Just Think

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Audrey Cook, Staff Writer

With each fresh emergence of a generation comes lost and new configurations of art. For our generation, technology has formed what really is “an artistic experience.” It’s changed the way we approach other people and situations and it has given a broad spectrum of resources available at a moment’s notice. However, today’s generation, my own generation, is losing the art of thinking.  We’re time crunched, task obsessed and excessively occupied. When we’re not doing homework, we’re watching movies, scrolling through the latest posts on Twitter or Instagram, plugging in our earbuds, driving to where our hectic chaos of a life will take us next.

Time is a precious commodity, and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. But it is. We are overcrowded, and not just physically, but socially, emotionally, etc. We expect too much of ourselves. We have to get into a good college, satisfy our parents, socialize with our friends, figure out what to do with our lives. And that’s just high school. All the while we try to distinguish a good future for ourselves, but before we know it, we have lost the rare and precious glow of one momentary minute. We have lost our capacity to focus and to treat the present like the sensational gift that it is. Before we know it, we have lost our ability to think, to be silent.

Silence isn’t apart of our lives anymore and like many other conceptual hazes, it won’t ever be… unless it becomes a priority. Time management, diligence, perspective— all of these words that we hate to hear are the ones we should love the most. We have more resources available to us than any other generation in history and yet we forget that we have to apply our own minds to those resources if we ever want to make our own mark.

Today’s global society is a home of exchangeable information that flows freely and without limitation. For most, Google has become a tool to further laziness rather than to extend what we already know. Reading a page of historical events and memorizing it is not learning. It’s not personal reflection or creativity or innovation. It’s temporary knowledge that fades with each new and necessary test. Knowledge, furthermore, wisdom is taking those facts and applying them to the modern day environment. It’s having an opinion that’s not just based on “what you read on the internet” yesterday. It’s credibility. It’s clarity and it’s not just having an opinion for the sake of having an opinion but having an opinion because you actually care. You care and you want something to happen because you want change.

The point is we need some time where people aren’t telling us what we are supposed to think. Time when we think for ourselves. We need awkward silences. We need to prioritize and choose the things that will strengthen our minds and our character.

Technology spreads like wildfire, but unfortunately wisdom doesn’t accompany this flame of the future.

Wisdom isn’t memorized; it’s analyzed. It’s experiencing and actually listening to other people. It’s knowing when to talk and when to stop talking. It’s knowing when words won’t be enough. Wisdom isn’t something you can just “study up on” and acquire within a couple days. People aren’t born wise and perhaps wisdom is the acceptance that you don’t and never will know most everything. Furthermore, wisdom is being okay with that fact.

So be okay with silence, even if it’s just for a few minutes every day. Be okay with solitude and challenging the crowd. Because they might be wrong, but only you can know that for yourself. Not your screen or your teacher or your mom or your friend or even your music. You. You decide what you believe and no one else. It’s beautifully, courageously, and simply you and you alone.