1. A Useful Thought
If I am going to express a thought I may as well make it useful.
There’s no point in spreading useless thoughts. There are too many of those around already.
My feelings and opinions are not in themselves useful to anyone else.
Whether I like something or not – whether I am for or against – may just be a personl reaction without thinking behind it and of no use to anyone.
Announcing a prejudice that I hold but do not question, makes me feel enjoyably self-rightous but it enlightens no one.
Criticism is generally not useful: finding fault without putting forward any positive suggestions is easy to do but it doesn’t serve any purpose.
Expressing a thought that furthers my selfish interests, or the interests of a particular group only – my friends, family or country – is, by definition, of no use to anyone else.
What then is the most useful thought I can give the world?
To be useful, a thought must take human knowledge and consciousness forward. It may or may not give new information but it will certainly contribute a new perspective.
Ideally, my useful thought will be backed by evidence and it will be expressed succinctly, for easy digestion.
It will not be a thought that you have to like or dislike, accept or reject, wholesale; but a thought that you may want to think about yourself and add to.
Every useful thought, it seems to me, begins with a question (either overt or implied) and my next step should be to ask, “What is the question that we (by which I mean humanity, the world) most needs to ask at this moment?