Sharing with you things that are on my mind...Maybe yours too. Come back to Wrights Lane for a visit anytime!

28 December, 2009

VOLITION AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about a closed mind as opposed to an open mind and how we are inviolably self-regulators of thought in a social environment.  My take is that it is all about the kind of thinking we do, or fail to do.

The social environment of which I speak consists only of facts; the meaning of those facts -- the conclusions and convictions to be drawn from them -- can be identified only by our minds.

We certainly do not have the answers to all of life's complex problems and we are by no means perfect human beings.  At any step along the way, we can make honest mistakes of knowledge or judgment.  We are not infallible.  We may identify incorrectly the meaning or the significance of the events we observe.
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Our power of volition does not guarantee us protection against errors; but it does guarantee that we need not be left helplessly at the mercy of our errors for the rest of our life.  We are able to leave our minds open to new evidence that can inform us that our conclusions are wrong and must be revised. 
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Our character, the degree of our rationality, independence, honesty, is determined not by the things we perceive, but by the thinking we do (or fail to do) about them. We do not have to be victims of our environment or always swim with the current.  We can choose our own course of action in life by choosing our own values and goals  We are free to think, to question and to judge the true nature of things.

Of any assertion offered us, we are always free to ask: Why?  That question alone is the threshold that the beliefs of others cannot cross without our consent.

When we do not think for ourselves our minds become lazy and the tendency is to follow any course of action ready-made for us by others.  This is a mistake frequently made by young people who just want to fit in or belong.  No doubt most of us have ill-advisedly gone down that road a time or two in our lifetime.

What Dr. Phil really means when he asks: "What were you thinking?" is "Were you thinking?"  The answer in both cases, however, generally amounts to the same thing -- "Nothing" and "No".

Thinking about the consequences of any action we take or conclusion we arrive at, coupled with the aforementioned values and goals we establish for ourselves, is a beneficial exercise.  It keeps us in shape mentally, even spiritually, and sets us on a healthy course in life...We just have to be open to it.

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