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Thinking Curious

Join The Thinking Curious Project where we consider and share life’s thought-provoking questions, and receive announcements, updates, and gain access to the Thinking Curious podcast and The Thinking Curious Review, as well as Thought Morsels found further down on this page. Together, the podcast and the Review offer food for thought; in other words, together they encourage thinking and curiosity. Enjoy.

On the Thinking Curious podcast, we unpack abstract ideas that are wrapped up in stories to discover truths related to our human nature and common sense that help us live well as we pursue our purpose.

 

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Thought Morsels

Thought Morsels are bite-sized insights extracted from the rich content of the Thinking Curious Review, offering readers succinct excerpts and tidbits that encapsulate the essence of various discussions and provide valuable insights into a wide range of topics. For more, visit thinkingcurious.substack.com.

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4/26/24 Reading Aloud: a Practice that Benefits all children and has Long Reaching Benefits

Reading aloud with your children is a practice that can not only enhance your relationship with your children, but is also shown to equip children with the skills needed to flourish. The article “Why Reading Is Important for Children’s Brain Development”, published in Greater Good Magazine, states that “Early childhood is a critical period for brain development, which is important for boosting cognition and mental well-being. Good brain health at this age is directly linked to better mental health, cognition, and educational attainment in adolescence and adulthood. It can also provide resilience in times of stress” (https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/ item/ why_reading_is_important_children_brain_development).

Reading aloud with your children is time invested in your relationship that will generate meaning-filled conversations and reap a benefit they will carry forward with them. Check out the Classics section of your local bookstore as well as the classic reference book, Honey for a Child’s Heart, which contains a list of literature recommended for children ages 0-12. These are wonderful places to start.

4/11/24 Children’s Literature and Virtues

Stories that bring virtuous characters to life make virtues visible to children and the outcome of virtuous acts tangible. For more about virtues check out our podcast “Themes, Principles, and Virtues” and the Little Red Hen.

3/29/24 Midas’ Touch

Myths were written to illustrate universal truths; truths that address the timeless questions humans have. They hold the collective wisdom gleaned from the lived experience of human beings over the centuries. The lessons communicated through mythical tales often became common sense.

3/19/24   Myths as Living Books

In his book, The Cry for Myth, psychologist and author, Rollo May’s description of myths aligns them with living books. May identifies four distinctive supports for living well found in myths. “First, myths give us our personal identity, answering the question, ‘Who am I?’ … Second, myths make possible our sense of community. … they illustrate the important bonding of social interest and patriotism and other such deeply rooted attitudes toward one’s society and nation. Third, myths undergird our moral values. This is crucially important to members of our own age when morality has deteriorated and seems to have vanished altogether…. Fourth, mythology is our way of dealing with the inscrutable mystery of creation. … creation of our universe…creation in science… and the mysterious ‘dawning’ in art and poetry and other new ideas in our minds” (p.30-31).

Myths, like living books, alive with the push and pull of events that motivate each character’s choice of action, provide readers with the opportunity to gain insight that prepares them for analogous situations in their own lives. Readers can think about their own character and question what choices they would make as well as the possible outcomes. Abstract concepts of virtues, values, and principles take shape in stories which allows the reader to recognize them in the real world. The effect of listening to or reading living books and myths supports living well long after the story ends.

3/18/24  Abstract Principles

Abstract principles are given shape once they are clothed with words, then they become recognizable in our lived experience

3/15/24   Eternal Truths

A book or story enriches the reader when the themes, action, and outcomes illustrate eternal truths that cause people to thrive.

2/23/24    The Significance of Enriching Children’s Stories

Enriching children’s stories allow children to conceptualize life while fostering creativity and critical thinking that nurtures their individuality and purpose. Through descriptive settings, a variety of characters, and an active plot, the anticipation of resolution to the story’s problem grows as themes materialize during the reading of a well written story. The most enduring stories are found in “living books”. Living books bring narratives to life putting into words the cause and effect of events and the actions taken by characters who are multi-dimensional, complicated, and sometimes unpredictable.

Living books (https://www.tckpublishing.com/living-books/), often considered classic children’s literature, increase the readers’ ability to participate emotionally and mentally in the hero’s challenges and victories observing the contrast between traits that spur a character toward noble choices and fulfilment with traits that compromise and diminish a character. A living book creates a setting that transports the reader to a place that becomes the context for numerous influences attempting to motivate the characters’ actions. Good narrative stories compress so much life into so few pages that the reader can learn volumes (no pun intended) about life in an abbreviated amount of time. The life lessons gleaned from classic children’s literature can serve the child as a compass for navigating the real world.

1/26/24     A Little About Resilience

Is the phrase, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” true? It is true when we consider how we become resilient. Resilience is marked by the ability to adapt and navigate through life’s challenges, bouncing back and gaining strength and skills through the process. Resilience is a characteristic that grows with us developmentally, as we overcome one obstacle at a time exercising critical thinking, creativity, and the behavioral flexibility that enables us to succeed.  

A good depiction of how resilience grows-us-up into our purpose is illustrated in the hero tale, The Ugly Duckling. Listen to The Ugly Duckling, on the Thinking Curious podcast, to hear the little ugly duckling’s hero journey and the development of his resilience.