October 25

Few people think more than
two or three times a year.
I have made an international
reputation for myself by thinking
once or twice a week.

George Bernard Shaw


Today's Meditation:

While I recognize that George's tongue must have been firmly in his cheek when he said this, he's not at all far from the truth with this comment.  True thinking is, indeed, rare--rather than think on our own, we tend to react with our thoughts; rather than ponder concepts and ideas carefully, we tend to skim over them with our first reactions and not take our time and think our ways to the core of the matters at hand.

Most of the work that I do, I can do quite easily without tons of effort--and I do it that way.  Most of my relationships I can maintain with a minimum of effort--and I do so, because I can and because other things take up my time and my thoughts.  Most things that I need to think about deeply, I think about superficially, mostly because I don't feel that I have the time to consider something on its own when there are so many other things that need my attention, also.

But our best inventors, our best scientists, our best architects are all people who are able to give their undivided attention to something and stick with it.  They're willing to take the time out of their days and make the efforts to think deeply about one thing for long stretches of time.  I sometimes feel that way when I'm writing, especially novels--they force me to put my mind on the topic at hand and think it through more deeply than I'm used to, and that really is a good feeling when it happens.  Yes, I do neglect other things at those times, but that neglect isn't anything terrible--I just get to other things a bit later.

If we want to really think--to really exercise our minds and our ability to ponder--then we need to make time for it and we need to make the effort clearly and fully.  True thought isn't the multitude of thoughts that race through our minds each day as we go about our business and shift from thought to thought all day long.  True thought is keeping our attention on one thing and considering it from different angles and perspectives, and true thought is something that can enrich us greatly and add a beautiful dimension to our lives.

Questions to consider:

How would you define truly thinking?  How often do you participate in that activity? 

Why do we tend to get caught up in our racing thoughts, unable to slow them down or control them?

What are some ways that you can practice thinking at a different level than you think now?

For further thought:

Five percent of the people think;
ten percent of the people think they think;
and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.

Thomas A. Edison


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