Monday, October 23, 2006

"Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" - Thinkers Anonymous

One of the "Peanuts" cartoons from my childhood that has stuck in my mind is one in which Lucy, having gone on for a while about how much she reads, concludes by declaring (more or less): "I won't be satisfied until I know too much for my own good!" Apparently there is an organization to help people with this problem ... as I learned from this (anonymous) little piece passed on by Ami Isseroff. --Jeff Weintraub

Thinkers Anonymous

It started innocently enough. I'd think, just a little - at parties, to loosen up.
Inevitably, though, one thought led to another. 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. Eventually, I was thinking all the time.
Things began to sour at home. One evening I'd turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's.
I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix but I couldn't stop myself. I avoided friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I'd return to the office dizzy and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?"
One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this: Quit your thinking or find another job!" I went home early that day.
"Honey, I've been thinking . . ."
"I know," she said, "I want a divorce!"
"But Honey, 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.
She exploded into tears of rage and frustration.
I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door
I was in the mood for some Nietzsche.
I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors...
They didn't open! The library was closed.
To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that afternoon. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, I spotted a poster.
"Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked.
You probably recognize that line. It's from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At meetings we watch non-educational videos. Last week's was "Independence Day." Then we share about how we avoided thinking the previous week.
I still have my job and things are much better at home.
Life just seems . . . easier, somehow - now that I've stopped thinking. I'm definitely on the road to a complete recovery. Life is good!

[Ami Isseroff adds: For those who are not cured of thinking yet - MidEastWeb ]