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January 21st, 2021
Think different - it’s one of the catchiest, most effective marketing phrases ever. It’s at once inspiring and easy - easy because there’s no real need to prove that we are thinking different. Merely the sense and desire to do so is enough of a pleasure that the real thing need not even be bothered with.
How does different thinking make itself known? There is of course the ubiquitous evidence of people who don’t think alike, trumpeting their point of view at the opposition like a gunner behind a canon. But the opposition does pretty much the same: trumpeting their own point of view with the same force and much the same method. What, if anything is really different between the two?
Despite what difference in word choice might be at play, the two groups in such arguments are acting identically. This the modern state of discourse and debate.
What’s interesting is that most people have a deep and genuine interest in opposing points of view, but only when such points of view are presented in a respectful and kind manner. Surprise surprise. What’s really different in this case? The point of view? Or the method? Well both, but one has no hope of being effective without the other.
Dialogue and discourse aside, the true evidence of thinking different isn’t thought at all, but action. We all generate and entertain a huge variety of thoughts each day, the large majority of which we don’t ever act upon, for better or worse. In fact, most of our behaviour functions without thought, by virtue of the well oiled gears of habit.
For much of the day even, our behaviour can be quite out of touch with thought, and which matters more in the long run? Behavior has real consequences, especially if that behavior is compounded repeatedly. Whereas a great thought which is only ever thought and eventually forgotten has all the effect of something that never even happened.
Truly different thinking results in different behavior - new actions which ride on a fresh logic. Unfortunately, many, most, and perhaps all of us are quite guilty of coming across better ideas and doing nothing. We are all aware of ways in which our life could improve if only we acted upon the ideas which describe the change of those ways. But like a good idea never written down nor acted upon and lost, uncultured by memory we sail on as though ignorant of a better course.
Perhaps there’s room for an argument that we don’t take thoughts seriously enough, or rather, we have a very poor sense of which thoughts to weigh as more significant than others. That thought about chocolate cake weighs heavier than the countless memories of how it feels after binge eating. It’s a battle of two thoughts, and the choice of one over the other results in a different behavior. The two, that is thought and behaviour have this strange relationship, sometimes tightly bound sometimes as loose as if the two have never met. Automatic behavior rarely gets the second thought that it should and great ideas often doesn’t get the attention in the form of action that they most certainly merit.
donating = loving
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