Ripples #955: Critical Thinking.
Sep 11, 2017
I don’t want you to think like me,
I just want you to think.
-unknown, shared by Kelly in Menasha, WI
A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all-knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.
-Eleanor Roosevelt, via values.com
As we continue to grapple with numerous significant challenges around the country and around the world, it is as important as ever that we tend to these matters with both our hearts and our heads. We all need to feel things deeply and express our concerns passionately, of course. It is also helpful when we can access our calmer, more rational selves to help us make sense of things and choose our words and actions mindfully.
I’m concerned that too many of us remain “locked and loaded,” our lizard brains hijacked in a constant state of “fight or flight” where everyone and everything is a potential enemy that must be disarmed and/or destroyed. We are certainly living in complicated and troubling times for sure, and there is lots out there worth being frustrated and/or worried about. Still, I think our best path forward involves balancing our deep feels with critical thinking.
I invite you to assess your recent choices and see if there are areas that could benefit from an extra does of calm reason. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that instead of squelching your feelings, critical thinking may actually enhance your emotional health and increase your ability to communicate concerns in a way that feels satisfying. You may even improve your chances of influencing others, or at least helping them to better understand your perspective. Think about it, mkay?
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I’d like to extend an apology to our Canadian friends who may have felt slighted in last week’s postscript about Labor Day. A belated Happy Labour Day to you–I actually caught the error before sending, but I think I forgot to hit SAVE after the edit. Whoops!