How To Think Critically

Learning to apply critical thinking skills.

What does "critical" mean?

Here are some definitions from Merriam:

1.

a : inclined to criticize severely and unfavorably

b : consisting of or involving criticism

c : exercising or involving careful judgment or judicious evaluation

d : including variant readings and scholarly emendations

. . .

2.

a : of, relating to, or being a turning point or specially important juncture

b : indispensable, vital

c : being in or approaching a state of crisis

d : crucial, decisive

. . .

Looking around in the world, I feel it prudent to mention that the one thing we desperately could use more of is this very "critical" skill. (See what I did there?)

Being critical and having a healthy dose of criticism does not have to be a negative thing. It is essential and necessary in order to grow in one's opinion and making their own sound judgment with what is going on in not only their own life, but of life in general.

But how do we develop it?

The best way I've found is simple:



Be inquisitive.


Image from pixabay.com

Children seem to have an innate sense of wonder and curiosity about them. And why shouldn't they? They are new to the world (supposedly... here are some fascinating testimonies about children who claim to have lived before) and have a natural inclination to ask questions and figure out what things are and how and why they work.

Then, as they get older, most of them lose this eagerness to learn (or, perhaps, their excitement to learn is diminished through being forced to learn...although that is a different subject for a different day...) and they submit to following through with what they are being taught/told.

School is important, don't get me wrong. Although I have suspected that the information a child gets through school can actually hamper their inherent conscious awareness. And our instinct and tendency to be open-minded and cognizant of what's really going on is the most important aspect of our life. (Other than Love, of course.)

 

Think this physical world is all that matters and is the only thing "real" going on? Stick around this website and maybe I can convince you otherwise.

Going back to being inquisitive - here's what you do (in my own words):

Question EVERYTHING.

This website is first and foremost a site where I address and research different subjects and material I come across that interest me and that I feel others should be aware of. And while researching, I try and question all different angles. The "whys" and "what ifs" are important thoughts to consider with any subject matter, especially when there are conflicting information and data.

The other main reason for this site is to present this research and information in a forthright and honest manner.

How many times have you googled something and the first websites that pop up are articles that are intent on pushing their belief and opinions on you? Their sayings might go a little something like this:

"This is the official truth, which has been stated by reputable company "so-and-so"; and then there are conspiracy theories - outlandish claims that have no verifiable sources."

Random reporter who was most likely paid to make that statement.

You see? How easy it was for even me to make an example within that example?

This wording is specifically designed to steer the reader into automatically dismissing any other sources of findings as possibilities and instead becoming conditioned to believing the account written for that very purpose. Watching the news is a huge way that the population can be coerced (read: manipulated) into unconsciously forming thought patterns that actually belong to another. Although the saying in this video:

"Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control 'exactly what people think.' This is extremely dangerous to our democracy." is not wrong, the fact that all these news stations, which are local, are all owned by a single company (Sinclair), raises red flags in itself and makes you wonder what else a single company with a reach as far as theirs can accomplish.

According to webfx.com, these 6 companies own MOST of the media:

1. National Amusement
2. Disney
3. Time Warner
4. Comcast (Sinclair)
5. News Corp
6. Sony


Thinking for one's self seems to be a dying art these days. It's easier to listen to reports of others who are "well-known", "respected", "experts in their fields" to tell us like it is and give us the facts. ...Well, maybe that used to be the case, but "what if" these well known, respected experts don't necessarily have our best interest in mind?

Then what?

Well, then common sense dictates that, yes, while this individual may have impressive credentials, what other information can be gathered about this person and their history/lifestyle? How do other "experts" in the same field feel about this person and their knowledge? Are the "facts" provable? What does the whole picture look like in regards to the accounts that we have been provided with? Why are we settling with believing the first (and most often, highly enforced) commentary we're exposed to? Is it because we still believe that whatever is reported is true? I mean, most of us are conditioned from a very young age to not question (for example) our parents, teachers, religious leaders, authority figures, etc.

And there-in lies our problem. There is a difference between questioning someone out of pure rebellion and spite, versus out of a legitimate desire for truth and understanding. Now, with that being said, some perhaps feel that it is simply easier to fall in line and believe what they're being told - rather than think for themself and stand for their belief. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this is exactly what certain establishments count on. As a matter of fact, I'm sure the mere mention of questioning authority in this article is going to annoy some of those in a higher hierarchy.

But this isn't about them.

It's about YOU and making sound decisions and fair judgments and coming to your own educated decisions. (Well, in hindsight, it's about 'them', too. If anyone can use a good self-reflection and realization that they're potentially manipulating or taking advantage of people, then it would definitely be those with the power and authority to make a significant change.)

Sadly, I would surmise that those already taking advantage of others know exactly what they're doing and consciously choose to continue to do so. One of the most egregious cases I've found can be found here: Company raises price on infant seizure disorder medicine by almost 100,000 percent! - yes, you read that right.)

Luckily, you have the power to make a difference and make your own conscious decisions by opening your heart and mind and doing the right thing. Think with awareness, question the whos, wheres, whens, whys, whats, hows, put the pieces together in an intelligent, cohesive, clear manner, don't jump to conclusions, and observe what's going on. Then, share your finding with others if you feel compelled to. Many don't understand some of the things going on in our world, but the only way we can bring it to light is by addressing it instead of turning a blind eye to it.

Remember, with every story, news article, video, rumor, testimony, etc. there's the official narrative (likely the only one you've heard), the other side (or sides) of the story, and then there's the Truth.

In Closing

One more key takeaway from this article, thinking critically does not mean to become paranoid. It might be easy to fall into the trap of just giving up and not trusting anything. Trust me, I've fallen into this mindset. Becoming paranoid and/or delusional benefits no one.

But if we remember that we're all in this together, we can persevere and prosper even stronger than before. Most of us are going to get lost at times or stray off the path, and this is completely fine. But as long as we're trying our best and growing in Love and Truth, we are on the right track. And this website is designed to form a community where we can walk this path together and help each other when we stumble.

Featured Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

-Original Image by Michel Müller from Pixabay - Image has been altered.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts: