My brother and I grew up thinking that thinking was a form of punishment.
Every time we got into trouble for something, we were sent to our room to think about it.
“But Mom, what are we suppose to think about?”
“Think about what you’ve done.” And with that, Mom routinely shut the door tightly behind her.
The problem was that when we felt we had thought about everything there possibly was to think about, we usually ended up laughing about how stupid one of us looked when we were caught doing whatever it was that we were in trouble for.
Then mom would suddenly swing open the door, pop her head inside, and say, “Since you two think it’s so funny, you can stay in your room for the rest of the day.”
So, now we were grounded not only to think about whatever it was we were to think about, but for laughing about what is was we were thinking about.
Each time she thought we had, had enough time to think about are behavior, she would come into the room and ask us what we had to say for ourselves. One at a time, we would dutifully say that we spent the entire time thinking about what we had done and would then proceed with a detailed account of whatever it was we did.
Mom thought we were being intentionally defiant and sent us back to our room, to continue thinking about what we had done, and we thought Mom wasn't playing with a full deck.
I’m assuming that eventually my mom gave up on this tactic of punishment because she surrendered to the assumption that both of her children had below average IQ’s.
Perhaps she initially gave us too much credit by assuming that we automatically knew that we were suppose to think about what we had done…wrong!
Whatever her reason, both my brother and I now fall into the category of being doers versus thinkers. Coincidence…I think not.
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