I was watching a years-old forum on BYUTV recently about pondering, reflecting, cogitating: pick your favorite term to describe it. It is the act of thinking.
He talked of the popular belittling of thinking, especially in solitude; he talked of the benefits of thinking; and to conclude his remarks, he had a few humble suggestions of how to think in solitude. His suggestions were:
- At least occasionally, think in words: write a discourse or talk to yourself.
- At least occasionally, think of words, there meaning and implication.
- Occasionally reflect on the world around us, what we have seen, touched, and heard, for instance.
Cogitation on a few key principles opened me up to economic libertarian thought and understanding. And so I suggest a few possible questions to ponder with respect to politics, economics, and liberty. I’m sure you can come up with a better list, but here is a start:
- What is the state good at?
- What motivates those who work for the state?
- What rights should individuals maintain?
- What rights should be compromised?
- How should they be compromised?
- How much of one’s wealth is the state entitled to?
- How much of someone else’s wealth am I entitled to?
- What is a transaction?
- What is wealth?
- Where doers money come from?
- Is inflation and deficit spending really a necessary evil?
I could go on forever. For me, the key to a revolution back to freedom and liberty and a rejection of the statist status quo is to instill these ideas in the heart and soul: to mentally chew on them a hundred times, if necessary, until the answers are clear, not muddy.
Similarly, there are a near infinite array of questions that are even more important, and pertain to salvation. Questions like:
- Is man fundamentally good?
- How can man improve his nature?
- What is the ultimate purpose of life?
- Is God real?
- Why is salvation important?
- Is an Atonement really necessary?
Again, I could go on much longer, but the law of marginal utility comes to bear. Suffice it to say that in revelation is the ultimate answer to all of these questions.
In closing, find time to think, to ponder, preferrably alone and in the quiet, and you will reap great benefits!