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Think Twice!

Have you ever wondered how people lived before there were televisions and social media? In the 1800s, people passed the time reading. Though they enjoyed regular conversations, they liked debating about current affairs.  Entertainment took the form of singing and playing musical instruments, but they also played games like chess and engaged in outdoor sporting activities. Those were simpler times. Back then, many tasks were done manually with tools that required some physical exertion. Other tasks required deep thought and use of cognitive skills.

Modern technology makes similar tasks much simpler and more efficient. There is an app for almost anything; making life easier.  Entertainment is just a click away. We spend hours watching television, indulging in social media and playing fast paced games. However, is the price of using technology to make life easier a diminished ability to think? In the past, we had to memorise telephone numbers, calculate simple mathematics problems, or think deeply about our opponent’s next chess move.

These days we are busy indulging in numerous activities that might be fun but require little or no thought. As a result, we lose our ability to think about things deeply and are stuck at the first level of thought. Here, we react according to our instinct, without thinking about the consequences; blindly following our desires.

When we live according to our own will, we can only make mistakes that cause pain and misery. Everyone has desires, but when we cannot think, we can never attain the second level of thought. This is where we can exercise self-control, considering consequences before we thoughtlessly rushing into things. In his essay on Criticism (1711), Alexander Pope writes, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Many times, people do not stop to think about where this action take them and end up on the wrong path. Trusting themselves, they feel they can handle situation. Even when things don’t work out, they assume they can take care of it. However, the end is usually a life of regret.

People who are wise think twice.

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