Now before you start your accolades of what a considerate, generous, helpful humanitarian you are, let me clarify what I mean in this case by the use of the word "thoughtful". (although, I do commend you if you are the epitome of the other definition of thoughtful).
What I mean here is are you contemplative, even meditative as Webster says? Do you think "deep thoughts"? Do you invest in higher learning for yourself? This doesn't mean that you go to some hallowed halls of higher education-although that can be a good thing. Do you pursue knowledge, wisdom and understanding? Or do you leave that to someone deemed an "intellect" and just 'go with the flow'?
Do you study concepts other than those you think you already understand or know enough about? Do you ever just look up a new word in the dictionary for the sake of wanting to expand your vocabulary? Do you hear about an issue that may be foreign to you currently and seek to learn more about it? Do you intentionally seek out people that you consider "smarter" than yourself to learn from?
If not, why not?
I think that as a person as well as a writer, this is something we SHOULD be doing all the time. I value education very much and as I've said before, a lot of what I've learned, has not come from a book or sitting behind a school desk. Instead it has come from listening, looking and experiencing. But more importantly, it has come from a deep desire to want to know things and to grow as a person, if for no one else but myself.
So I propose a challenge this new year, not only to all of you, but myself. I challenge each one of us to take the time, make the effort- to learn one new thing every day. This can be done simply by picking up a dictionary and finding a new word for each day. Readers Digest has a great section on word definitions that I used to love to do. Or look up something on the computer that you've only heard mentioned but never understood.
You can even do this right here on FaithWriters by going and reading an article that you've never seen before. It doesn't have to be any grand idea or concept, although that's good too. It can be merely learning about what someone else knows more about than you do. It doesn't mean that you have to agree or change your own way of thinking.
The second part of the challenge would be to share with at least one other person what you have learned. Not in an arrogant "I bet you don't know this" egotistical approach, but just present the information you have learned and in doing so get the other persons perspective on it as well.