It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I’m sitting here and hanging out on my sofa, which is where I’ve been for the last 15 days or so. However, I’ve not felt like picking up my laptop to write, nor have I scribbled in my journal. There’s been nothing and for that I apologize. We’ll call this piece thoughts from the sofa.
I do have a good excuse as I’ve had what is now known as the upper respiratory virus from hell. What I thought was a cold culminated in me living on “Helen” (you don’t name your sofa?). I mean, I didn’t drink coffee — I had my first cup yesterday. You know things are bad when the coffee is gone from my life and I don’t miss it.
Yet, today I am feeling better and taking some time to sit here and reflect. Something I don’t do often enough. I didn’t reflect much during my illness as my head was to stuffed up to do anything but consider which size drill bit I would need to drain the stuffiness. I believe we call that “desperation.”
So much has went on in the world in the last two weeks. Things I’ve watched and read about. Life changing events. Not that I’m personally involved, but they have an affect on my personally. The Bill Cosby accusations, the Ferguson announcement, the Syrian Crisis, ISIS. So much that I don’t write about on my blog, because, let’s face it, I know I’m not qualified to have that type of discussion here and, more importantly, I don’t want to.
But, it’s made me think. Mainly about childhood heroes, disappointment in people, the day formerly known as Black Friday, and critical thinking skills. I know that’s a messed up little list there, but critical thinking skills are what’s really been at the root of all I’ve thought about. There are days when I wonder if crazy pills are being put in the water.
Now, this isn’t to criticize anyone, nor is it point fingers. What I’m doing is genuinely questioning things for myself out loud in this here forum folks call a blog. Do we think critically any more? The reason I ask is it seems to me like so many in the general population don’t discuss issues these days. They just say “this is this” and refuse to talk or hear another persons thoughts and opinions. It’s very cut and dry and no consideration is taken for what other sides are saying. Admittedly, some sides should be put on the top of my cuckoo clock and left there, but what about when it’s about making decisions that are life changing?
Maybe this is because I’m an over thinker and I have to hear all sides of everything. I’m that person who sat in a large electronics retailer one year ago for six hours researching all of the TV’s they had in stock, talking to multiple sales clerks AND had already spent a good 10+ hours online reading about televisions. While I realize that’s a tangible good, it gives you an idea into how I think about everything.
When President Obama ran against Senator John McCain during the 2008 Presidential elections, I remember sitting in my friends shop and discussing the debates. Him — a gay, small business owner. Me — well, I’m just me. But he told me the story of how he waited to watch the debates and was sitting at work with his ear buds in watching them and a customer asked what he was watching and when he said “the Republican debates,” the ones held before McCain received the nomination, it became a hell-fire brimstone moment in his shop. He was lambasted for listening to them debate, for wanting to hear what they had to say, all prefaced with “I can’t believe someone like you…” meaning “gay.” His response has been my self-check any time I’m faced with something like this “How am I supposed to make a decision if I don’t hear what both sides have to say?”
I guess, in this long, drawn-out mess is that I’m going to be doing even more critical thinking offline, and more importantly, using better listening skills. With everything I read. Everything I hear. Everything. If I discuss things on this blog — like the Calvin Klein Plus-Sized Model Debate — believe me, I’ll make sure, just as I did in that piece, that I’m using my critical thinking skills to the best of my ability. Otherwise, I won’t touch it.