).

"No!" the good Dr laughed, "'Kipling' as in 'Rudyard'!"

She continued, "Whenever I need to strengthen my interest, I remember this favourite poem of mine..."

[Let me share the full poem here from Kipling's work, "The Elephant's Child."]

I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small—
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!

She sends 'em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes—
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!

The Dr and I laughed out loud together – both understanding a child's use of seven million Whys to dig deeper into any subject – usually to get something they want. This is how children stay interested and engaged.

On the cards, the Dr handed me, were six words.

"This is the cure that works for me," said Dr Interested. "Whenever I need to become more interested I ask questions beginning with what? why? when? how? where? and who?

Thanking the good Dr as she departed, I welcomed Kipling's Boys into my day, and I have to say that we had a very interesting day indeed!

A Moodscope member.

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