We, the Thinker
Everyone is capable of thought, a thinking process that is essential for us to face and solve the uncommon problems that life presents. The thinking involves the understanding of the situation, visualizing the available resources, rationalizing the various countermeasures, and carrying out the optimal alterative. In real life, not every problem can be easily understood, there may not be sufficient resources, and, or no countermeasure is viable. As a result, most people in their life, at least once, feel depressed, desperate, and, or agonized for having to spend times in deep thought that goes nowhere. But, through our collective thinking, so far, we have faced and meet the challenges demanded by the survival of the fittest. We may not be able to solve all our problems, but our thoughts allow us to understand who and what we are, the world that we are stuck in, and our roles in a life that is not of our choosing.
Even though most people’s adult life consists of routines – doing similar things day in and day out, once in a while, unexpected and uncommon problems knock on the door requiring our attention to think of a way out. For example:
1) Relationship breakup – It can be marriage or long term friendship for whatever reasons. Consolation from relatives and, or other friends may easy the emotional trauma. But, it is the person’s thinking that will bring the closure to the problem in due time.
2) Debilitating illness – A sudden illness that requires major surgery, chemotherapy, and, or radiation treatments can change a person’s outlook on life instantly. Nothing is more precious to a person than one’s good health. Only through a person’s thought on how to cope with the new reality, can the future living be tolerable and with purpose.
3) Financial dire strait – It is a life on tight-rope having to fend off the creditors, dodge the monthly bills, and worry about the old-age nest egg. It is also a time when the person wishes that one has all the brain power to think of the ways to get back to the financial health before it ruins one’s physical health.
4) Stress at work – For most of the people, the workplace is like a second home. Unfortunately, stressful conditions can arise due to:
- Incompatibility with the co-workers and, or supervisor,
- Inability to carry out one’s assigned responsibility, etc.
Not being able to solve the problems thoughtfully can have lasting impact on the family as well as the social life.
Not all our thinking is spent on solving personal problems. There are research projects and think tanks setup in the academics and by the government to solve problems that threaten or enhance our chance of survival on Earth. As our population gets bigger, more urgent problems surface requiring the brain powers from the diverse groups of people from around the globe. For example:
1) Cancer research – As our life expectancy gets longer, as air pollution becomes worst, and as all kinds of chemicals are used to increase our food supplies, cancers are becoming our number one cause of death and consuming a larger portion of our medical resources.
2) Disease control – It is an invisible battle that has been fought between the humans and the microbes (bacteria and virus) since the dawn of our civilization. Whatever medical and biological remedies that we come up with will soon be rendered ineffective due to the fast mutation and multiplication rates of the microbes.
3) Think Tank – They are made of specialists and professionals in various field of knowledge. They study, analyze, and find solutions to problems – global warming, ozone layer depletion, endanger species, etc. – that are caused by our advancing civilization.
4) The physicists – They are at the forefront of unraveling the physical laws that govern life on Earth as well as the formation and development of our universe. Galileo, Newton, Einstein, etc. were examples of the great thinkers who were able to visualize the invisible.
Just like the finger prints, no two persons’ thinking are the same. Even under controlled settings like in a school or work place, our thoughts on the same subject differ. Unlike the rest of the animal world where their behaviors are repetitive and predictable and where their functions are simple and limited, our special and varying thinking capabilities make each one of us a unique individual. There are quick thinkers, slow thinkers, deep thinkers, compulsive thinkers, and those who hate to think. We think not because we want to but we have to. Each person’s thought (from Socrates, Confucius, Newton, Einstein, Gandhi, Hawking, Jobs, …, to you and I) holds a small part of the key to our survival. By pooling our thoughts together, we have managed the problems of food supply and energy generation, to sustain an ever exploding population that is reaching 7 billion strong. We have changed the Earth’s landscape with roads, buildings, and mechanical gadgets to fashion a life of material comfort. We have invented the written language to record our ideas and imaginations to mold a civilization of spiritual enlightenment. We, the thinker, are no longer satisfied with just the survival of the fittest; we are reaching out for the stars and knocking on the door of immortality.