The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


May 24, 2011

Thoughts worth a penny, more or less

Are your thoughts worth a penny? Think about it.

How many times have you been staring off into space and someone said to you, “A penny for your thoughts”? Were those thoughts worth even a penny? More often than not, our thoughts were actually blank at the time, or we were dreaming of something far, far away — daydreaming.

I am grateful for teachers, parents, grandparents and others who taught me to think. They all suggested when we read something, we think about what we are reading and what the writer was trying to convey to us.

These same people who helped mold my life also tried to teach me to see all sides of a discussion and to be open-minded about things. I try, but it doesn’t always work for me. It is real easy to fall into the trap of being closed-minded or to let someone else make up my mind for me. On the other hand, it is easy to jump to conclusions and blurt out an opinion before my mind thinks it through.

My mouth gets ahead of my brain sometimes.

It is perfectly fine if someone guides our thinking, but it a dangerous thing if someone else controls our thinking process. When someone has our minds, they have us in their spell.

It is so sad that in this wonderful country with our many freedoms, including religion, some people are allowed to be controlled by the cults who actually manipulate their judgment. This is all done so gradually the victim hardly knows when they have become in the grasps of the cults. Without warning, they are caught up in the movement and it is too late to get out, and they are held as a virtual prisoner because they do not think for themselves any longer.

Sometimes we have to have our backs to the wall before we really think things through regarding a decision. We are prone to go along with our minds free and clear until we must think logically about something of importance. Then we have to dig deep to really use our minds. We face our decisions and responsibilities in different ways according to our own temperament. Some of the most unhappy people are those who have the type of mind that always regrets decisions of the day before — or the minute before.

Our thoughts don’t have to be earth-shattering or profound. We cannot all be computer whizzes or Einsteins with million-dollar thoughts and ideas, but surely what we think should be worth something — a penny at least!

Good thoughts bear good fruits. Bad thoughts bear bad fruit. Each has its own gardener. It is basically up to us how we cultivate our own thinking.

I read somewhere a wise person once said, “Every one of us should have a sentry at the door of our mind to challenge all uninvited, passing thoughts and see whether they are worthy to enter and influence us. Once they are inside and allowed to linger, they begin to create situations and effects in which we may become deeply involved.”

We need to let our thoughts dwell upon refined and beautiful objects in the world around us. Good music and wholesome recreation are the channels by which sunshine reaches our hearts in rays of joy.

To accomplish anything, we need an interest, a motive, a center of our thoughts. We need to steer by a cause, a creed, an idea, and/or a passionate attachment. We have within us the power of imagination that transforms the commonplace things in life into realities our hearts crave.

We need to be challenged to greater efforts through our visions of possibilities.

Our thoughts are so important that we sometimes need to just be apart from others and let our minds wander. We need to clear our minds of trash and clutter and make room for beautiful, important things. Healthy thoughts cannot grow if we have weeds growing in our minds. I think that is why I love to fish. It is not the fish, nor the cleaning, nor the catching, nor the eating; it is the solitude and being aware of nature’s beauty around me that inspires me and clears my mind.

James Allen penned this beautiful poem:

“Mind is the master power that molds and makes,

“And man is mind, and evermore he takes

“The tool of thought, and shaping what he wills,

“Brings fourth a thousand joys, a thousand ills.

“He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass.

“Environment is but his looking-glass.”

When we are straining our brains for something to fix for a summer meal, try this hot chicken salad. This casserole with a fresh fruit salad and iced tea make a delightfully easy meal.

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