Analysis of

Throughout history, all of mankind has had one thing in common. We think. This ability is what sets us apart from all other beings. Socrates, an ancient philosopher, held the ability to think very highly – so much so that it sometimes got him in trouble. Because he encouraged his students to challenge accepted beliefs and to think for themselves, Socrates was convicted of heresy. While on trial for this charge, he declared, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” These strong words have come to be a very popular concept in the philosophical world. Just like every other belief, there are those who hold very strongly to it, and those who disagree entirely. While some spend their lives sleepwalking through their daily routine, others spend their time over-analyzing and under-executing. Life is about finding balance in all that we do, especially in our thoughts and actions.

While thinking is one of the most fundamental actions we perform as human beings, is it possible that we do it too much? Since the beginning of time, the human mind has always had a desire for knowledge. Some people, such as ancient philosophers, have dedicated their entire lives to finding knowledge and understanding. They dissected their own lives and the lives of those around them, often times to the point of insanity. Although they constantly pondered the age in which they lived, philosophers never really did anything to better society. When one is awaiting the moment in which he has absolute assurance in his thoughts, he will endlessly think. This is exemplified in this excerpt from Into the Wild:

I think maybe part of what got him into trouble was that he did too much thinking. Sometimeshe tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other sooften. A couple of times I tried to tell him it was a mistake to get too deep into that kind of stuff,but Alex got stuck on things. He always had to know the absolute rig…