Stop and think
IntroIf you learn nothing else in life, learn to “Stop and Think!” When you “Stop and Think!” you may find that many of your long-held beliefs have no basis in fact; they are merely things you have heard so many times that they have become embedded in your brain. You may find that what the salesperson is telling you is just a lot of mumbo-jumbo meant to confuse you. You may find that what your martial arts instructor is telling you goes against all logic, reason, and scientific fact.
When people are trying to convince you of something that defies logic, they will tell you that you must suspend your logical thinking and simply believe and have faith. If it does not work, then they blame the failure on your lack of faith. For them it is a win-win situation; if it works, they take credit, if it does not work, it is your fault.
We learn in many waysWe learn from experience; however, each person’s experience is minuscule when compared to all the experiences that have occurred over eons of human existence, and each person is only able to experience a small part of all the experiences that are available during his or her existence.
We learn from others, such as parents, teachers, friends, pastors, etc. These are people who are trusted and assumed truthful, but that is not always the case; they may be trying to mislead, or they may actually believe that what they are telling you is the truth when in fact it is not the truth.
We learn from television, radio, the Internet, newspapers, magazines, books, advertisements, and various other types of media; however, what we learn depends on how much we are able to retain, and the value of the information depends on how much of the information is factual and objective.
As politicians and others are well aware, if you state a lie enough times in enough places, people will come to believe it is the truth. So, when hearing or seeing information from any source, you should “Stop and Think!”
Stopping and thinkingWhen you “Stop and Think!” about a concept, you will usually find there are many inconsistencies in it. At some point, the inconsistencies mount until you must question the validity of the concept. As the inconsistencies continue to mount, at some point, you have to admit the concept is untrue or invalid.
I visited a church recently and sat through a sermon on forgiveness. As I looked around the congregation, I saw people intently listening and agreeing with the message without stopping and thinking about if it made sense.
Over the years, they had been indoctrinated into believing all that was told them in church was true, without ever taking time to “Stop and Think!” Even as a teen in church, I listened to what was being said rather than to the message itself, and was always finding things that were illogical and inconsistent.
On this night, the pastor was going through an outline of things that God had said about forgiveness. One item was that God says he will forgive you for everything if you only ask for it; even you do not deserve it. The congregation nodded in agreement. Then, a later point stressed that God cannot forgive you if you cannot forgive others. Again, the congregation nodded in agreement. These two points were in complete opposition, but the congregation had been so indoctrinated just to believe that they did not hear the inconsistency.If you are a martial art student, you will hear the same thing repeated over and over in class for years. After a while, you grow to accept it as the truth, without ever stopping to consider its truthfulness. While it may be true, do not accept it as the truth until you “Stop and Think!” about it.
ExperimentAs an experiment, consider some term, saying, concept, or doctrine you have heard all your life as being true, and then “Stop and Think!” about it using all the knowledge you have acquired in life. Does it stand up to your personal scrutiny?
Before you believe what a politician, salesperson, clergy, teacher, friend, relative, martial arts instructor, TKDTutor, or even your parents tell you, “Stop and Think!”