"The Need to Think", by David G. McDivitt
We have so many conveniences in our modern age. For each, someone had to do the work involved to create it. They did not happen by magic. To a great extent this signifies cognition. Why should we attempt to participate in the modern world, without attempting to think ourselves? Human thought has created all we have.
The disintegration of social roles, values, and identity is the most commonly cited reason for increased crime and substance abuse. People are said to have fewer morals and less discipline. But fifty years ago, when we did have rigid family structure, there was abuse of authority through bigotry, child abuse, and wife beating, however unspoken these things were. So which is better, to have the identity problems we have today, or have the greater abuse of authority we used to have? What we are experiencing is social evolution. There was the Industrial Revolution, and now the Technological Revolution, which have changed society. Bear in mind, these revolutions are brought about by human thought and cognitive ability. How ridiculous to think humanity shall not continue to evolve. How silly to think we should just stagnate, simply because a few people are resistant to change. Survival therefore, and being able to survive well, necessitates the need to think, contemplate, and adapt.
Thought has no criteria, except to go ahead and do it. There need not be any expected outcome. We can each consider whatever circumstances in our lives, then form whatever opinions. As we compare ourselves to others, it is easy to feel insecure, as if our thoughts are not as good as someone else's, but this is not so. My thoughts represent who I am, my experiences, and how I have adapted with regard to my own life. Another person's thoughts cannot reflect that. Neither is it right to expect someone else's thoughts to.
Yes, passive aggressiveness has much to do with failing to act or do. If I do not perform, I do not have. Criticizing the fact another person does perform, and does have, does not give me very much, even if it does seem like it's being waved in my face to make sure I notice it. Does that other person really care? Probably not. Other than crude reactionism, thought generally proceeds action. So, is it that a passive aggressive person does not do, or is it that a passive aggressive person does not think - maybe even refusing to think? Resentment is not fun. Doing without is not fun. The cheap satisfaction gained by criticizing others is something, but shall always remain a poor substitute.
Everything in our society seems rated and compared. Without this endeavor, there can be no adaptation. There can be no growth. Often it is tied to money and profit, but so what? Money is a reflection of accomplishment, and how efficient an enterprise is. Some people have vast sums of money and seem to waste it, but they hardly represent the mainstream of society. Something so dear and intimate as human thought, is also rated and compared. This is unfortunate, but it is consistent with the nature of our society. Just like people often feel they are short on cash, being unable to get any, people often feel they are short on mental facilities, too, and don't think they will get any smarter.
As someone who leans somewhat toward libertarianism, I feel people should have the right to occupy their own space financially, and mentally. If I do not grant this right, who shall give it to me - the government, or some other glorious institution? The only thing sacred I acknowledge, is that other people live their lives just like I live mine, and a line exists which I cannot violate. Crossing that line is to tell other people how they should think. People even have the right not to think if they so choose.
What separates us from animals is the fact we can think. Some people can think better than other people, true, but every person has the capacity to think at least a little bit. I wish to tell everyone not to be afraid to think, and not to fear judgement for whatever perspectives you have. If challenged, be happy for the opportunity of thinking things through again, for you can do it.
I often consider the public school system, and the elitism of thought it fosters. Yes, it's good for some to excel, as their aptitudes are tested and they go on to contribute whatever it is to society. But what about everyone else? Should children finish school, without understanding the importance of cognition? For those who wish to compete intellectually, there should be a forum, yes, but for everyone else, they should understand the importance of thought, for the sake of their own lives, even if not mentally fluent enough to enter competition.
David G. McDivitt
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