Here is the interesting part about all of this: no matter the form of questioning, whether it be in the form of a “standardized multiple-choice format,” or in the form of a “close-ended question,” or in the form of an “open-ended question” with one with a “twist,” or in the form of a “loaded question,” or in the form of a “leading question,” or in the form of a “suggestive question,” we have been so conditioned to give that single answer which does not require any significant level of creativity on our part. And at the end of the day, the end result is still the same, “convergent thinking.”
From the time we were little wee ones until now, we have been told certain things and we have just accepted them as truth without question. And from the time we were little wee ones until now, we have been told what to believe and we have believed, without question. And from the time we were little wee ones until now, we have been told how to believe what we believe and we have believed, without question. And from the time we were little wee ones until now, you have been told why you should believe what you believe and you have believed. From the time you were a little wee one until now, you have been conditioned.
You have been conditioned your entire life to give one response, conditioned your entire life to give the correct response, which has not required any significant level of creativity on your part. You have been conditioned the same way your entire life, to think inside the limits that have been set before you. You have been conditioned the same way your entire life, to think inside of the restrictions that have been set before you. You have been conditioned the same way your entire life, so much so that you now put the limits and the restrictions on for yourself.
And when given the opportunity to think, you restrict yourself because this is what you are accustomed to doing. When given the opportunity to think, you confine your thoughts to those that you are most comfortable with. When given the opportunity to think, your thoughts are kept well inside of the box of traditionalism. It is very difficult for you to think outside of that box, especially when you fear that you will be ostracized from your religious community. And because of this, you restrict your ability to think on the things of God, all because you have been conditioned to think the same way your entire life. Who would have thought?
We know that some of you believe differently than what you believed when you were wee ones. We know that some of you currently believe that you have chosen what to believe, have chosen how to believe, and have chosen why to believe, but are you really sure this is the case? Are you saying that you have freed yourself from that process that has conditioned you to think the same way your entire life? Are you saying that you are no longer a “convergent thinker” but are now a “divergent thinker?”
The conversion process from “convergent thinker” to “divergent thinker” may be more difficult then you realize. Because you have been so conditioned your entire life to having restrictions on your thinking process, you automatically limit yourself when there are no restrictions, automatically accepting those things that come from within the box of the traditional teachings about God and the things of God. With that said, you may want to re-examine yourself because you might not be that which you think you are.
Here are some things to consider that may help determine where you are located and to see if you restrict yourself when it comes to your ability to think.
Do you automatically give an “expected answer” to standardize questions when asked without any thought?
Do you not ask questions; especially when you do not understand what is being taught or when things just do not make sense?
Do you limit yourself to only “expected answers” for fear that you may be ostracized by the very group you seek acceptance?
Are you unable to expand on your response when asked to explain your answer?
If you can answer “yes” to any one of these questions, then you might not be where you thought you were. You may seriously need to reexamine yourself. Or, maybe you are just where you thought you should be, in that comfort zone, requiring little to no thought. Either way, the end result is a “convergent thinker.” However, you may have made the conversion, if . . .
You respond to standardize questions with an answer and explanation as to why you selected the response that you did.
You question, especially when you do not understand what is being taught or when things do not make sense and you expect a reasonable response.
You carefully examine the standardize questions to make sure the answer you give is the correct answer and not the best answer from within a set of pre-selected options that you have been given at some point in your life.
You are able to offer a well thought out response and explanation, without concern for the opinion of others or fear of ostracism.
If all of these be true, then you are probably where you need to be. In all of this, just make sure you are what God wants you to be and that you are where God wants you to be and not what or where you have been conditioned to be. Only you can determine that. Who would have thought?
Enjoy your blessings. - KW