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Friday, June 28, 2013

What Could We Learn from the Author of Winnie the Pooh?



“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.” — Alan A. Milne

In a world of political correctness, we dare not say anything that the majority will not say. From birth, we are taught to keep the peace and fit in or otherwise face our greatest
trepidation – being alone. Yet, in the face of political correctness, there are those who don’t give a damn. They are the outspoken contrarians who pride themselves on being different from most people.

These two groups make up the majority of the human race. They find other like-minded people and carry on with life. The majority scoffs at the minority and vice versa. All the while each group believes they are right.

The minority believes the majority does not spend much time thinking. From the minorities’ perspective, the majority lives in a prison with bars made of rules and conformity which has been tainted by the need to be politically correct. The politically correct name for the majority might be labeled as the popular people.

The majority, on the other hand, keeps their distance from the minority because they seem to be a group of irresponsible, selfish and thoughtless rebels. Even they can be politically correct by referring to themselves as mavericks.

Outside of these 2 groups are what Milne calls the first-rate mind. The first rate mind spends very little time judging others. They are neither concerned with fitting in or rebelling against. They think about possibility. These are our captains of industry – inventors, philosophers and businessmen. They are the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison and Tom Watson, Sr. They think about how to make things work and ultimately change the game.

While the second and third-rate minds squander time judging, the world’s progress depends on first-rate minds.

At the same time, everyone has a first rate mind. It’s only a matter of discovering it. Those who use their minds strictly to memorize the works of others miss the opportunity to experience their innate greatness. Those who use their minds to oppose or find something wrong with what they learn also miss the opportunity to shine their internal light.

If you would like to discover your first rate mind, spend quality time alone. Turn off the TV and computer. Push aside books, newspapers and magazines. Use that time to contemplate what you would like to get out of life. Think about who you want to be. Then connect those thoughts to the unsolved challenges society faces. As a result of this practice, you may be surprised at the possibilities you envision. And what you may find is that your first rate mind is the missing link to solving many of the world’s problems.

What do you think? I’m open to ideas. Or if you want to write me about a specific topic, let me know. 

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