Thinking – A Forgotten Art

by Anna

After helping out a fellow student of mine today he asked me why I was so clever. I was just as much taken aback as flattered to hear him say that. Without thinking much about it I replied that I wasn’t really very clever, just interested, with an open mind. In actual fact, I said to him, when I was much younger, my school teacher was adamant that I belonged into a school for special needs, because I was quiet and she didn’t think that I was very clever at all.

He laughed and said that when he was younger his teacher send him home to write lines of “curiosity killed the cat” because he had asked too many questions. I myself had numerous occasions where I was told to stop asking silly questions, only because some people couldn’t do with my heightened interest or 10-step-ahead thinking procedure.

So there we were, so called mature students, that were unable to gain access to higher education when we were younger (at least this is true in my case) based on a belief that we were either not clever enough or not supposed to find answers to our probing questions.

And how sad is that?

A little unrelated yet fittingly so, I also found myself thinking how much we are actually prevented to think on our own in general. Watching the white prints on the station platforms at each stop on the way home, reminding us to “mind the gap”, a thought occurred to me: instead of the well-meaning warnings that are ever increasingly popping up everywhere to prevent accidents and harm, there will come a time again where accidents will be on the rise because we have stopped assessing our surroundings for danger, a natural process that we do without thinking, and assume that if there is no sign to warn us of any danger, there surely can’t be any either.

So why are we being stopped from thinking?

What do you think? 😉