I have been doing a lot of fretting lately about the state of our national intellect.
This isn’t a new exercise for me, really, but because of the increased conversation about issues and candidates in the news recently (what’s the saying? You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone with an opinion?), I’ve been ramping up my anxiety about our collective seeming inability to think.
As a teacher, I take seriously my responsibility to model and encourage my students to think beyond the easy and expected. I want them to push their own edges, to argue with their preconceptions, and to question the things that have been presented to them as fact. Sometimes they do that, but most of the time, they can’t be bothered.
This is this morning’s writing prompt. I don’t know that it’ll generate any particularly thoughtful answers, but I’m going to keep asking the hard questions. I will not release a group of complacent, ignorant people into the world.
Relate a time when you made a realization that changed your perspective. How did you feel about believing/knowing something before that you now believe/know is wrong? Consider the political meme of “flip-flopping.” Why do we put out the cultural message that changing one’s mind is a sign of intellectual or moral weakness, and what effect does that have on people’s (your?) willingness to try to see things from another angle?