الثلاثاء، 21 مارس 2006

When did you last..... think?

"You're still here? Very Well. I guess we got someone interested in this blog."

So tell me,

When was the last time you thought deeply of an issue that can least be described as "an issue of value"?
Did your mind make that old squeaking noise? Did you smell dust coming out of your head? Mice?

When was the last time you had a mind-nourishing conversation with your friends?
You know, like expressing your point of view about one of the current affairs. Or much better, discussing it.
Did you ever discuss a book you read with friends?

When was the last time you went for a drive in the busiest street in town on a Friday's night?
Did you get the shivers seeing all those countless youths just standing in the streets doing nothing? "Why are they standing there?" you ask yourself.
Or did you actually find it amusing and kind of a 'flavored' night life?

When was the last time you boasted in front of your friends how great and full of knowledge your father is?
Did you ever imagine, for one second, what you would like your son to be telling his friends about you?
Do you want him to be making fun of his old no-good father who does nothing better than watching sitcoms?
Or do you want him to bring his friends home everyday just so that they would meet his amazing father and sit with him?
Did that ever occur to you?Why not?

When was the last time you decided to watch a movie just because you heard that this specific movie really has a strong, meaningful and enlightening storyline? Did you watch "Crash"?
Driving on your way home after the movie, did you keep thinking of the amazing ideas in this movie? Did you feel that the way you view the world has changed?
Or all you're interested in is watching the same old kill-the-villains-save-the-world-love-the-girl oriented action movies?

So tell me,

Did you get this almost-invisible smile while reading the above questions?
Did you pause for a moment after each question, gaze away from the monitor, and REALLY think about that question?

If your answer was NO,please do the following:
1-Get rid of anything that's distracting you.
2-Adjust your sitting position.
3-Focus all your attention on that reflective thing in front of you called 'a monitor'.
4-Read the post from the beginning. But, please, try thinking...differently.

Now, do you agree with me that one of the biggest problems facing our society in general, youths and teenagers to be more specific, is the lack of a clear thinking methodology?

I'm not here to give ready solutions. I'm here to take part in the process of brainstorming for finding suitable solutions.

If you look at yourself from an external view, do you see yourself as a good thinker?

Do you see your mind as a ready to "clone-and-ship" mind? Or is it a mind that needs, what can be called, "Intellectual Upgrading"?

Let's agree on a new thinking methodology to spread. Let's call it "Intellectual Upgrading". How this methodology works is very simple:

  • Each participant (that means you!) will work in his own environment. You will work with your friends. She will work with her colleagues at work. Those twins will work with their family.
  • Each participant will have to strive to achieve a new, classy way of thinking in his own environement.
    (Don't think "classy" as in flashy clothes and garish colors.)
  • You'll have to come up with new ways to spend time, new ways to have fun with others, new ways to study, and even new ways for sitting with yourself.
  • Always judge what you're doing by asking yourself: "Is there value behind what I'm doing? Or is it just a complete waste of time?"

Of course, don't over do it so as not to drive yourself (or others) crazy. Just take it one step at a time.

The main goal of this topic: Let's develop a new,better way of THINKING.

Remember, If you're tired of the random way in which our society is living, don't just keep complaining. Be the first to make a move, change the way you think, and help others do so as well.

To sum up,

tell me,

When did you last... Think?

Click on the small cute link below labeled "Comments" and enter your answer to this question and any other ideas that would help spice up the discusssion for this topic.

Remember, regarding this topic, the comments are more important than the post itself. So, keep your comments clear, keep them fruitful, keep them creative, and don't spare any word.

Thanks for thinking,

Your host(who's been trying to think a lot lately),


هناك 14 تعليقًا:

Ahmed Mansour يقول...

Interesting topic!!
I agree with you...our problem is that we dont think...we dont think about our selves and about our lives....we do think alot about others...and criticize what everyone around us is doing....but we never realise that we are part of the problem....and that we should think about our lives instead...look deep and understand what is value adding and what is not....we will discover great things then! we will discover that we are doing lots of non value adding stuff....
We also need to think backwards...we need to think what our end goal is, then start planning how to get there.....its always interesting to think of this; 1) what is ur ultimate goal, 2) what are you currently doing? 3) where will what you are currently doing take you? if you continue to do it everyday, will you reach your goal? .... I think in lots of cases the answer will be we need to identify our goal first, then start planning how we need to get there.....
No discussing the quality of the goals some people set for themselves is another topic!!!!

zika يقول...

speaking about myself; i THINK more than enough about my life .. i just want to say don't think too much and try to have some FUN ..

Samer يقول...

Yey! Hard-hitting subjects! Here's my hard-hitting comment..

I "think" the problem is that nobody appreciates thinking as an action. Yes, Action. Thinking is action, because it can be productive!

In spirit of improvement and change, if you go to one of your dear but spontaneous friends and you want to communicate the ideas in your post. How would you go about it? No matter how troubled/energetic/poetic/compulsive/etc you are in trying to explain. He will simply not recieve, because he doesn't feel the need nor realizes the lost opportunity.

Thus the problem isn't that said person doesn't think; It is that he doesn't recognize it as benefitial, it's absense as detrimental or worse yet, plainly doesn't want to think.

At this point, you'd realise that you can't do anything about it except perhaps wish him well. Maybe his lifeline and experiences will lead him to realization later on.

And now you're left with yourself!

I'll talk about myself for a minute and what worked for me:

The first book I've completely read was Malcolm X's autobiography; It had an effect on me which might not be reproduced with other readers; It left me with a desire to seek the truth, to explore, to learn, learn and not tire from learning. Then I came up with a framework which supported this mentality. But before I describe it, I'll establish that learning needs thinking, that through rationality and thought a person can arrive at truth. Or from an engineering perspective, learning is one of the desired outputs of thinking.

Now to the framework: Imagine the world as made up of ideas and concepts. Think of them as the smallest units of the world, similar to how cells are to biology and atoms are to chemistry. Everything around you can be described by a sentence and each sentence is an idea. Objects, Phenomena, Persons, Relationships all described by ideas.

Then, Imagine that your brain is a mechanism, made of parts that interact with each other to achieve something, such as a gearbox or any machine (or algorithm for you IT people). To continouosly improve my thinking mechanism, I import ideas from my surrounds which I find valuable or having merit and add them as new parts or replace bad parts in my mechanism to improve its performance; effectively making me wiser and a better individual.

The basic premise is that ideas, notions, concepts have the power to change us and give us more conviction in our believes and those can only be acquired by an intellectual process (thinking).

Now what I just described might seem like self-help stuff and such, but thats not my intention.. What works for me doesn't necessarily work for anybody else. It may also seem complicated or difficult, but to me it is seamless and intuitive... I post it mainly in spirit of sharing because as the Care Bears taught us 'sharing is caring'(heh).

Amjad يقول...

I won't complicate this, won't add "check the dictionary" words to this post; clear and simple....

The question that struck me lately and pushed me to think digging into it was generated from the following scene :

I was walking down the street, and right above me a huge plane landing it way to the airport of Los Angeles, looking at it from the bottom, how of mch details it has, how compilcated it looked to me, and how amazing of a thing it is.


and i guess i came up with the answers sary and friends, id rather not to share them with you now, in order not to change the track of the topic proposed with Sary....I'll give my opinion about it later on, in the right time and in the right place :) but trust me; my answers match the topic Sary, it has to do with the methodology of thinking!!!!

By the way, i always believed that good schools, universities, graduate programs, should concetrate on the methodology more than the material itself.

Amer يقول...

I believe that one of the essential keys to success is keeping a balance in everything, even thinking. We need balanced thinking... We are overwhelmed with our great ideas, too much talk; we need to streamline our innovative minds making them presentable to the world around us in an easy manner that makes improvement so easy and desirable.

Another point is that we need to control our strong emotions (Keep them balanced), we are driven by emotion more than anything else. That’s why even in the smallest discussions over the tiniest issues you see huge amount of emotions in everyone’s face. Turning a minor conversation into a very sensitive argument or maybe making full of inapplicable imaginary solutions.

Sara Dudin يقول...

Salam Sary. Congrats for ur new blog. it seems pretty interesting! i have some comments for the article concerning thinking. Overall it is very encouraging for a group of our youth, or more precisely, to the youth who are pointless and needs help in setting up thier goals! In answering ur question, i had mixed feelings when i read this article, firstly, i felt offended! the way u r expressing ur q's which are supposed to be encouraging, or kind of carrying a sense of Dad attitude and i believe u r aware of the fact that if youth were dealt with superiority , they tend to get aggressive, or at least that's what i notice ! Secondly, u made me evaluate myself, and thank God I haved scored well! There's a thing that i believe in and advise people with always, which is, make use out of every conversation u have! There is always an added value hidden out there in that conversation regardless whether the other party is younger, older, wiser or shallower than u! Things are not found randomly in this life, and if u r alert enough u will definitely get THE value out of each conversation u have! Thirdly, I am glad u brought up the issue of THINKING methodology! there is a large group of people - i dont want to generalise - who take things as MOSALAMAT, and what OUR CULTURE tells them to do they just take it as THIS IS THE WAY it should be! In my opinion, a person should get to the point to think critically about things; analyse so he/she can get to conclusions and have proofs as well supporting their thoughts. Fourthly, the issue u tackeled has been the centre of my attention since a long while now, and i usually wonder about the youth who spent thier times with emptiness or however it can be described. I am trying to help in changing some youth's way of thinking around me through my intercations with them in the social work i do, and i am quite seeing some of them who are becoming interested in what i question and talk about! Next week will be a new season of training for me for 10th and 11th graders! hopefully we - My team and I- will influence their way of thinking and make a change even of it was a slight one! keep it up Sary, u r just doing greaaat ;)! sorry for being long,but i had to express myself, couldnt hold! Salam!

Ahmed يقول...

Sara actually pointed out something very valuable..which is our society takes things as mosalamat, while they should think and analyse instead....and I totally agree...BUT...we must be VERY careful...because some things are really mosalamat which we should just accept without questioning....or else we will just get lost.....and by this I mean in religion.....I think if we open the door wide open for questioning, especially in religion, it will be a you agree with me?

Samer يقول...

I don't agree, Ahmad! Our religion is a religion of rationality, meaning that rationality leads us to it and doesn't stand a chance against it. We are not questioning the muslamat themselves, we are inquiring about the wisdom behind them. In fact we are ordered to ask, to understand, and then we will follow with even more conviction. The only muslamat I can think of in religion are the particulars of ritual worships such as Salaa (Prayer) and Hajj (pilgrimage) and things such as 'tayamanu ma stata3tom' and 'ina Allah witron yu7ibul witr' but even those have meaning and purpose in them.

Our culture is entrenched in 'musalamat' and we should try our best to free ourselves from them or atleast reevaluate them because many of them are unfortunately wrong believes and build on flawed reasoning.

Tariq Walid يقول...

What worries me the most is time! I mean even though I'm unemployed, I barely find the time to do everything I want, be it visiting relatives, playing video games, let alone THINKING! I admit I still practise "thinking" alot every now and then, but as we get older we tend to have less time for ourselves. It's even complicated further when one ceases to be a bachelor anymore.

On the flipside however retirement brings about plenty of time and financial commodity (if you've done your homework, that is) ;)

M. Harrim يقول...

Interesting ... Urged me to talk!

Oh well, I guess being Middle Easterns and bound by the geographic location and demographic composition, we were subjected to certain way of thinking and limited goal settings. Our goals, concerns, and interests are often big and very high. Frankly, out of reach!

We've rarely taken few steps back, paused or thought in a simple sequence where little things are achieved to ultimatly deliver the bigger picture. It is obvious through the reactions we commit in response to the events surrounding us which are made in haste and lack intelligence, courtesy and tactics. Merely, wishful thinking!

I believe we need to learn how, and believe in, - little things can make a big difference - and eventually embrace it as a thought process in every aspect rather than clinging to great aspirations yet achieving none!

Amer Abbas يقول...

Ahmad and Samer, a good example for musalamat would be eating Ham. Prophet's PBUH Companions didnt question why eating ham was forbidden, yet with time and knowledge we discovered that ham is very harmful. we shouldnt go telling people that our great religion said Ham is forbidden because it has this virus, and this layer of fat..etc. we say its Forbidden because Allah ordered us, yet when you look at scientific facts that go along with this law you'd be Astonished by Mercy of Allah and his greatness. What if one day genetic made of ham a healthy meat. should it be halal?? ofcourse not.

Yet Alhamdulellah our religion has always been the religion of Fitra and parallel to the nature of humans and universe.

Basil Abbas يقول...

If you'd ask me what's the opposite of thinking, I'll tell you its arrogance. The less you think, the more arrogant you become, the less insensitive to everything around you, and the more self-centered.

Your brain is a muscle, just like the other muscles you have. It grows with thinking just like muscles grow with exercise.

With one catch though, just like the wrong kind of exercise (or even excessive exercise) can harm your muscles. The wrong kind of thinking (or even excessive thinking) can hurt your brain.

Everything has a right way, and the same can be said about the process of thinking. It has a right way, and needs exercise.

Regarding the MOSALAMAAT issue, I believe it is very clear. After believing in Allah and his Prophet (PBUH), we should take the mosalamaat as mosalamaat. Trying to be creative with mosalamaaat is what bid3a is all about. Islamic Religion permits (and even encourages) being creative/innovative/mubdi3 in all life aspects except religion itself.

If everyone wants to give it a shot in being a creative innovative thinker in religion, then be expecting thousands of sects soon enough. This is what happened with Jews, Durooz and many others.

For me, MOSALAMAAAT will be mosalamaaat. Whether there is a real wisdom, or whether it is only ibtilaa from Allah. We have to comply.

I wont question why Maghrib is three rak3aat and not two. I wont question why I should eat with my right hand. I wont question why five prayers a day and not four, I wont question why wudoo'o is important. Remember, religion is about believing (and not yaqeen). When you believe, dont expect exact absolute yaqeen to be uncovered infront of you instantly.

One more thing... I wont wait for scientific advances to reveal the wisdoms behind the musalamaat, ok, if there's a wisdom revealed then that's only a plus, but even if there isn't, I dont mind. And if one day I discover that praying is bad from my back, I will try to solve my back problem (rather than questioning praying). I will try to adapt my diet (rather than questioning fasting), I will try to manage my time (rather than questioning Friday prayer).

As a final conclusion, thinking is great. But a wrong move in the wrong direction might hurt you, or the people around you.

So think about the right "thinking process" to adapt and apply before any random brain thinking takes place.

Thanks for the space Sary.

Dozz يقول...

well..didnt read the whole post,n definitly none of those comments!!...i can answer the question though...i think..and think..and think..n frankly im fed trying to figure out a way to make me act..any suggestions?

MAA يقول...

Am so curious to know, after more than 5 years, each one of you.. What is the status of the thinking process, ur intellectual upgrading, and methodology of thinking is going on?