Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I just finished listening to Thomas Sowell being interviewed. The program was long and I’ve embedded it below but the very last sentence by Dr. Sowell was “It doesn’t matter how smart you are, unless you stop and think.”

The entire interview was well worth watching; but that last sentence seemed to epitomize the difference between what has made America great and what is breaking it down.

I/We have all seen some really smart people who seem “dumb as a board” and also if you think back you will remember a person you considered dumb come who came up with something pretty smart. Invariably that which accomplished either end result was thinking or the lack thereof.

Thinking by my definition is what one does when he/she steps back from the reality of the moment and decides which path to continue upon. That ability to step back and think is a key in therapies from AA to post traumatic stress disorder. Thinking is the one ability we have that allows us to control our environment instead of being controlled by it.

Thinking is the one thing that is ours alone, it is what defines us as an individual.
Thinking is the key to the concept of individual freedom and responsibility.
Without using our ability to think, we as a people of a self governing nation turn into a herd of sheep being herded by whatever name you give the leader as Thomas Sowell pointed out.

In sympathy with Dr. Sowell, all around me I see examples of us falling into the trap of not thinking. When we or people in power put off fixing things that are wrong because we/they say the problem is too complicated; I see someone who is not willing to do the work within our brain of thinking, then following through with the work of our bodies.

We are all busy with life and have little time to play with politics. That is the trap. Someone offers to do that thinking for us and we say great, go for it.

People are waking up. It is time for us to start thinking again to start working again to start again demanding those we put in charge do what we want.

Problems have solutions. Perhaps those solutions are not perfect but neither are we. In real life we get nowhere striving for perfection, but we can come a long way if we continue to make progress in all we do.

I possit that perfection should be found in the why of what we do.

A corollary to “I think therefore I am” could be “I think therefore I can control myself” or perhaps “I think therefore I can be free”. Thinking goes to the crux of why we claim to have inalienable rights. We have been given the ability to think for ourselves; upon the shoulders of that ability/right stand the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Whether we take advantage of those rights depends upon our ability and willingness to think.

The work of the brain is thinking, after that the body has to do the work to make the thinking into reality. My favorite Drucker quote comes into play here.

“Unless a decision has “degenerated into work” it is not a decision; it is at best a good intention.” Peter F Drucker, “The Effective Executive” pp114 Harper Collins paper back edition, 2006.

Sounds like a lot of work, but such is life.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative