“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain
Mark Twain provides some a quote that caused me to ponder all of the situations where I, in fact, found myself in this situation. Sometimes it’s easy to go with the majority. You do not have to stand for anything. There’s no work involved. At other times it’s hard to go with the majority because you know someone will find out and you’ll be ridiculed, berated, ostracized, etc.
This quote demands the use of critical thinking. It doesn’t matter how many people believe in something. It doesn’t matter what “facts” are presented. The key here is for you to do the work. Critical thinking is not easy. It’s why we have “fake news”, the blind leading the blind, and any other cliché you can think of. People don’t think. They don’t go out and investigate all sides and make a decision based on this information. They just believe what they see and read without putting any effort whatsoever to validate what they are being told, what they read, or what they hear.
Critical thinking requires us to understand what sources were used for a story. Critical thinking requires us to understand how a story compares to other stories claiming the same or different things. Finally, what is the motive behind writing the story in the first place?
Do any of you remember the articles that claimed eating eggs were bad for you? If you read any article about food and how it’s good or bad for you, check the sources of the article. I’m pretty sure you’ll find either an industry advocate or a competitor of an industry behind the article. This is just one example of using your critical thinking skills to really understand the motive, sources, and other reasons for the publication of an article.
If you have any examples when you used your critical thinking skills, offer them in the comments.
Thanks for reading.
See you tomorrow…