It started out as an innocent thought. I began to think at parties of how 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-"to relax," I told myself-but I knew it wasn't true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time. I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Ralph Waldo Emerson's work to enhance my thinking. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, pondering, "What is it exactly that I am doing here?" Things weren't going so great in my outside life either. One evening, after eating dinner, I asked Cheryl about the meaning of life. She stared at me, aghast. I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker.
One day the my boss called me in. He said, "Jimm, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking, you're going to have to find a new job."
This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Cheryl," I confessed, "I've been thinking..."
"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want to see other people!"
"But Cheryl, surely it's cannot be 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, and she began to cry. I'd had enough. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I slammed the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche, with some Beethoven melody playing softly in the background. I roared into the> parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors... they didn't move. The library was closed.
To this day, I believe that a 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. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster.
Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.
I have a new job now, and things are a lot better.
Life just seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking