What is thinking? Is it the process in which we take in information, judge the information and then use that information to form a thought or an output? That is what we will find out. Whether we acknowledge them or not, there are always thoughts passing through our minds. When a person thinks, there is a process in which we develop thoughts. First, as thinkers, we must sense what is going on in the environment around us, as it usually has some impact on how we create thoughts.

If we are in a stressful environment, it may be harder for the average person to think clearly. Personally, if I am going to be putting a lot of thought into a subject, such as this paper, I like to sit in my home office in total quiet so I can concentrate on what I am doing. Memories of past events can also weigh in when forming thoughts. They can help to sway one’s decision if the memory is strong enough to do so. Memories can also provide feedback for future thoughts if they pertain to the same subject.

The language a person uses is also an important part of the thinking process. It can set the mood for the thoughts. If someone is well spoken and uses proper sentence structure there is a stronger possibility that they can better voice their thoughts when need be. The choices of words can also reflect the nature of the thought. If someone isn’t sure what a word means, it may skew their thinking. There was an instance in my life in which my perception of the situation was somewhat different from what was really happening.

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A few years ago, I had a family member die from a drug overdose. I knew she had a problem and was in need of help however, I was unaware of how severe her problem was until it was too late. I knew that she had a strong drug habit and wanted to believe her when she told me that she was going to an outpatient clinic for help. As most people do in that situation, I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Things seemed to be getting better over the next few months until I got a phone call one morning letting me know that she had assed on. I was devastated, I felt as I had failed her because I didn’t push hard enough to help her kick the habit. Why didn’t I make her check in to an inpatient treatment? Why didn’t I try harder to help her? If I did would it have mattered? These are all questions I still ask myself seven years later. I am her big brother and I believed for the longest time that I failed at protecting my baby sister. I learned valuable lessons from that ordeal. These lessons are things I already knew, but evidently was afraid to admit.

I now know that if a situation of that nature ever arises again, I will be better prepared to handle it and hopefully it will have a positive outcome. I feel that because she was my sister, I let that stand in the way of what my family and close friends labeled my “drill instructor” attitude. I wasn’t known for putting up with slackers, whiners or complainers, and had a rather low tolerance for those types of people. I also had a soft spot for my sister because she was my baby sister. I treated her differently than most people. I was more on the gentle side I suppose.

She knew how to get me to back down and let her be. I would tolerate a lot more from her than anyone else and that turned out to be a fatal flaw. If I had been stubborn and more demanding, maybe she would still be here today, or not. Going forward in life, I now find myself raising two daughters who also know how to get daddy to bend the rules and let things slide. Once again, I find myself allowing certain types of behavior tolerable from them that I would never tolerate from anyone else. I also know now that if the time comes for me to tighten the reins, I know that I can.


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