“I think, therefore I am.” – René Descartes
Because I think, I exist. That’s the sentiment behind this saying. Unfortunately, thinking no longer has value for many people.
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room.” – Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and Catholic theologian
Researchers tested Pascal’s thinking by giving individuals a choice between 15 minutes alone with only their thoughts or giving themselves an electric shock.
67% of men and 25% of women chose the electric shock (Sciencemag.org)
What would you choose? Do you struggle being alone with your thoughts?
“Thinking is the hardest work anyone can do, which is probably why we have so few thinkers.” – Henry Ford, American industrialist
Pascal (1623-1662) and Ford (1863-1947) spoke these words in cultures very different from today’s culture. Yet, as research shows, thinking seems to still be a struggle for many.
Our culture seems to be filled with people who don’t want to think much and who seem happy having their thoughts decided for them, usually via electronic channels. People are also very conditioned to being distracted, and this pushes their thinking in often multidirectional ways.
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7
What does it mean, then, if someone doesn’t think for himself or can’t even be alone with his thoughts? What does that make him become? If someone would rather receive an electric shock than be alone with his own thoughts for just 15 minutes, what type of person is he becoming?
Food for thought.