Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Walking a Fine Line on a Slippery Slope

I've had a life. I see how slippery things can be.
~Annie Proulx

Even at my age, after all these decades of living, I still consider myself a work in progress. In many ways, I take pride in that—being a “work in progress”—as it tells me I’m still striving and learning and maybe most important, I’ve proven to myself I am able to change, alter or soften my opinions, my way of thinking, my outlook.

There have been dozens, possibly hundreds of times when I’ve shown intolerance for the opinions of others, when I’ve been less than respectful of another person’s point of view.

It is the province of knowledge to speak,
And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Several years ago I audited a college class that was an adjunct to a writing course I was taking. We were going to learn to be critical thinkers.

Up to that time, I’d never heard the term “critical thinking.” When I parsed the two-word phrase, I knew I’d often been “critical” (in the derogatory sense and not in a manner involving skillful judgment as to truth and merit) and I have always been a “thinker.” I just never realized one could be proud of being a “critical thinker.” [cont'd]