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  • Writer's pictureDale Hanks

Think For Yourself

Some people just don't think. Some people think they think, but don't. Some people actually DO think.

These are the three categories of thinkers.

Let's look at each type.

Category #1

Do you have anyone in your life who simply doesn't think? You know the type--intelligent, compassionate, salt-of-the-earth, good people. But they just don't think. About anything. Ever.

These are the folks who are happy just going along with the crowd. They lap up the news and the narrative that's fed to them. They change their Facebook profile pictures to show support for the hot topic of the day. If you ask them how they're doing, they'll say, "Oh, I'm okay. Just going along to get along." These are the folks who follow one another blindly and instinctively flock together for safety. They rely on others to tell them what they should be thinking and feeling. If their leader gets lost, they all get lost. In metaphorical terms, these are the "sheep."

It's proven that most people trust the people they know. If they like someone, and they like what that person is saying, they will automatically agree with what is being said. It takes only about twenty seconds for most people to fully buy into what they're being told, if they don't see some discrepancy with what they already believe. This is the basis behind brainwashing.

These "non-thinkers" make up 61.2% of our population.

Category #2

The second category of thinkers is people who think they think... and they think deeply about their thinking. They are highly educated...the learned scholars who self-select into the halls of academe. Sometimes, these people think so deeply that they actually get lost in the process of thinking deeply. But, in doing so, they lose sight of reality. They lose touch with humanity and can't see beyond the bubble in which they exist. These are also the same type of people who run federal bureaucracies and tend to be deeply embedded in the political establishment. They hold themselves out as being "elite" and smarter than everyone else. They revel in their own intelligence and self-importance.

They make up 9.7% of our population.

Category #3

The third category of thinkers is the more mercurial group to identify. These are the critical thinkers and they make up 29.1% of our total population.

First of all, what is critical thinking? According to the Oxford Dictionary, critical thinking is "the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment."

Most people like to think they are critical thinkers. But, it's obvious in today's society that this isn't the case. Critical thinking takes patience. It takes practice. It takes the ability to remain a skeptic in the face of authority. It takes effort to look past inherent bias and spin. It takes doing one's own research and digging into the issues. It takes courage. It takes heart.

Critical thinking avoids popular conclusions and considers all options. It requires research beyond comfort zones and it requires the consideration of information that lies outside of the mainstream narrative. It requires one to withstand being shamed, ostracized and censored.

Critical thinkers always leave room for doubt and are always ready to consider new evidence. Critical thinkers rely on their own internal guidance, intuition and knowing. They are highly attuned to what resonates as truth.

Here are questions critical thinkers ask themselves:

I invite you to think back over the last two years. What were you thinking about the information being disseminated by the government and media regarding the pandemic? Did you question it? Did it resonate with you as true?

Now, think of the current situation in Ukraine. Are those in charge thinking critically? Why are both parties so anxious to go to war? Why is there no one advocating for a peaceful solution? Why is everyone so ready to institute no-fly zones, send arms, invoke sanctions, and spend billions of dollars without knowing where it goes?

SO, in closing, I'd like to ask you which category of thinker are you? As a reader of this blog, you already fall on the side of being a critical thinker. But, here's a question--you trust me to give you good information that is well-researched and honest, right? But did you wonder where I came up with those population statistics in the previous paragraphs? There weren't any links or footnotes. Why were they so specific? Where did they come from? Are they even true? The answer is...I made them up. If you didn't ask yourself those questions, you can see how easy it is to fall into the "non-thinking" trap. If you did ask those questions, you get bonus points for being a true critical thinker!

During these chaotic and fearful times, we need to question everything. We need not be cowed and intimidated by the intellectuals in category #2, nor swept along by the flock of sheep in category #1.

The less you know, the more you think you know, because you don't know you don't know.

- Ray Stevens


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