A “Think” Problem

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2006-05-24 10:47:57

Author Unknown: It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then, just to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone — to relax, I told myself — but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time. I even began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and working don’t mix, but I couldn’t stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it we are doing here?” Things weren’t going so great at home either. One evening, I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother’s. Soon, I had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said, “Skippy, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another place to work.” This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confessed, “I’ve been thinking …” “I know you’ve been thinking,” she snapped, “and I want a divorce!” “But Honey,” I said, “surely it’s not that serious.” “Yes it is,” she replied, her lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as college professors, and college professors don’t make any money. So if you keep on thinking we won’t have any money!” “That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently, but that just made her cry. I’d had enough. “I’m going to the library,” I snarled, as I stomped out the door. I drove off, in the mood for some Nietzsche, and cranked up National Public Radio on the car stereo. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors … but they didn’t open. The library was closed. To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. As I sank to the ground, clawing at the unfeeling glass and whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye: “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” Most of you no doubt recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker’s Anonymous poster. And that’s how I became what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video. Last week, it was “Porky’s.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed … easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

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