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I wonder what other people are thinking. A lot. Probably more than I should.

I don’t particularly care whether they’re thinking about me. Chances are when I observe other people they’re not even aware of me. It’s just that I’m aware of them, and I’m wondering what they’re thinking.

I wonder what people are thinking when they run a red light. Not the kind that just turns red as one passes through the intersection, but one that’s going to be red before they arrive and they just drive right on through, while other drivers are waiting to turn and clear the intersection. Are they selfish? Really need to go to the bathroom? Are they on their way to hospital to try and be there for a loved one’s final moments?

I wonder what people are thinking when they don’t wear masks properly. It’s obvious some people choose to wear them improperly, noses waving in the breeze. Some wear masks that just don’t fit well but they wear them anyway. What are the thought processes that go into that? Does Covid not exist? Is it all fake? How did they come to that conclusion? Or, why don’t they get a better mask when so many options are available?

I wonder what people are thinking when they send out graphic anti-abortion messages. Are they convinced their actions will bring about the best possible result? Do they think the vivid visuals will change people’s minds about bringing an unwanted child into this world? Do they think their version of what is “right” is more important than a woman’s right to choose what does or does not go on in her body?

I wonder what people are thinking when they do good deeds. The kind of good deed that is quantifiably good, regardless of where you might be on a political spectrum. Things like spending time with isolated lonely seniors, rescuing injured or abused animals, or cleaning up a polluted beach. What makes these people tick? What motivates them to do what they do?

Thinking About Thinking

Focusing on how people think, I feel I am less reactive and judgemental. I may disapprove of how people behave, but I then want to know what motivates people to behave that way. I may not like how someone’s behaviour impacts me, but understanding what drives their behaviour can help me process those impacts in a healthier way.

There are a lot of people out there whose thinking I don’t understand. I’m guessing the same may be true for you as well. It’s my hope that the crisis we’re in will lead more of us to think about how others think, and how we can think in ways that benefit the greater good. Taking time to think about how our thinking and our behaviours affect other people is a good thing. It’s a challenging time. Taking a moment to understand how others think will minimize conflict and ultimately, benefit us all as we move into 2021.

Hoping for more thinking, and a better year ahead 🙂