What the World Needs Now
What does the world need now? Love and peace, of course, that’s a given. But let’s expand on that answer to include; a place of incredible love and belonging, and peaceful, meaningful connection; Community. We know the world suffers today because of the diminishment of our Communities over the past two years.
In order to have more Community in the world, we need more Community leaders, leaders who understand how to build, guide, and maintain a Community. And an integral part of Community leadership is the ability to model, teach and encourage critical thinking.
What is Critical Thinking?
Here are a few definitions:
Critical thinking is also known as “complex thinking” and “higher-order thinking.” The ability to think critically calls for a higher order thinking than simply the ability to recall information. University of Louisville
Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do. Robert Ennis
Critical thinking is skillful, responsible thinking that is conducive to good judgment because it is sensitive to context, relies on criteria, and is self-correcting. Matthew Lipman
I like the self-correcting aspect of this definition. If we are not willing to self-correct, are we thinking critically or just fighting to defend our original position?
One last point from this excellent resource:
A major part of learning how to think critically is learning to ask the questions—to pose the problems—yourself. That means noticing that there are questions that need to be addressed: recognizing that there are problems. Often, this is the hardest part of critical thinking.
Why is Critical Thinking Important?
- If we don’t use critical thinking, we will believe anything said by anyone who has status in our eyes.
- Before we attempt to solve a problem, we need to apply critical thinking to understand exactly what the problem is.
- Communities need critical thinking skills if they are to collaborate effectively using Consensus; Community leaders need to understand how to teach and encourage critical thinking.
It is difficult if not impossible to solve problems without #1 clearly and accurately identifying the problem and then #2 applying critical thinking to it.
Stress Gets in the Way
This article says,
Stress plays a major role in the ability to use cognitive processes and to think critically.
We’ve experienced constant stress for over two years now. For the most part, we’ve had to deal with this stress in smaller numbers – or alone – as our Communities have been reduced in size.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t take a breath, back away from distressing information and take the time to sit and think critically. First, reduce stress to put yourself in a better position to think critically and clearly.
Are you a critical thinker? Was critical thinking a part of your formal education, your upbringing? As a parent, do you encourage critical thinking in your children?