Friday, February 27, 2009

Genesis of Thinkers Anonymous Circles (TAC): "Hi, My Name is Jim..."

(An email from my dear friend Jim.)

Hi my name is Jim, and I am a recovering thinker.

It started out innocently enough: I began thinking 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, " relax..." I told myself, but I knew it wasn't true.

Thinking became more and more important, and finally I was thinking all the time. I even thought on the job. I knew thinking and employment didn't mix, but I couldn't stop. I began avoiding friends at lunchtime so I could read Plato and Aristotle.I returned to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What exactly are we doing here?"

Things weren't great at home either. One evening I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life--she spent the night at her mother's.

I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in and said, "Jim, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking is a real problem. It is beginning to interfere with your work If you don't stop thinking on the job, I'll have to let you go." This gave me a lot to think about.

I went 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 quivering. "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 faulty syllogism," I said impatiently, and she began to cry. I'd had enough.

"I'm going to the library," I snarled and stomped out the door. I headed to the library in the mood for Nietzsche, roared into the parking lot, and ran up to the big glass doors...they didn't open. The library was closed. To this day I believe the 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. The words "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" stood out in large letters. You may recognize the line: it comes from the "Thinkers Anonymous" poster.

Today, I am a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video--last week it was "Flintstones." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job and things are a lot better at home. Life just got easier, somehow, once I stopped thinking.

Soon, I'll be able to vote Liberal again.
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