life, philosophy

Just Think

Does anyone ever think?lookout-over-mt wm

This isn’t a complaint post about stupid or rude people. And, I’m not asking if people think about jobs, daily chores, or to set their DVR.

I mean, does anyone ever think deeply and wonder about their place in the world? Didn’t philosophers once ponder the meaning of life? Does anyone ever do that these days?

So, this is going to be one of my deeper thought blog posts.

One of the words on my blog’s subtitle is “inquire.” The context in which I mean that word is to inquire inward, or to introspect.

When there is a relationship problem between two people, do they introspect, or do they look outward to the other person and judge?

Going even deeper … does anyone ever challenge their own thoughts? More specifically, do they challenge their beliefs?

In observing the world today and all its many social issues, I can’t help but notice the stubborn close-mindedness. I’ve heard it said that we live in a “me” society, and from what I can tell, it seems that is true.path-stream-bench (575x600) wm

Back around the age of thirty, some things were going on in my life that made me question who I was in the grand scheme of things. That’s when I did it … I went on an inner quest and challenged my own belief system. It was scary, but I came out better for it.

I allowed myself to consider radical ideas. Some of those ideas literally made me nauseous. What if there was no God? What if I was a prude? What if everything I believed about who I was, wasn’t true?

I not only analyzed myself and my faith, but I questioned everything I was ever taught in school in all class subjects and also by my family environment. Did I believe these teachings because I was told to believe them, and if so, were they the truth? When I wanted to find something out about a topic, I researched it and found sources both pro and con.

I could write a series of novels about everything I learned from that process, but my personal growth is not the point of this post. To sum up my quest, I found new ways of looking at myself and the world. I learned that even my new perspective wasn’t absolute, because it could continue to change and grow.

riverside benchesMy point is that I wish more people would look inward, instead of pointing fingers outward.

I dare our entire society to challenge their own ideas and think critically.

Is there someone with whom you vehemently disagree? Challenge yourself to consider that they might be right. Research it if necessary. Really ponder their perspective.

benchstaug (608x800) wmHow is your self-esteem and where did you get it from? Do you believe you are smart, stupid, weak, strong? Where did you get your beliefs about yourself? How can you improve upon them?

Is your favorite political candidate telling the truth? How can you find out? Research it as if you’re investigating a crime. Make an informed decision.

Why watch only CNN, or only FOXnews? Why not try opening up to both perspectives? Shunning one for the other doesn’t stretch the thinking process.

Is there a God, and if so, why do you believe in one? Is it because you were told to, or have you had a profound experience to spark your faith? What if you considered inquiring about other religions to see if they held some truth?

These rhetorical questions don’t even cover half of the inner seeking I did in my thirties.

Every morning we wake up inside ourselves, which means that ultimately, it’s ourselves we have to face. Perhaps, if people stopped looking out and started looking in, they may just dig deep enough to find their soul where there is peace and compassion.

It’s just a thought.

log trckl wmYou must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Gandhi

Question with boldness [even] the existence of God; because if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. ~ Jefferson

Have you ever pondered any of these rhetorical questions? Do you think most of us are open-minded and tolerant of opposing views, or do you think we are as divided as the media portrays?

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15 thoughts on “Just Think”

  1. Very interesting thoughts here. Well written and analytical. I think that I have thought critically all my life…and spoke out, sometimes, often to the detriment to myself. Then I had to think about tact and the lack thereof. I think that the bottom line here, in my humble opinion, is the lack of civility in society today.

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    1. I was very much like that too, Linda. When I looked inward in my 30’s, I started learning to pick my battles more carefully. I’ve also tried to be tactful. I’m not always successful, but at least I’m aware and try to find different ways. Thanks for sharing your welcome insight.

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  2. Quite thought provoking… I read your post a few days ago and have been digesting it and ruminating on thoughts. One of the current media & social issues for me is the lack of even recent historical perspective and awareness. I try to understand others’ points of view but so many on social media and in the media seem to forget there are other points of view and that really not much is new here, we’re rehashing a lot of the same old stuff and not learning the lessons from the past. I try not to view things in black and white, or even shades of grey, but every hue of the rainbow, so that every thing and every one has a valid place even that with which I disagree but I have weaknesses in that I dislike greed, NIMBYism, uninformed, sensation/attention seeking and ridiculous rigid for the sake of it bias from people who can’t be bothered to exercise their minds and think, or change simply because they hate change or can’t be bothered… But in a nutshell I think most people are open minded and tolerant but those who are the noise and the squeaky wheel we all have to endure.

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    1. Hi EllaDee. In social media, people tend to hide behind anonymity and nonface-to-face confrontation. I was hoping that maybe with my tags, some close-minded people might find this post and perhaps they might open their mind for even a moment. I just feel like people aren’t doing enough critical thinking these days. Even if someone doesn’t want to change their own mind about a topic, that doesn’t make someone else guilty for not agreeing. From the way the media portray things, it seems like everyone is our enemy who disagrees. I’m glad my commentors have not been fooled by the media. I appreciate your thoughtful words on the topic Miss D.

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  3. Awe, man, I really haven’t had enough coffee yet to even wrap my head around this wonderful post. LOL.

    I think that the media is a huge part of the ever-growing problems, especially news stations that don’t get details anymore, or report on the wrong detail of the story just to fit the narrative of the station. I’ve seen it more times than I can count. It’s sad really that something that was meant to bring information to us has dwindled into shows like Good Morning Hollywood who are far too focused on Hollywood stars lives than what is really going on in the world. They spend 30 seconds on the war or problems overseas, but 5 minutes on what the Kardashian’s ate for breakfast last Tuesday.

    I have met some people who are very open minded to another’s point of view, and I’ve met some that are so closed, it’s actually quite scary. You start to wonder exactly how many more people are like them are out in the world, which scares you even more. The worst is when they are family members. Ugh.

    As we’ve previously discussed, I really don’t put my opinions out in to the open much. I don’t really know why I don’t. I mean, given my snark in the privacy of my home, you’d think I’d be completely outspoken. LOL. But, it’s actually quite the opposite. I suppose, though, if I really think about it, there are a lot of things I’m very private about, so I guess being tight-lipped is normal for me.

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    1. These are some good points, Angela. You said that when we run into one person who is completely close-minded, we start to wonder how many more of them are out there in the world. I think THAT is where the media comes in and expounds on that fear, manipulating people into believing we really ARE that divided. It’s easy to brainwash when fear is involved.

      As far as being tight-lipped, I am NOT so in person most of the time, unless there is a close-minded person who I know won’t listen. However, as authors, we really have to stick to our brand and not come out into the political forum. To me, it’s an ugly turn-off when an actor is preaching to me. I usually don’t care to see their movie/TV work because of it. It’s why fiction authors should probably stick to book-talk. But, I find it quite difficult to tighten those lips. That anonymous blog may still be coming one day. 😉

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  4. I think so much debate is done online now, where people are able to hide behind a computer screen, a username, and simply close a page if their viewpoints are challenged. People are so determined to be right that they don’t bother to stop and question their own viewpoints. I do agree that the media likes to focus on the extremes, instead of more moderate, thoughtful viewpoints, because those are labeled as not as interesting. But I prefer to be around people who want to learn about both sides of an issue, and then make an informed opinion.

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    1. Oh yes. I made a comment on someone’s blog, and a commenter took issue with me. I always consider what other commenters say when I read them, but that person didn’t consider me. Go figure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Joy.

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  5. I believe the media is the reason for the divide. They add fuel to the fire, so to speak. I believe there’s a lot of good in the world. It’s up to us to keep our eyes open for it and not rely on the media to tell us what we should believe.

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    1. I agree, Jill, the media does add fuel to the fire. With all this instant media, they can manipulate people who don’t really know who they are or where they stand. I think it’s what they count on. I do think there is good in the world, and it is up to us to keep our eyes open for it. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

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  6. Hi Lori, Great post. Honestly, I think a lot of people are just like lemmings following the flow, plummeting into nothingness over a cliff, and never giving a second thought about why they feel the way they do, or do the things they do. I think we are slowly being hypnotized by the media, social media into not having individual thoughts.
    Makes you wonder!!!!!!

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    1. Hi SD. I do worry that if people don’t truly know who they are, that they can too easily be manipulated by all the instant media perspectives out there. I think we live in scary times (to come). Thanks for sharing your perspective.

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  7. I like to think I spend a good time on introspection. Introverts often do. If I’m lucky, most of it’s the constructive kind and not the beating-myself-up kind.

    Sometimes I wonder if we just see the worst of people played up–and fueled by–the media. In real life, I rarely encounter truly uncompromising people. If work is to ever get done, whether at home or on the job, people know they need to talk things out, compromise, and cooperate. There’s sometimes a bad apple or two, but for the most part, I find people easy to work with. I think our Congress people are the ones who have a difficult time doing the same.

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    1. Hi Carrie. I think all the political elite in Washington is living in an entirely different world. They might as well be from another planet. Perhaps we can ship them off to one and start fresh. Heh.You’re right, I don’t run into uncompromising people that often in real life, although I have. I could name one or two, but like you said, mostly people realize we have to work things through. Perhaps it’s the media (and politicians) who should be asking themselves these questions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic.

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