A Value: On Being Thoughtful
When was the last time someone did something thoughtful for you? A day? A week? Month? Year?
Now, when was the last time you did something thoughtful for someone else? A day? A week? Month? Year?
Being “thoughtful” is an interesting concept. For example, when I asked you those questions what did you first think I meant by “thoughtful?” Were you thinking of a surprise, hand-written letter you received in the mail? Or maybe you thought of how you held the door open for someone (for an unreasonably long time) because you saw them coming your way?
When I first asked you my questions, did you consider “thoughtful” as someone who was “engaged in thinking?” (OED def 1a). Or did you think of someone who clearly took the time to consider and reflect on something? (OED def 1c).
I have always considered being “thoughtful” as a core value of mine. However, through this class I have learned that there is usually, most always, more to anything and everything. For most of my life I have striven to be the “thoughtful” that is considerate and kind to others, seemingly ignoring the other, very analytical and rhetorical side to thoughtfulness. Ironically, before I began to write this statement, I planned on taking a broad approach to the subject (and my philosophy), like I had done with my first ideas on persuasion earlier this semester. This would never allow for me to really dig deep into a topic though. In fact, I likely would not have been “thoughtfully” organizing my argument. This “thoughtfully” sparks a question in my mind on what it even means to be thoughtful, especially as someone who hopes to be thoughtful around others on a daily basis. I realize that “thoughtful” has everything to do with rhetoric, persuasion, and philosophy. I want to explore this relationship and learn how to encompass this value in every way possible. Through this all, I may discover just how important being “thoughtful” is to persuasion.