Why is thinking so painful?
We don’t have time.
We don’t want to be wrong.
We don’t want to face the possibility that we’ve been wrong all along.
Have you noticed that when you carry cash, you’re less likely to spend it?
Credit cards make it easy to spend without thinking.
Instant payment methods — like the kind you have on your phone — make it even easier.
Marketers know this.
What happens when you try to slow down and say, read a book?
When was the last time you read a book?
I remember growing up, we used go actually go to the library and get a few of them.
We would also read the paper on Sunday — the whole thing, one section at a time. Comics first, of course. Then Business. Outlook. Travel. (And don’t forget the coupons.)
Thinking is blocked when you’re in a noisy area.
Have you noticed that bookstores and coffee shops intentionally have a lot of noise blaring?
So you cancel out their noise, with your noise — maybe wearing headphones with your preferred kind of music.
Maybe you play “white noise,” to block out all the sound.
But still, the hum of the noise blocks you from just following the thoughts rambling around in your head.
I remember growing up we were bored most of the time, because television wasn’t all that great. We had to find ways to entertain ourselves.
And then MTV showed up, and the explosion of cable.
Now it wasn’t necessary to think or be creative: We could escape into the heads, hearts and souls of characters someone else had developed for our consumption.
One might argue that at least in the workplace, we have to think to survive, because the demands are great, cooperation is difficult to achieve, and the resources relatively few.
But there again, conformity is the order of the day and thinking is subsumed to “getting along with the team.” As well as, frankly, “making the boss look good.”
How about participating in the decisions that affect our lives? Why don’t we get out there, and involve ourselves in social causes?
We can, and we should: But the information we base our decisions on, about which causes to support, is normally mediated and misleading.
It’s hard to know what’s the truth.
Finally, we are bombarded with the gigantic systems that codify and identify us, process us, and rule our lives.
Consider education. The novel ideas we sacrifice, in order to make the “A.”
Consider healthcare. The privacy we have to give up. Because there are forms to sign, and we need to be taken care of.
All of this might make a thinking person want to scream.
But we cannot make too much noise, because then the gatekeepers will lose patience with us.
And then we lose our place altogether.
By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. The author hereby releases this content into the public domain. Opinions are the author’s own. Creative Commons photo via Pixabay.