Apr 18, 2007
You can call this a public service announcement if you like. I know
that at first the title seems silly. “Of course I think, how else
would I be able to wake up and get out of bed in the morning,
shower up, get out the door in time for work, and then drive my car
to work.” But you see that’s really not thinking so much as
reacting to the environment and carrying out learned programs. Wake
up program – complete. Get out of bed program – complete, and on
and on. It actually amazes me sometimes how much of life is really
just carrying out learned patterns. What I’m talking about is
actually stopping for a moment and considering just what is going
on in your head. And don’t get smart with me, I know you could say,
“There’s a spongy mass electrocuting itself over and over in my
head.” All wit aside, what are you thinking?
It’s such a silly question and yet one that for a moment arrests you as you try to figure out just that. My point in this is that a lot of people don’t stop and think. It’s one of our biggest problems as people, we carry out patterns or react quickly without paying any thought to just what we are doing and the implications it may have. You might find that if you spend a certain amount of the day paying close attention to how you think, you’ll be surprised. Some days I find myself thinking the most odd things as I go through my morning ritual. It is important to be aware of our thoughts because they are closely connected to our feelings, which in turn prompt our actions. To understand why you do what you do on a daily basis is actually a Herculean effort. When you pay attention to how you think before you react, and I know that’s hard, you may start to really wonder at your reactions.With understanding our thoughts and our reactions comes a certain level of responsibility. Suddenly saying “I don’t know why I did that” doesn’t work anymore. Suddenly you know what you are doing when you are doing it. That’s a lot to come to terms with and it’ll affect everyone differently. A serial killer could suddenly come to the full realization of what he is doing and say, “Hey, I’m okay with this.” Just because you start to understand how you yourself think will not make you a better person, but, you will hopefully take responsibility for your actions and respond with more logic and understanding.
Once you start to understand how you think and react, you might be able to start figuring out other people. Wouldn’t it be great to actually understand why certain people in close proximity do what they do? Ask them. I ask people what they are thinking all the time. It helps me to gauge them, to understand them, to better socially navigate the seas around me. We are not all born the same. We are not all powerful or weak or unbreakable. We are strange organic machines running the most advanced operating system this planet has ever known, and as much as those systems run similar programs, the level of individual customizability is through the roof. Therefore, I find it imperative to understand what you are thinking, and what others are thinking.In short, please think. They say that every action has an equal reaction. Never forget that your reactions also incur a reaction. Let’s get it under control and get the species out of the psychological stone age, there’s a whole universe to conquer and destroy out there.