A Different World
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

What Are You Thinking?

If I am not chatting with Peter when we go walking, I am thinking. I may be thinking about an issue at work or about what is going on with the children. Often I think about what I will write for this blog. But I am never not thinking about something.

Occasionally, I turn to Peter and ask him what he's thinking about. His answer never varies. "Nothing," he says. Well, it seems to me that he has to be thinking about something. How could he not be?

One day I asked a colleague if his wife ever asked him what he was thinking. "Sure," he replied, "but my answer is always the same." "Nothing. "

Based on my sample of two, can I conclude that men can be in a state of non-thinking? Or are they just trying to frustrate their companions who are dying to hear their innermost thoughts?

What do you think?


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Just the same situation here in the last week. My husband was smiling to himself while driving down the highway. I said, "What's that about?" He said, "Nothing." Well, I asked, what's funny? "Nothing" he says.

I attribute it to two things: he may not be capable of verbalizing what's going on or it seems like too much trouble to explain, context-wise. Or maybe he wants his reverie private. I have to respect both possibilities.

I usually don't mind telling what's on my mind. I even tell it when nobody asks! But I'm much more verbal and a bit needy too.

Bob Kusik

I guess my answer to your question lies in what “state of non-thinking” means. There are times when I’m so engaged in what I’m doing that my mind is completely focused. For instance, when I’m listening to a really engaging symphonic performance, not critiquing the performers or letting my mind wonder off to consider some nagging problem, am I in a state of non-thinking? When I walk a path that I’ve walked many times before, my walking goes on auto-pilot, my mind becomes entangled in thought, and before I know it, I’m at my destination. On the other hand, when I’m visiting a spectacular site for the first time, I tend to stay in the moment and just savor the experience. Some describe this “state of non-thinking” as mindfulness (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness).

Having said this, I really think that women are just more willing/egger to share their thought.

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