This is the first in a series of essays examining the importance of applying active thought processes, some deeper thinking, to issues we face everyday. It is written for the parent, teacher or mentor to enforce the idea that learning how to think through situations and claims is a valuable skill for a more fulfilling life. Passively consuming information or swallowing whole what we are told can lead to errors and poor judgments that can cost us dearly.
Computed tomography (CT) is a type of imaging used to aid medical diagnoses. Special x-ray equipment is used to make cross-sectional pictures of your body. Doctors use CT scanning procedures to look for broken bones, tumors, blood clots, signs of heart disease and other problems that are not obvious on the surface but can seriously affect a person’s health.  The analogy of a body CT scan is appropriate when examining claims and information we get everyday in the media and our social spheres.
It’s easy to take a quick look at a conclusion, a news story, a status report, a recommendation, etc. and assume it’s on the up and up, that it is OK to accept at face value, and act accordingly without further contemplation. But some issues deserve a closer look, especially decisions that might affect your health, finances or the well-being of you and your family.
What if there is an important issue that you are asked to decide or vote on? Does it make sense to vote along your political party lines or choose based on what your neighbors and friends say is right? It make more sense to investigate the issue for yourself to decide what is best for your greater good.
So, indulge me in this analogy of a CT scan - critical thinking scan – to discuss why it’s important to take the extra time and effort to examine claims more deeply to see what could be concealed inside.