You can lead people to facts, but you can’t make them think.

thinking receeding comic

I always had the idea that if you present people with facts, and authoritative research the decision would be easy. I have learned that you can lead people to facts, but you can’t make them think.

People don’t want to think. This is a fact. Thinking is hard work. It requires an open mind. It requires putting your beliefs on pause and considering that you may be wrong. It requires the mental stamina and clear-headedness to follow a new line of thinking. It requires the courage to separate yourself from your opinion, and the bravery of leading to an unknown path. It requires us to be emotionally intelligent, intellectually capable, and morally open-minded.

thinking receeding comic
thinking receding comic

Sadly this is not what most people can do. Real thinking is beyond most people. Most people as the old saying goes merely “rearrange their prejudices” when they think.  If you think about something and you don’t get a new insight, you aren’t thinking. Thinking requires not looking to support your worldview, and in fact, challenging it actively.

Each day I challenge my worldview. Each day I realize my ignorance and misunderstandings. It is remarkable how ignorant we are. We can simply do a simple Google search about something we think is true, and we discover not only it is false but having that idea is actively hurting us. We don’t need to worry about the dangers in the world, we need to worry about the dangers of the information and beliefs we have had crammed down our throats.

Life is a process of letting go of what you believe to be true. The older you get the more you see things are BS, and you wonder why you ever thought that way. Not thinking is a hypnotic spell. It is easier to go through life not thinking on the surface, but not really. Not thinking causes us pain and wasted time and we slowly understand we are our own worst enemy. Don’t look to change the world before you change yourself.

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