See? Thinking comes with strings.

“It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most.

They teach us how to think.

If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact.

But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers.”

― Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear

Josie Glausiusz* has written about research showing people do not enjoy being alone with their own thoughts.
I suspect we didn’t really need a new study to tell us people are uncomfortable with their own thoughts. But here the author has used thinking and daydreaming interchangeably. To me they are two distinct animals. And then throw in entertain and we have an entirely different species. I can daydream or people-watch without exerting too much brain power. Those are pretty much mindless let-it-wander actions. And they can be quite entertaining and amusing, but they have no goal. Playing the alphabet game while driving is entertaining. But those three modes of activity serve to keep real thinking at bay and unaware of what thoughts might be lurking beneath the surface.
Actual thinking requires some cerebral pursuit. Working up a menu for next week’s dinner party is thinking. What am I going to say to Aunt Martha by way of apology is thinking. How will I break off my relationship with Alice is thinking. How am I going to rewrite my resume is thinking.
See? Thinking comes with strings. It goes below the surface. It has an action attached. It is a spur to movement. It leads to a feeling of accomplishment. People are comfortable with that even if they don’t particularly enjoy the thinking process that got them there. Entertainment is fleeting. It does not hold hands with joy for very long.



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