Monday, May 20, 2013

Think for yourself...

We're back in Washington, staying at my parent's house and enjoying regular scheduled showers.  While on the road, rest area sinks became my regular go-to for hygienic needs, so staying here is quite a treat.
Today's post comes from a growing awareness, turned to concern, about the lack of curiosity and questioning I see in the world.  A ridiculous example comes from Facebook and an article a woman posted about insects that get into women's bras and plant larvae into their breasts. She, along with several others commented,  "I hope this doesn't happen to me", "OH MY GOSH, this is HORRIBLE", you get the point.  My thoughts quickly turned to, "are people really that stupid"?  For one, logic alone should nullify any truth one finds in these urban legends.  And two, if logic isn't one's strong suit, a quick search on the internet can expose the truth in this falsity.  On a side note if, in fact, you like grotesque stuff, Google "bra bugs" to see what I'm talking about.  My point is, we are lacking the skills to critically think.
Critical thinking evaluates assumptions, and instead of answering questions, it questions answers.  Critical thinking says, I know my parents, teachers, and friends think this way, but what do I think and why do I think this way?
Prior to my road trip I invested leisure time into self help books and inspirational cd's.  The underlying message I was telling myself is that someone else has the answers, and if I keep listening they will solve my problems.  False.  I now understand I am the only person who can solve my problems.  Also, most of the "problems" the self help books focus on, are not problems at all.

Brooklyn, my niece
Each of us go through life stages, come to understandings and process life circumstances on an individual basis.  Each person is unique and for anyone to say "I know what's best for you", or "I have found the truth", is something to be curious and weary of.  If you're going through the pain of losing someone, a major transition in life, or other crisis find a friend, group, or counselor for support and healing.  On the other hand, understand that YOU are not the problem.  You do not need to be fixed.  You do not need to read the latest book or get the latest product to be alright.  Realizing this is the most scary yet liberating truth I've found.  Scary because continual searching becomes a part of your identity.  It becomes who you are.  And if you're not searching then who are you?  Liberating because you are the expert, the one to turn to, and inside you is where you'll find the answers.