Critical Thinking: How To Ask The Right Questions
Critical thinking is the fuel to asking the right questions that ultimately provide the right answers for us.
“If there was one life skill everyone on the planet needed; it was the ability to think with critical objectivity” – Josh Lanyon
It is often considered that the Generations Y Z are known for their ability to question status quo. However, a large percentage of young adults have outsourced their thinking to others and all they wait for is the final result, a YES or NO answer. How did we get here?
For some adults, they depend on parents, partners, pastors, mentors and every other leadership figure they have got in their lives to think for them. From the course to study in the university, down to the career to pursue, the kind of business to venture into, the person to get married to, what to believe etc.
They wait for these authority figures to spot out the problems in their lives and provide the solutions to these problems and then go further to tell them exactly what to do. If the suggestions from the authorities go south, then they know whom to blame for it. This has drastically reduced how we should think.
Critical thinking and parables.
One of the tools Jesus used to teach his disciples and the multitude was mostly parables.
Why parable? A parable is a tale about a simple, common subject to illustrate a deeper, valuable moral lesson.
Jesus used stories, analogies to drive home his point and leave the people to draw a conclusion from the illustration he made. This method of teaching is called the Socratic method characterized by “productive discomfort”. This approach allows the multitude to ponder on the teachings and sometimes triggers them to ask him questions and more questions. He always want us to put our brain to use and think with it.
Man lost his ability to think like Christ after he fell by eating of the fruit of the tree God forbade him to eat in the garden of Eden. Now, salvation has restored us to God’s original plan and now, we have the mind of Christ!
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 2:16
Critical thinking is defined as the ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between ideas. It is also described as the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking. This ability is one of the needed skills in the 21st century of which education opens us into.
Education as defined by a global thought leader, Olakunle Soriyan is “the ability of the human spirit to experience his environment, to find options that exist in that environment first, and then to know the ones to commit to as a matter of supreme urgency”.
Here, education allows us to be able to observe our environment, consider the options available to us, which requires critical thinking, and then commit to one. The more we educate ourselves, the more we give ourselves to critical thinking. This is nothing close to going to school and heaping certificates upon certificates.
Education helps us refine our ability to think critically, ask questions and make good judgement. It teaches you how to think as opposed to schooling that teaches you what to think only. God releases different ideas to different people, educated minds are able to refine these ideas into tangible and usable products. That is why we have the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg.
Do not box yourself and go with the template society has shown you. Don’t let society define how you should think and reason, let your reference point be from your creator.
An actual thinker is not just looking for answers, they are also looking for the right questions to find the right answers; and not just taking things at the face level, hook, line and sinker.
I remember attending an event and initially, I didn’t think I had any question to ask before the program but then when the program started and a question popped up in my head, I had a strong feeling to ask but unfortunately, they weren’t taking more questions. Apparently, I’ve had this question on my mind for a very long time but no answer given to me cleared my doubt.
Here I was, going to leave that program with my question unanswered but just as the program was come to a wrap, thoughts shared by the panelists started building up more questions on my mind and just as a I was pondering on them, I found the answer to my initial question that had been on my mind for years. It was like a eureka moment.
Prior to going for that program, I had listened to a talk by Esther Perel on questioning and the posture of the mind when asking question it was profound. For people who ask questions and want to leave with answers, a definite answer, it’s better to leave with thoughts, with a different perspective, with conversations you have been meaning to have and haven’t had, with someone you owe an apology that you want to give rather than a fixed mindset.
Here is what to ponder on:
1. When was the last time you upgraded your thoughts?
2. Harness the power of your imagination because we think in images and communicate those images through the secondary conduit, words.
3. Seek education over schooling/academics.
4. Ask God to enlarge your intellectual territory.
5. You can add yours.
Have you got questions? Ask them in the comments.
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