It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone – “to relax,” I told myself – but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.
I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read writings of Plato, Saint Augustine of Hippo, Jesus Christ, and Aristotle. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”
Things weren’t going so great at home either. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother’s.
I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said, “Skippy, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.” This gave me a lot to think about.
I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey, ” I confessed, “I’ve been thinking…” “I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!” “But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.” “It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as college professors, and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won’t have any money!” “That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently, and she began to cry. I’d had enough. “I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door.
I headed for the library, in the mood for Clinton’s latest book “Family Morals in America”. Listening to a PBS station on the radio, I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors… they didn’t open. The library was closed. Later, I realized that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker’s Anonymous poster.
Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Jerry Spinger” talking about the song “I’m bad” by Michael Jacks. Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. Life just seemed .. more bland .. without purpose or meaning, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking, and avoided thoughts about the meaning of life and my future. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home and the office. Now I stare for hours at the T.V. and receive my daily dose of brainwashing instead of contemplating the mysteries of life.
Have you joined Thinker’s Anonymous yet?