“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle
This statement can be confusing unless one thinks about it. Yes, spend time and effort and it will make sense. This is something my mother taught me and it wasn’t until I found this quote that I was able to repeat it and teach it in a much more concise and direct manner. In order to understand something one doesn’t have to actually do perform the task. It can be rolled over in the mind and approached from many different directions. This allows an individual to consider options and make plans before a final decision can be made. It also allows a person to consider something and then make a different choice. To walk away from a bad decision and to seek other options. It also takes the strength of character to reject the concept without doing it.
My mother taught me to process my anger without acting on it. I have a bad temper and if I don’t make a decision before it takes over I can make some very poor decisions. With that being said, I have learned to make decisions ahead of time, yes, before I have to actually do something. When dealing with my sons and providing firm discipline, I have made several decisions on how I will handle bad behavior. This allows me to avoid the mistake of hurting them by accident or force; because I already know what my course of action will be. Often they spend time in their room other times I pull them close and let them know I love them.
Now, with much more dangerous ideas one can consider the options and look at the different facets and then still reject the thought or idea because it doesn’t conform to the plan or path that one is taking. If you have a plan and are committed to a long-term goal (or goals) then it also makes it easier to push past a thought or possible course of action. Thinking and planning ahead is a great way to prepare your mind and heart for the challenges that come in life.