The author Vincent Ruggiero defines critical thinking in his book Beyond Feelings: A Guide to Critical Thinking, as a “search for answers, a quest.” It is the idea that one does not accept claims, ideas, and arguments blindly, but questions and researches these things before making a decision on them. From what I learned in class, critical thinking is the concept of accepting that there are other people and cultures in this world that may have different opinions. It is being able to react rationally to these different opinions.
I have often felt that I’m a competent critical thinker, but then there is that word feeling in my statement. In chapter two, the author Ruggiero explains that often feeling and thought are interchangeable (18). On some issues I believe I have done just that, used my personal feelings and beliefs to influence my opinions, and arguments, preventing me from seeing the other side. For instance, how I originally viewed the homeless and poor. They were drunk, lazy, and had made the personal choice to live the way they were living. Of course, some of my bias did come from personal experience with an assorted few. The drunken homeless man behind work, or the welfare mom buying cheap pizza, pop, chips, instead of fruit and vegetables. Not once did I think to ask their story, or to look at the situation from their point of view.
Personal experience aside, how I was raised was also a huge influential factor in my beliefs. I was taught that one has to work hard, save, invest, etc.… do everything right and good things will come. To some extent I still believe this. However, when the housing market crashed I gained personal insight into what it means to be poor. With life adjustments, there also came reevaluations of my way of thinking.
The question who am I, who do I want be, circled in my mind. As I began to read Beyond Feelings, the sentence by Sidney Harris, “Ninety percent of the world’s woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their...