Cognitive

Cognitive: (adj) knowing and perceiving

Thinking works best when thinking has not occurred before we decide to think.

It’s the only way to keep it fresh.

If you show up to a meeting, a counseling session, a conversation or even a family gathering having “thought out” what you’re going to say, the possibility for the event being a productive one is hampered.

To be cognitive is to be willing to arrive at a meeting with a blank slate and no pre-determined conclusion.

There’s nothing wrong with studying or having your facts in place. But if it becomes obvious that you’ve been trumped by your adversary with more thorough coverage of the subject matter, the cognitive brain relinquishes turf instead of protecting it.

There are three signs that a person has a cognitive brain:

  1. Cognitive leaves the door open for the possibility that a stone was left unturned in your investigation.
  2. Cognitive opens up two ears when others are talking, just in case there’s something to be learned.
  3. And cognitive is prepared to make the adjustments to the reality of the situation instead of merely standing by a press release which was printed long before the debate began.

Without this kind of cognitive reasoning, we always end up in war instead of the humility of admitting that we have much to learn from each other.

 

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Aerialist

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aerialist: (n) a person who performs acrobatics high above the ground on a tightrope or trapeze.

We will trust in something.

  • Those who do not put their faith in God find great solace in education, knowledge or science.
  • Folks who are not physically inclined are comforted by reading, writing or thinking.

It always astounds me when I watch folks working a trapeze–how they overcome their fear of heights–until I realize that it has little to do with that. I suppose it would even be possible to have such an apprehension, and as long as you placed your faith in the skill of maintaining your craft, you would be fine.

After all, an aerialist does not trust the wire he or she is walking across. The wire is the obstacle. Certainly, they are careful to maintain the integrity of the line, but they place their faith in the jungle control and well-trained connection they have with their muscles and bones.

Walking across a high wire is not about trusting the surface nor even your balance. It is having the physical tone to know that when you place your foot down anywhere, the tendons and ligaments that control that appendage are strong, firm and sure.

It’s true of anything in life.

As I write this article today, there are millions of people who would insist they are incapable of such a task. They would find it nerve-wracking, if not foreboding, to put together sentences or ideas that possess interest.

But I trust the muscle. As I think, I say.

It’s a confidence that has grown in me as I have arrived at the moment of composition, without any idea ahead of time about what I’m going to share. I dig deep into my soul and find not only a topic, but a personal insight.

An aerialist is not a person who places his faith in chance, but rather, someone who knows that his body will respond the same, whether walking in the air, or on terra firma. An aerialist is a human testimony of working what we do well until we can have total enjoyment in the experience because we have logged the hours of practice.

It’s true for all of us–or else the lack of the truth leaves us feeling inadequate or meaningless.

I cannot walk on a high wire, but I do understand what gives them the impetus and confidence to do so: it is the same muscle and moxie that grants me the window to open every day … to let the fresh air of ideas sweep through me and from me.

 

Advance

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Advance: (v) move forward, typically in a purposeful way: e.g. the troops advanced on the capital. 2. to lend money to someone 3. an approach made to someone typically with the aim of initiating a sexual encounter.

He asked me if I was “a progressive.”

I realized it was a trick question. He obviously did not approve of progressives and had found a box he planned to stuff me into, to satisfy his simplistic way of thinking.

For it seems that somewhere along the line, a desire to advance the cause of mankind and progress us toward better solutions has become unsatisfactory.

In my lifetime, many of the things I was told were irreversible and immutable in their sacred nature have been abandoned in favor of easier practices.

For after all, I grew up thinking that black people were black, homosexuals were homosexual, women were women, north was north, south was south, divorce was evil, technology was mistrusted and that the hula hoop was actually a toy to entertain children.

All of these things have been pushed aside to advance one universal concept: freedom.

Yet the people who want freedom for one thing in this country want to restrict it for something else, and those who are determined to promote their particular agenda will be more than happy to pour gasoline on yours and set it on fire.

What does it mean–to advance? What is the definition of making progress? When do we know that we are moving forward instead of stumbling backwards or doing a two-step side to side?

Am I just an idiot to think this can be answered with one question:

Is it making better humans?

Because it would be impossible to help stray dogs, cats and Bambi, for that matter, if the human beings around them want to hurt them and kill them.

It would be ridiculous to think that we could give equal rights to the mass of the multitude if portions of the crowd have already decided that some people are inferior.

And we certainly will not be able to stop war–which may be the antithesis of advancement–until each one of us realizes that we are probably not going to get everyone to conform to our ideals.

Is it making better humans? That’s my yardstick.

  • I’m sorry–I don’t think pornography makes better humans. I’m not going to rail against it, but I also am not going to pretend that it’s “a rite of passage.”
  • I don’t think guns make better humans. I’m not suggesting they should be prohibited–just not promoted.
  • I don’t think abortion makes better humans. I prefer contraception, education and adoption.

My list goes on and on. I’m sure it would vary from yours–but we might be surprised at how many cross-references we would have.

I would love to see us advance. I have been fully warned NOT to call it being progressive–but at the very least, could we take some time to think about our survival and how we might want to make the lives of our children and grandchildren richer, more spiritual and laced with intelligence instead of dulled by drugs, attitudes and practices … that leave them in a stupor.