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Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.
~Lorraine Hansberry

To think is to use one’s mind actively, to form connected ideas. It is to have an opinion, a belief, or an idea about something. It may also be about changing an idea after hearing other facts on the subject. It never hurts to take a moment to think.

My mother used to say to me, think before you speak. You can’t take the words back once they are out there. A simple idea really, but not always easy to do. More often than not, I would blurt out what popped into my mind, hurting someone else or at the very least walking away embarrassed with my foot in my mouth.

My ideas and beliefs were right after all, and those other folks just didn’t get the truth. I mean, wasn’t my opinion the only one that mattered? To maintain the feeling of being right and superior took a lot of work. I had to hang out with only those who agreed me. I couldn’t listen to someone who thought differently. Wow, what a crazy way to live. I can honestly say that I didn’t start to grow until I challenged myself to listen and to think outside my box.

With age I’ve learned that thinking first, can save you undo misery. It’s not my job to hurl insults at people, or criticize them. I can disagree with their ideas, and still not demonize who they are. The political season is a constant reminder to me of this. Before I’m a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, whether I’m conservative or liberal I’m first and foremost a human. I’ve made it my quest to find good in everyone  that I can and let that good be what I talk about. Okay, I’m not perfect and I can’t pretend that I am. Sometimes I have had to think really hard and  still I couldn’t find a positive thing to say. At that point I take Thumper’s mother’s advice. If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. I do slip up and then I start over again.

I find time out works for me like it does for a child. Alone, on a chair, I spend time thinking, rearranging my thoughts, even changing some of them. In the end I find the old golden rule is still the best of all. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Of course, thinking is good for so many other things. It can get my creative juices flowing, take me out of my narrow world to see the bigger picture, and help me to understand how much I have in comparison to others in the world. Thoughts allow me to dream, consider new ideas, and expand my views. I’ve opened my mind in new ways and amazingly my brains have not fallen out.