To Think Critically

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This revelation can be both daunting and liberating.

Daunting because it makes us responsible for our attitudes and liberating because we have the power to choose our perspective, mood and thoughts.

First, what are the assumptions behind this person's statement?

How does he view the job of government, for instance? Does he believe pollution is a real threat to the environment?

Every problem we are able to resolve increases increases self-confidence and self-worth.

Thinking critically not only helps us handle future challenges more skillfully, it also broadens our life experience and helps us gain perspective.

Ultimately, if you persist, you'll have a new perspective on the event itself, and will have broken through to a more critical understanding.

The word "critical" here means approaching everything as if you were a critic -- questioning it, analyzing it, putting it in context, looking at its origins. "Everything" includes yourself: thinking critically includes identifying, admitting, and examining your own assumptions and prejudices, and understanding how they change your reactions to and your interpretation of information.

Next, you might want to consider the official's biases.

What party does this politician belong to, and what's that party's position on pollution regulation?

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