Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educator

The term “Critical Thinking” has almost become trite as it has become one of the most overused buzz-words in education. It is a great thing to teach someone how to think deeper. It is wonderful to see people question the how, where, when, and why something is done in order to get to the true answer. I wish we were all better at this.

However, there is a dark side to critical thinking. This is where someone has to criticize, berate, tear down, minimize, and basically trash the thoughts, aspirations, and accomplishments of others. This type of critical thinking stinks, and yet it seems many people have settled for having a shallow mind instead of deep thinking. Pretty sad, wouldn’t you agree?

It is easy to have a critical attitude when it comes to politics, religion, and relationships. They are all easy targets. It reminds me of the pot-bellied guy sitting in his easy chair watching the ball game and trash talking how the quarterback is a loser…and this guy never played Peewee Football much less in the NFL.

Having a critical attitude seems to be contagious too. Just go into a staff meeting and start spreading a juicy rumor about someone and see how it spreads. People seem to thrive on gossip…and not the good kind.

When you settle for having a critical attitude, you have gone from being a realist to a pessimist. You probably use the excuse that you are just calling it “real.” The problem is that the vile you spew is self-evident. Why do you feel compelled to tear someone else down? It does not make you bigger in the eyes of others; just the opposite. You are only fooling yourself if you believe that lie.

I have come to the conclusion that people do this because of their own insecurities. They feel compelled to tear down others in a sick way so they may somehow feel superior to them in their own mind. Pretty twisted way to think, and yet it is done every day in countries around the world.

Some days my biggest accomplishment is holding my tongue and not saying what I think. You can’t be a deep thinker if you stay in the shallow end of the pool. Let’s aspire to positive critical thinking and learn to elevate others. This is what we need to master as adults and teach the kids. If we are petty people, we are people to pity.


Dan Skognes

5 Responses to “Critical Thinking”

  1. Dawn Smith-Henry says:

    “You can’t be a deep thinker if you stay in the shallow end of the pool”, and “If we are petty people, we are people to pity”. There’s much to unpack from these quotes. Love them!

    But while Momma’s advice was well-intentioned, I guess it was ill-advised. I’m sure we all agree that it’s not so much what you say but how you say it. In other words, by all means point out my flaws, but don’t stop there! Suggest ways to improve…and give me a chance to defend myself or my views too.


  2. “….by all means point out my flaws, but don’t stop there! Suggest ways to improve…and give me a chance to defend myself or my views too.” I have done that on Linkedin and instead of giving their views they just blocked me.

    • Dan Skognes says:

      I have not seen the dialog you reference, but I know that I have had to block some people online because they simply wanted to argue, and they were totally closed to any point of view but their own. I am not saying you did that, but perhaps that was how it was perceived. Just a thought. Shalom! Dan

      • No, it was not you but another member. I had some email discussions with him but when he was unable to respond he blocked me and I do not get his posts on Linkedin anymore. I believe each and everyone of us knows something no one in the world knows. This is a fact and not my opinion. As such we should be able to discuss matters agreeing to disagree. I have two blogs which will allow all comments and I will respond to each and every comment.

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