Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Mind is a Terrible, TERRIBLE Thing to Waste... So Don't

What is the purpose of having a mind that has the power to generate thoughts, that is driven to create new ideas if we’re not then going to put those ideas out there for discussion? Consider all the possible thoughts of all of the possible people out there and imagine (if you’re willing) all the good stuff that could come of it if we were all willing to put our thoughts out there.

If we intend only to be drones blindly following the opinions of others or machines like computers who can do nothing but take in information, occasionally regurgitating that information in some other bland and lifeless format then why bother to expend the energy to think at all?

Yes, I know there will be people who disagree, who will look at you funny, call you crazy, even send hurtful insults your way. I’ve been there and I’m still here.

We don’t want to be different, we want to conform… but do we really want to conform?  How many of us harbor a secret wish that we had the courage to speak our minds, to stand by the strength of our convictions, to unleash the creative juices that flow.  We are afraid to stand out, afraid to disagree, afraid to appear insolent or argumentative, afraid that our ideas will not be well received, afraid, afraid, afraid.

Afraid of what? That somebody won’t agree with us?

I do think that one of many definitions of courage involves a willingness to push past that fear of the consequences of self-expression and do it anyway. There will be those who will chastise you for it, strongly at times but my guess is that there will be many, many more who will secretly envy and respect you for it.

And still we don’t. Still we are afraid.

(she says as she anonymously posts to her blog).

Hey, just because I think it doesn’t mean I’m ready to actually do it yet.

Props: Thanks to Little M for the inspiration for this post.


  1. Boy, I don't know what I did to inspire this post but I'm glad I did.

    I have some very unpopular opinions and beliefs and I certainly struggle as to when I should share them and when I should keep my mouth shut. I'm an AA member who doesn't believe that all addicts remain addicts forever and a Christian who believes in reincarnation.

    My mother only calls me when she is drunk and wants to complain about her horrible lot in life or gossip. Neither of these things interest me and I struggle to nicely disagree with her or just agree so I can get rid of her more quickly. What I really want to say is, "You only call me when you are drunk and want to complain. I don't want to hear it. Grow up!"

    Ok, so yes you've provoked a little rant here. It must be time for some tea and television. I need to break free and chill!

  2. Hi LM - your comment of 'no kidding' when I suggested that I get to say whatever I want since nobody can prove or disprove my theories made me laugh. And so it got me to thinking what the hell? Why did God bother to give us brains if we're not going to use them for the purpose intended which is to generate ideas and share them in order to make something of them. Of course there are 1,000 reasons why we don't but my guess is that all 1,000 of those reasons have fear at the root of them.

    For example and if you don't mind my saying clearly your mother has no problem tossing a few back and calling you to say what's on her mind. It makes you very uncomfortable and yet why cannot you say exactly what you indicated above even though it is absolutely valid and quite frankly warranted. Because you are afraid of something. Something makes you afraid to say that to your mother. I'll not speculate beyond that but I'm guessing you'll agree with me.

    As for reincarnation - who can say? But it's your prerogative to believe that and by sharing your beliefs with others you inspire discussion and the growth of new ideas. That's how we get cool, new stuff, by the evolution of ideas. I'd be willing to bet that Thomas Edison wasn't afraid to share his ideas.

    You may rant away here anytime you want. By the way what would happen if you did say that to your mother some day? You don't have to answer that but it's something that might be worth thinking about. That being said I do understand that parents and siblings fall into a category unto themselves. We are connected with them in ways we are not with others and we'll take a hell of a lot more from them for fear of losing them. Weird huh?

  3. Oh hey by the way I'm interesed in your theory that addicts don't remain addicts forever. I'd be interested to know why you think that. I have a theory which would probably be fairly unpopular in some circles and my theory is this: alcoholism is not caused by the 'alcoholic' gene. I don't buy that and the more I learn about alcoholic and ACOA behavior the stronger is my belief that it ain't no gene behind the whole dastardly thing. Sometimes I think the sins of the father being visited on the son (so to speak) are visited psychically rather physically.

  4. Alcoholism as generational sin? Yes, I've had thoughts about that too.

    I don't know why some addicts don't remain addicts forever and why others do; I suppose it depends on the individual. I've seen people who engaged in very addictive behaviors for years eventually grow out of it. They (not suddenly) become less attached to their chemicals and eventually use them occasionally or rarely without suffering any mental/physical/spiritual distress. I suppose some would say they were never really addicted to begin with, but they certainly showed all the symptoms at the time. I have no real theory on the issue -just my observations.

    As for my mom, well, she's a sad and fragile soul -a Philistine and ignoramus. I don't say this to be cruel or arrogant, just to explain that there is no benefit to confronting her. It only alienates her and she needs all the relationship she can get!

    But yes, sometimes I would really like to speak my mind and it is probably fear, not compassion, that makes me bite my tongue.

  5. What I mean by (as you say) 'alcohol as a generational sin' is that it is the BEHAVIOR that is a product of living in a substance-abusing home that spreads from generation to generation. And I don't mean just the drinking. The effects on the victims of living in that home can be profound and without the proper help the victims take that dysfunctional behavior with them throughout their lives and into their own future homes and impacts their future children.

    For example I have read many times that children who grow up in alcoholic homes exhibit traits of PTSD. For the record I don't doubt this for a minute considering the trauma involved in living in a home like this. So I grow up in an alcoholic home, I develop PTSD-like systems, I get married, I have my own children who then suffer the consequences of my trauma symptoms, possibly developing their own psychic ailments as a result and so the cycle continues. The sins of the father. Religion has nothing to do with it and genes have nothing to do with it. My kids might develop trauma-like symptoms as a result of mine and use alcohol or drugs to kill their own pain.