Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thinking, a Ramble

"I think, therefore I am." -- Descartes

I think! I think? Am I thinking? Or just rambling?

Or maybe what I'm doing is a counterfeit of actual thinking. We all think, dream, imagine, manufacture arguments and discussions based upon hormones and blood-sugar levels, recent activities and the anticipation of those to come. Most of the time we feel first then try to engage our brains. Our brains shouldn't control our hearts anymore than our hearts should control our brains. Both need to work together without one being dominate over the other. Sometimes, this may seem impossible. When your emotions take over make sure your brains works, too. Whatever you do, don't let your brains control your emotions. It's not healthy.

So, what has this got to do with Libraries?

Those who work in libraries tend to want to please everyone. This is a blatant generalization augmenting an unreasonable stereotype. How I think and how I feel helps me decide how I am going to act. When I turn off most of my thinking and abdicate my right to valid emotions, so I can help anyone find ANYTHING, without passing judgment. If I train myself to not think or feel, and therefore not judge based upon my thinking and feelings, I'm saying what I think and feel has no value. That goes for you, too.

Remember, I reject post-modern thinking which gives the individual the right to determine truth for themselves.

Thinking involves the collection and evaluation of facts pertaining to a specific circumstance. Generally speaking one circumstance is not divorced from any other circumstance. Everything works together is some way. How stuff works together is a mystery. That stuff works together is not. Distance may lessen impact but does not negate it. How I act impacts the people with whom I deal as much as how they act impacts me.

Feeling involves a chemical reaction to circumstance as measured by an excepted moral code or fixed expectation of how something ought to be, which is determined by an excepted (whether known or unknown) moral code. Everything I do is based upon my understanding of right and wrong and whether I care it is right or wrong. If you think something is right, good, necessary, then you feel anger or fear when the standard of right is messed with.

The Japanese in California were interned in Relocation Camps during World War II. This fact has impacted everyone who lives in California. What a high school student learns in life in a public school in California will impact others, rippling out until all in the vicinity are touched causing their own ripples, touching others, ad infinitum. History impacts now. Now impacts tomorrow.

Some of you may be bored with my amateurish philosophizing. I'm not a professional. I don't make a living delving into the murky waters of modern philosophy, groping for what ever I can find and calling it a treasure. But, I do think. Stuff has to make sense to me. I'm not always consistent in my actions and words. I'm often inconsistent in my emotions. I've learned to recognize when I'm angry or afraid or happy or at ease. I still ask questions.

Didn't anyone think about the consequences of their decision to intern the Japanese?

How can they make blanket assumptions about a people based upon race?

Do our schools really think throwing more money at education is going to make students socially responsible?

Why don't some people want to think?

Why don't others allow themselves to feel?

Libraries are here to help people figure out answers to these and other questions. The only way to do this is to have as many facts as we can unencumbered by the politically correct. Honest questions deserve honest answers. I hate it when people lie to me. I love it when I can help someone find an answer. Hopefully, I'm the same person working as at home.

Sometimes a good ramble clarifies thinking. Sometimes, it doesn't.

Gerald F. Ward

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