“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
How much of you is really you? Your thoughts are your true essence. But do you really think thoughts or do you replay the thoughts of others?
B.F. Skinner thought we were merely programed bundles of learned responses.
“5% of the people think;
10% percent of the people think they think;
and the other 85% would rather die than think.”
― Thomas Edison
The general goal of thinking is to “figure out the lay of the land” in any situation we are in.
We all have multiple choices to make. We need the best information to make the best choices.
“Poirot," I said. "I have been thinking."
"An admirable exercise my friend. Continue it.”
― Agatha Christie, Peril at End House
What is really going on in this or that situation? Are they trying to take advantage of me? Does so-and-so really care about me?
Am I deceiving myself when I believe that . . .? What are the likely consequences of failing to . . .?
If I want to do . . . , what is the best way to prepare for it? How can I be more successful in doing . . .?
Is this my biggest problem, or do I need to focus my attention on something else?
"The world is what it is. It don't pay no never mind to what we think it is. We mistake a shark for a guppy, we get ate."
- Samuel McCord
What have you learned about how you think? Did you ever study your thinking?
What do you really know about how to analyze, evaluate, or reconstruct your thinking?
Where does your thinking come from? How much of your thinking is vague, muddled, inconsistent, inaccurate, illogical, or superficial?
Are you, in any real sense, in control of your thinking? Do you know how to test it?
Do you have any conscious standards for determining when you are thinking well and when you are thinking poorly?
If anyone asked you to teach them what you have learned, thus far in your life, about thinking, would you really have any idea what that was or how you learned it?
“Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits...”
― A.A. Milne
Be on the lookout for questions. The ones we ask. The ones we fail to ask. Look on the surface. Look beneath the surface.
Listen to how people question, when they question, when they fail to question. Look closely at the questions asked.
What questions do you ask, should you ask?
Examine the extent to which you are a questioner, or simply one who accepts the definitions of situations given by others.
Be on the lookout for reasonable and unreasonable behaviors — yours and others. Look on the surface. Look beneath the surface.
Listen to what people say.
Look closely at what they do. Notice when you are unwilling to listen to the views of others, when you simply see yourself as right and others as wrong.
But above all, try to stay a child in your heart and mind ...
This post is dedicated to the genius of Bill Watterson.
In true gratitude.
The extended GOTHAM trailer: