Original Thought. Is it still possible?
Had you asked me that a couple of years ago I would have probably said not.
The education systems in place have been rolling for generations now to keep people passing examinations, rather than seeking out new facts. Inquisitiveness cannot be tolerated in a state run environment that requires everyone to fit in the same box.
Also the media spends most of its time telling us what we should think. When was the last time you ever saw a news bulletin that just stuck to the facts of the story. Listen carefully and you will hear opinion from the news scriptwriters read by the presenters straight off the auto-cue. Phrases like “Some say……<inject the opinion you want the public to have here>” are particularly popular with some TV stations. “Many think” is also a subtle one. After all you don’t want to be left on your own even if you are right now do you? 🙂
Really thinking about situations for yourself and dodging the media programming can be done.
There are six words that have served me well over the years and they can be remembered by the acronym 5WH.
Start a question with any of those words in the English language and it cannot logically be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Open questions require effort to be put in to their answers. Thought in constructing an appropriate response. Even if that response is just to say “I don’t know”.
Here’s a little trick to try out on your friends.
Sit them down over a coffee and start having a conversation about anything that takes your fancy. Then start down the 5WH path. Whatever their response to the question you asked follow it up within another from the 5WH collection.
You will see them start to get uncomfortable. Pressure will begin to grow in their mind, especially if you follow their answers quite quickly. You are pressing them to keep talking and to stay on subject.
If you get ten 5WH questions in a row, then you have incredibly laid back friends.