Published by David Lapin under Uncategorized
April 17, 2012
In The Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher’s (Meryl Streep) doctor asks her how she is feeling. She responds with a tirade:
People don’t think any more.
Do you know, one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than thoughts and ideas.
Now thoughts and ideas. That interests me.
Ask me what I am thinking-
The Iron Lady’s got a point. Feelings have become deservedly more legitimized in modern conversation. We are probably more comfortable acknowledging our feelings, expressing them and talking about them than we have ever been before in Western Civilization. However in the process of promoting the rightful place of feelings we might have demoted the paramountcy of thought.
Thought is the most majestic of human capabilities. Think about it, you have little control over what you feel and even your choices over what you do and where you go are limited by the constraints of reality. Thought on the other hand, is unconstrained and unlimited. You can think about whatever you want whenever you want. You could be occupied with the most mundane of chores, while your mind could be probing the most complex mysteries of science or philosophy. You could be reciting Shakespeare in your mind while you vacuum your carpets or do your laundry. You could be contemplating divine beauty or even sanctity while driving to work.
Thoughts don’t just stay thoughts. As the Iron Lady continued to propound, quoting her father:
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become.