In this great, big, beautiful world of ours, there is variety of different approaches to everything in life. Some people are dark and dour – seemingly each moment of the day is spent in a perpetual state of seriousness. Other people seem to radiate joy, silliness and a joie de vivre that’s impossible not to be positively affected by. Each of us will have an approach that works best for us.
But beyond just mood, we each look at the world a little bit differently when thinking about issues and ideas. Maybe you are truly Zen, where your mind is free from influence and clear-eyed to each situation. Maybe you are harried and hassled with nary a moment to spend in “wasteful” navel-gazing.
Me? I’m a bit of a thinker and I’m here to make the case for why you should be too.
I think it’s important for me to discuss what I mean by a thinker before dashing headlong into the rest of this post. A thinker is not someone who is necessarily smarter than anyone else. It’s important to dispel this notion because (1) I don’t want your reading this entire blog post thinking “You utterly smug and arrogant son of a biscuit…”; and (2) clear definitions just make life easier. So there.
My definition of a thinker is someone who takes a bit of time to give thought and reflection to decisions, life actions and issues, whether on an intensely personal scale or affecting the world as a whole. Pretty simple, right?
I implore more people to take this path for two critically important reasons.
First, it can be very easy in an age of technological advancement and communication that borders on magical to be so busy, hassled and frantic to never stop and think. I am a thinker, but believe me, I fall into this trap at times as well.
Second, I find myself encountering far too man people these days for whom the idea of giving thought to more than one angle of a question is actually a negative. By way of example, I can think of a few conversations I have had of late where someone would remark, “Ohh, you can’t make up your mind – you would rather keep going back-and-forth…” Now, if we were talking about what toppings to get on my burger, that’s one thing. I mean seriously… there really are some delicious accoutrements out there for a delicious slab of grilled ground beef. Any combination of cheese, bacon, fried egg, grilled onions and avocado will do nicely… umm… sorry. Burgers distract me.
But the conversations where this point have come up involved more complicated affairs and the seeming lack of interest in thinking about more than one side of a nuanced issue was a bit troubling to me. I don’t know if it was general impatience or just a predisposition to settling on a narrow viewpoint and holding on tight or just a pitched battle against any shade of gray in a world someone wants to be black and white.
Hence, I urge you to think and to set aside time for thinking (although I admit I am still struggling with that latter suggestion). It will amaze how you some of your thorniest life issues will unravel a touch when you devote a little time to the endeavor. And if you find yourself getting a little stuck with a myriad of questions the more you think… just remember it’s possible (and maybe even likely) that you are experiencing it because it is a tricky question.
Dabble in the grays. There are many… not just 50 shades.