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A Recovering Thinker

April 4, 2011

With so many distractions in life, it is important to take the time to relax and think – or so one would think. Read the following funny story and comment. (Cultural note: English has expressions for alcoholics who try to quit such as the ‘recovering drinker’, or the ‘recovering alcoholic’, as well as an association called Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA.)

Recovering Thinker

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?

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32 Comments leave one →
  1. anonymous permalink
    April 4, 2011 9:32 pm

    I’m afraid I may be a heavy thinker.
    These days, I think about what I was born for or whether there is a fate or not.
    I know there is no answer for it, but ,sometimes, I find myself profoundly being fond of it.
    Maybe, because I’m studying English literatures, it becomes worse.
    Yet, I don’t want to spend hours staring at T.V.

  2. April 4, 2011 10:16 pm

    how serious he get in trouble
    and
    what a horrible alcohol it is….
    although university student drink too much,
    that situation has never seen before..
    if i’m drunken too much, i’ll walk like zig zagging and
    talk with friends same thing again and again of course.
    but that’s all.
    consequencely, proper alcoholic time with alcohol make people safe and funny

  3. April 4, 2011 10:18 pm

    how serious he get in trouble
    and
    what a horrible alcohol it is….
    although university student drink too much,
    that situation has never been seen before..
    if i’m drunken too much, i’ll walk like zig zagging and
    talk with friends same thing again and again of course.
    but that’s all.
    consequencely, proper alcoholic time with alcohol make people safe and funny

  4. terry permalink
    April 4, 2011 11:05 pm

    I am not sure what I should post this article. So I write down what I think it.
    Growing up, I have a lot of the choices which I have to decide by myself. It is difficult for me to determine only one choice. So I am always thinking too much. It’s waste of time to think too much. Someone said that my personality is indecision and she gave me a piece of advice about how to deal with verity of choice. Make a list which is an advantage or disadvantage. Prioritize a list of all the jobs. It helps me make decision more easily without thinking too much.

  5. Sunny permalink
    April 5, 2011 10:49 am

    actually thinker before, Fortunately(?), I am now the type of person who don’t think too much, such as philosophical speculation, but this is the result of trying to concentrate on my job and work. In a situation where I have to choose something, I simply make a choice. However, there is a serious problem for me. Instead of thinking too much, I tend to imprudently do work and make mistakes easily. What should I do?

  6. VeraB permalink
    April 5, 2011 5:01 pm

    Thinker’s Anonymous and Recovering Thinker are very interesting expressions. My dad is also the kind of person who has to join Thinker’s Anonymous because he has an interest in poems, musics, and philosophical concepts a lot. Although he has been a typical companyman, after retirement he wants to be a writer, which is his life-time dream. Anyway my mom complains about a string of bills of books he has bought every month.

    Have I joined Thinker’s Anonymous yet? Well.. I do not think I would join it ever. Today I took the class called Introduction to cultural study. The topic was about the two movies: ‘Slaker’ and ‘Beavis and Butthead.’ In ‘Slaker’ characters called slackers know a lot about political, economic, cultural issues the society is facing and think too much to communicate with people just like the man in the story. However, in ‘Beavis and Butthead’ both Beavis and Butthead are not thinking at all. They can only articulate their thoughts in the exact two ways: cool or suck. They enjoy watching exclusively violent, disturbing, graphic video, which is cool to them. On the other hand, they hate to watch something morally educational or highly intellecutual, which sucks to them. Simply put, they just dont want to think but absorb as it is. Do you know why they have became like that? The answer is TV. The two kids have been fed a steady daily dose of brainwashing TV program since young, I assume. So I guess thinking is sometimes too irritating but being a recovering thinker might put you in jeopardy. Am I making a big deal out of it? lol

  7. book permalink
    April 5, 2011 6:49 pm

    I hate serious thinking like “who am I?” or “what is a Man?”. However, as I studied humanities in university, I realized necessity of heavy thinking such as philosophical speculation. Because these thinking can help a man’s fundamental problems. So, I try to read a book that is written by Plato, Aristoteles and Freud and so on. I think that heavy thinker is positively necessary for these days.

  8. Kim Hyo Yeol permalink
    April 5, 2011 9:21 pm

    Descartes said “I think therefore I am”. This means when the people think, the people can be the people because people have reason. But if you just have thought for a long time, you never do and accomplish somethings which you want. Because I think that somethings being in the world have timing. So if you have a problem, firstly you have to think about the problem to solve it. In some degree, you have to do action to solve the problem. If not, you never solve the problem. That is, doing a action is as important as thinking

  9. K.H.Chu permalink
    April 6, 2011 2:07 am

    To be honest, I think I have not been a heavy thinker. I rarely asked me these question : “who I am?” “what is life?” “what do you live for?” I just have focused on what I should do and what I can do right now. It seems like making an excuse, but I think I did not have enough time to think about those serious questions. However, in my opinion, thinking and reflecting about certain aspects of life and social phenomena are needed for making our society much healthier. This is true that the modern society is based on hectic lifestyles. For this reason, it seems that people do not care about their surroudings that much. This lack of attention to people around them causes many social disorders and crimes. If we thought and reflected ourselves and society, some of the social problems could be prevented in advance.

  10. Adam Lee permalink
    April 6, 2011 6:45 pm

    i have to say that my constellation – Pisces makes me a sensitive thinker. i nearly think about everything at nearly every second. all kind of theories, ideas, stories, memories, imatginations come to my mind when i am awake and even asleep, which makes me difficult to focus on reading or listening to the others. sometimes i would judge myself as a seriously self-absorbed mental patient…
    even though, i have never considered giving up any of my nomorous thoughts, because thinking means a lot to me. Thinking makes me a person of fun and connotation. i feel proud of that i can have such endless thought istead of a empty-headed man. Thinking means we have hope to life and curiosity to the world around us. i even feel sad for the man in the story who have finally joined the group of thoughtless people.

  11. Adam Lee permalink
    April 6, 2011 6:47 pm

    too many thoughts indeed cause much problems to me, but i still prefer to think and feel free to deal with the large amout of ideas.

  12. sososo permalink
    April 7, 2011 12:14 am

    I think that we need to be a heavy thinker. We do not think seriosly because we are so busy and we spend our time comparing ourselves to others so much. We just follow the back of others. So we should be able to reflect on our own. In the past, the humanities has been ignored for employment in some of universities. But liberal education has been strengthened again. Because it is necessary that the ability to think and to think about the human. The power to think is great. And it is important to help the ability to think.

  13. Wow permalink
    April 7, 2011 12:25 am

    Basically, I’m not heavy thinker but I think it is needed to think seriously from time to time because life is a series of making dicisions. But it should be related with our daily life or a better future life. If not, it would create a gap between ideal and reality. I think that thinking should be productive and creative for a better life. So, we have to think wisely.

  14. Irene permalink
    April 7, 2011 7:28 am

    One of the well known philosophers said that when stopping thinking about you and the world it is likely to die. I believe that we can know the identity and achieve self-realization through continuous thinking of ourselves. First of all, limitation of free thinking can allow our lives to be restricted and coordinated by a certain authority without warning. For example, in the past, the imperialists controlled colonies entirely by using game and gambling to make them ignorant about their identity. How scared the thing is! In addition, according to Lessing, one of German philosophies, as the one and only truth does not exist we should try to seek enlightenment by thinking continuously. Namely, through self reflection and continuous thinking we can reach nearly to the answers of fundamental questions who we are and why we exist. Actually, as the main character of the Recovering Thinker said television seems to limit profound thinking. But thinking from another view, we can analysis the purpose and reflection of our society’s shape of the programs through continuous criticism. Surely, I’ll try to find my identity and reflect my life through continuous and profound thinking.

  15. Gabriel permalink
    April 7, 2011 4:08 pm

    Sometimes people share their thoughts and feelings together because what they think is not that different. We think wider as we grow up, further as what we are. Nowdays as a senior, I also feel the pressure of life of “What I am, What may I become”. It is ineveitable but I agree to the fact that thinking too much harms your mental health.

  16. KSH permalink
    April 7, 2011 10:55 pm

    This reminded me of one line of lyrics from a british song. “The world don’t need scholars as much as I thought” hmm this article made me feel sad. Not too serious, but I feel that I sometimes think too much. Like when I’m in bed or in a bus. I think of one thing and it leads me to another and another.. In the end, I find myself thinking about my far future. Then I shake my head and try hard to get back on earth. The fact that you need to regulate your amount of thought seems so melacholy to me. Should we think less to work better? to be a better husband and wife? I see the point in the article above but I jsut don’t want to admit it.

  17. lalala permalink
    April 7, 2011 11:57 pm

    Maybe I am kind of a person who thinks too much. What I am doing is right? What if it is wrong? What will come of my life? Sometimes it makes me crazy but I’m pleased to have an ability to think.
    I think thinking is the most productive action that people do. Human has been a deep thinker. Thinking is the driving force behind development and is the only way to distinguish human from the animals. It affects one’s actions and feelings! Isn’t it amazing? We always think and can’t stop it. This is an eternal truth.

  18. April 9, 2011 9:36 am

    Heavy thinking does sometimes interrupt my life. This article explained the side effect(?) of heavy thinking hilariously but it happens in real life. People around me always advise to think less. If you think too much, you cannot concentrate on your other works. However, heavy thinking may refer to less action. People do not make their thoughts into action therefore they become heavy thinkers. In that extent, we people do need TA.

  19. MIN.Y.K permalink
    April 9, 2011 10:42 pm

    I’m one of the severe heavy thinkers. I always consider many things. For example, as soon as I wake up, I plan schedule, prepare studying, choose clothes. Some people said to me “It’s a good habit.” but, It makes me very stressful. In addition, while thinking, I miss something subtle to important . Yesterday, going to Khu university, I put on my wallet in my room. because, I thought about appointment. so I returned my home. I might have been late.
    Various thinking is required. however, It is sometimes hard to concentrate and makes mistakes. All heavy thought is not vital to live. Simple thinking may be helpful to human being.

  20. Actor permalink
    April 10, 2011 11:01 am

    It is undesirable to be heavy thinker in my aspect. Somethimes, nevertheless, I fall in unlimited thinking world my own self. Its results are various based on situation. Without occational positive results, mostly, I feel gloomy mood for myself and sense of shame. People who around me tell me that I have a positive mental. I already know who I am, however, I am negative person when i am heavy thinker. Hence, it is inadvisable for us to think too much.

  21. QIAOMI permalink
    April 10, 2011 4:54 pm

    I think I am a heavy thinker. Many things and always easily think a lot of . Have to say many times does affect my life Think more and think deeper it’s easy to fall into the trap my own world if I want out of this mood again more difficult than before. Comfort is not possible to change one or two friends. Many times I want to change the habit but it’s very difficult. So , I comforted myself I am in a foreign country alone……

  22. Yang woochan - critical reading and writing2 permalink
    April 10, 2011 9:22 pm

    Some thinking by taking pains is good for us to decide a serious affairs.
    But, It is very emotionally unstable if thinking goes beyound.
    So many think is dizzy and stressed. And we feel a pressure on our chest and
    have a bad circulation. As a result it casues a many diseases.
    Therefore, we should not our own little world, suitably controling our feelings.

  23. whosthisgirl permalink
    April 10, 2011 9:43 pm

    I don’t think I have been a heavy thinker in my life except when I become adolescent as everyone becomes a heavy thinker. Actually, I more like an impulsive person. Obviously, being a impulsive person makes a lot of random scenes but I think it’s definitely more fun than being a heavy thinker. I’m pretty sure if I was a heavy thinker then I couldn’t have many experiences so far. Why so serious? If it happens, it happens!

  24. kim soo min permalink
    April 10, 2011 10:37 pm

    Nowadays, I see many heavey thinkers at streets. They usually spend much time in wandering or drinking. And I don’t understand their behaviors. Although their situation is so terrible to subsist nomally, There are some ways to overcome. Maybe meet friends or enjoy sports are best methods.

  25. Olivia permalink
    April 10, 2011 11:08 pm

    Sometimes, I also become beavy thinker when I face to face with some trouble. Because of this, I was very inefficient in study and working, and also I can’t sleep so my daily rhythm is ruined. I decide that I had to find my own solution so I tried to write diary to classify my thoughts and talk to someone and discuss about it. I want to become heavy thinker in study not in daily trivial happening.

  26. LJH permalink
    April 11, 2011 12:21 am

    I think alawys about all. specifically, I worry about all.
    For example, when I work, I think on and on abot that.
    How I would do better? Why I didn’t do better? So I am so stress.
    When I do something, I am so nervous always.
    But I am tring to change my thinking.
    That is … I do my best always about all. So I need not be stessed.

  27. Sylpid permalink
    April 11, 2011 7:11 am

    There was a time that I was a heavy thinker. All time I was thinking about what I’m doing now, what I shoud do and what to do in the future. But I reallized that such thinking is nothing more than stress to me. Now I try to relax and think easier. Heavy thinking may help you sometime, but you don’t have to spend your hole time with that gaining stress. Realx and think more easily.

  28. Dongki permalink
    April 11, 2011 10:05 am

    Yes I agreee this opinion. Distraction is comtemtorary man must have what. Our brain need sufficient rest time to think some thing. exessively using brain is debase efficiency of work.

  29. April 11, 2011 1:27 pm

    ‘A Recovering Thinker’ is a very interesing word. I think, too many thoughts in mind may harm daily life and make people difficult to enjoy everyday.
    One bad idea follow one after another bad ideas and we couldn’t do anything at all.
    Therefore, even if a appropriate and cool thought makes your life healthy, thinking excessively will disturb to raise your confidence.

  30. S.A. Lee permalink
    April 11, 2011 4:38 pm

    Thinking become a symtom, it is little bit funny and pitiful.
    I think, the course of recovering thinking seems more harder than I imagine.
    Because thinking would hard to conrtol by oneself, so he must be concious to restrain thinking deeply, during the day. It’s could be streesful situation to stand it.
    I want to recommend the book called ‘the practice of dumping thinking’ to him.

  31. PCE permalink
    April 11, 2011 5:50 pm

    Heavy thinker…………

    I have learned and heard that heavy thinkers construct and move the world.
    Although I am, honestly, not the heavy thinker, I agree with it. From ancient times, there has been philosophers such as Socrates, Aristotle, Plato and so on. They had always thought about fundamental things like what is human, who I am and discussed their thought and owing to this, they sometimes had trouble in their life. Through the very process of discussion, humanbeing can progress and make a society today.

    Even though the man in the writing is suffering from his heavy thinking, a habit to keep thinking is indispensible and necessary for humanbeing and their future.

  32. Choi Hui Young permalink
    April 18, 2011 5:00 pm

    This post is related to heavy drinker I think. I know very well about diseases of heavy drinker. heavy drinker or alcoholics popular disease is about their liver. alcohol can cause the disease in liver because alcohol is some kind of poison. As you know that liver is our antidote organ. So, when we drink a lot of alcohol our liver get a lot of pressure to recover our blood and body. Therefore more and more we drink our liver get more and more pressure to antidote the harmful things in alcohol. My uncle is a doctor so he tell me everytime that drinking is only good when your body can handle it. Also he said that if I can’t handle it by myself than drink no alcohol is the best answer. Until now, I think myself handle that problem very well because I never do any crazy things in drinking party. And of course I will carry this attitude till the end of my day.

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