…Or “Schools of Thought”
“All that we achieve or fail to achieve is the direct result of our thoughts.” Wrote James Allen, in 1903. His seminal classic, As A Man Thinketh, inspired a thought in me this morning that I felt compelled to share with you. I’ve heard this theme repeat in my years of study into why we think, act and become who we are. Just because there are competing schools of thought, does that always make someone right and someone wrong?
William Shakespeare, “It is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.”
Mahatma Gandhi, “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
Albert Einstein, “The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
Henry Ford, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”
All this great thinking to express a simple idea. There are not always two sides to a story, but there are often two schools of thought. Whole civilizations are based on the premise that, “I am right and you are wrong.” Political parties, battle of the sexes and even High School Marching Band competitions are based on the principle that there has to be a right and a wrong, a best and a worst, a stronger and a weaker. Sometimes, there’s just a right and a left.
Tell the armies of the South during the time of the American Civil War that they were destined to lose because they were wrong and you’d very likely lose an appendage (A much needed one at that). The same can be said of any army who was on the losing end of a battle or war. Sometimes it’s just a matter of opinion. Make time today to take a walk in the other side’s shoes. Have a lesson in the other school of thought.
How did you arrive at your point of view in the first place? Did you actually put thought into a debate or did you simply take sides based on other factors (party line, race, religion, etc…)? Next time you find yourself scratching your head over why someone did something different than you would have, ask why they would have done it that way. Then ask yourself if it really effect you in the long term. If they didn’t wear a tie to church, are you really going to let it ruin your day? I would hope not. Put some thought into your reactions today and with hope you will find yourself having a better day more often.