High on the list of safety for all of us is to be able to think with understanding, skill, and wisdom, a word that has fallen out of fashion in the changing culture. These attributes would come high on the list of needs for identifying mind dangers. So, let’s rescue that last much-needed word from shameful neglect.
Wisdom Describes Smart Thinking
The substitute meanings listed in Bartlett’s Roget’s Thesaurus are adult, educated, skillful, advisable, prudent, intelligent, reasoning, judicious, knowledgable, and profound. Impressive? I can’t think of a more desirable word than wisdom to describe smart thinking, can you? There’s no substitute for thinking straight and being able to quickly identify crooked thinking. None, also for penetrating the confusion that crooked thinking produces in our minds. Nor for finding the truth about a simple question like “what’s the best way to live?” We all should settle that one, of course. Can a person arrive at life’s truths without knowledge, understanding, common sense, and wisdom?
Mind Dangers from Crooked Thinking
Are we training our children to avoid the traps commonly bombarding their minds from our culture’s crooked thinking? Our children are thinking differently. That’s why we are astounded at their decisions at times. Are we taking the time to educate them with the skill of sound thinking and wise judgments?
Let’s not leave it to their peers, school, or college to teach them unless we are totally happy with all our child is bringing home from their education and peers. Children are ravenous to absorb something new. Especially about the main item on their mental agenda: how to live life with constant excitement and get the most acceptance from peers (not parents). And doesn’t the phrasing of their search suggest a lot of holes and traps to fall into if their search lacks the wisdom to identify those traps before they tumble? The emotional appeals of our current culture’s crooked thinking are absorbed quickly by a child. If left unchallenged, their minds can be easily turned from sense and wisdom.
Skilled and Successful Thinking Enables in Identifying Mind Dangers
A child is self-protected by becoming a skilled and successful thinker. What parent sees safety in being gullible, shallow, and unable to tell truth from falsehood and straight thinking from crooked thinking? Unfortunately, parents swallow much of what permeates our changing culture and influences a child’s world. The lack of sense and reason in our culture leaves gaping holes that an elephant could fall through, such as repudiating the need for correction and constructive judgment lest their tender feelings of worth are wounded. Parents, take note of the need for our education in this matter.
Expose Foolish Thinking
We must expose foolish thinking unless we think our child has the wisdom of experience and knowledge beyond their age. We must teach straight thinking and defend it with sound reasons and the appeal of being wise because deception often comes dressed as an angel of light. Consider: can your child think straight when hot emotions rage inside them? Can they find what is the real truth behind an argument or a statement — even a beguiling question — without guidance and teaching? We can hardly blame them when advertising is more often than not designed to bypass the whole truth.
Without the Skill for Identifying Mind Dangers
What will people become without the basic skill to identify mind dangers? Perhaps they will become unwitting slaves to the verbal aggressions of the loudest, most financed, or the most popular voice. We can’t sort out the right from the wrong in the simple quest (What’s the best way to live?) if we can’t spot what is deceitful and fallacious. “Think straight and make wise judgments” should be the cry of all parents and we must embrace the teaching that achieves that goal.
Do you recall the advertising grabber “Food for thought”? Well, we will be preparing a gourmet meal for you and your mind if you want to feast on clear, sane, sensible ways to teach yourself and your child how to think straight. Have you noticed it is unlikely that you will find a course on this topic in a college or university?
Next: How will we do that? By equipping our minds for life’s journey. Next installment soon.
In my new book Who Am I?, I describe how we have become “crooked thinkers” and how to break out of this prison of the mind to become instruments of change for a better world by recognizing the source of our value as humans. You can get your copy HERE. (Psst! Subscribers to my weekly updates can receive a 15% discount and free shipping from the above link!)
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