It is just as dangerous as under-thinking
and just as corrupting of results. I see it everyday; sometimes, I fall into the over-thinking pit myself. The results are
just plain bad judgments. I have hundreds of examples, but I will be able to share only one in this short issue of ForthRightViews.
Consider a really simple example: the placement of furniture in
a dining room. Recently my wife bought some furniture that was used in a model home. One piece was a large bureau (I think
that is what it is called) that she considered the deal of the century. She consulted with a neighbor who has really good
taste in home design, and they decided to place the bureau in our dining room. Then they asked me for my opinion.
Having been married for 25 years, this is a role I have had to play
many times, and I have developed a fairly effective method of assessment:
- Keep the bigger picture in mind. Both
form and function are in play, but it is just furniture placement.
- Don’t get so attached to a design accessory that you will
force-fit it into a room. It is just a piece of furniture.
- Don’t over-think your assessment once the placement has been made. You
need to rely on your mind to interpret the impression that the placement makes. That is what others will use when they enter
with the inevitable blow back from expressing your opinion.
think I have mastered steps 1-3. Step 4 is a whole other matter.
bureau is still standing in our dining room, blocking four horizontal feet and three vertical feet of a splendid view of the
woods behind our house from the floor-to-ceiling bay window that is the key design feature in our dining room. Go figure.
Over-thinking our vote for leadership in a democratic republic seems
to be another big problem. I use the same method as above, but I am bombarded by advice from pundits and special interest
leaders daily. You know the advice:
- Don’t waste your vote on him, he can’t win.
- He can’t win
the party nomination.
- She can’t win the general election.
- If you vote for him you split the party and give the election to the other party.
- Hillary has Bill behind
her, and Bill is every bit as black as Barack. He’s probably gone with more black women than Barack.
Here is a novel idea: Why don’t we each assess who we think
is the best candidate, without under-thinking or over-thinking the matter, and cast our vote accordingly?