Things to think about


Thinking Skills Questions




These questions are all based on THUNKS by Ian Gilbert – a thunk being “a beguiling question about everyday things that stops you in your tracks and helps you to look at the world in a whole new light.”

There are NO right or wrong answers to
these questions – simply YOUR answers.

You do, however, need to think about your
answers and be able to justify them – in other words, don’t say the first thing that comes into your head, AND, be prepared to fully explain your answers when you give them.

Listen to the answers given by others and treat them seriously – even if they sound odd, they may all be valid if they can be justified.

Is there more happiness or more sadness in the world? 
Can you have a friend that you don't really like?
Which is more important, being right or being nice?
Is there more future or more past?
If you paint over a window, is it still a window?
If I borrow a million pounds, am I a millionaire?
Is a millionaire who is marooned on a desert island still a millionaire?
Is it ever right to bully a bully?
If you see someone being bullied, should you do anything about it? If you don't, should you feel guilty?
If you say sorry but don't mean it, but the person you say it to thinks that you do, does it count?
If a rabbit ran in front of my car, should I feel guilty for hitting it?
If you could take a pill that would make you always happy, would you?
If you could take a pill that meant you would never fail, would you?
Is a white sheet of paper more blank than a black one?
If you read a paper in a shop without paying for it, is that stealing?
If I composed a piece of music but it was never played, would it still be music?
What colour would a zebra be if it lost all it's stripes?
Can you stand on the same beach twice?
If you were out driving one evening and were traveling at the speed of light, would there be any point in turning the headlights on?
When does loud start?
Is something boring because of it or because of you?
Is war a good thing?
Why don't dogs laugh? Is it because they don't have a sense of humour?
Is soup a food or a drink?

Why not send us your answer(s) as a comment and we might publish them!

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This week children have been thinking about what could be missing from this sign. Here is what they came up with; 

"To meditate", "To be kind to others", "To be mindful", "To be peaceful", "To be in the present", "To be calm", "To listen", "To make someone else happy", "To meditate until you are enlightened", "To always treat others how you would like to be treated", "To make someone else feel happy". 


***


One day, a young man was going for a walk when he reached a wide river. He spent a long time wondering how he could cross such a gushing current. Just when he was about to give up his journey, he saw his teacher on the other side. The young man shouted from the bank, ‘Can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river?’
The teacher smiled and replied, ‘My friend, you are on the other side.’
You may feel that you have to change, when actually you just have to realise that perhaps you’re fine just the way you are. You’re running to achieve goals so that you can be peaceful and happy, but actually you’re running away from the peace and happiness. Mindfulness is an invitation to stop running and rest. You’re already on the other side!


Shamash Alidina


***

Once upon a time there was a water bearer who carried two pots of water to his teacher each day. Each day he would walk to the nearest stream, fill both pots with water, and walk back, one pot on each side of a pole he carried across his neck. One pot was cracked and so by the time the water bearer reached his teacher, it was only half full. 


This continued for two years, with the water bearer only bringing one and a half pots of water. The perfect pot was proud of its achievements. The cracked pot was sad that it could only do half the job it was supposed to do. One day, the cracked pot said to the water bearer, ‘I feel so upset and ashamed. I’m imperfect and I can’t hold a full pot of water. What use am I to anyone?’ The water bearer told the cracked pot to look on the ground as he carried it. 


The cracked pot noticed the most beautiful wild flowers and plants on its side of the path. The water bearer explained, ‘When I realised you were cracked, I decided to plant seeds on one side of the path, and every day, as you leak, you water that side of the path. If you weren’t cracked, these gorgeous flowers wouldn’t be here for all to enjoy.’ 

Sometimes you may think you’re not perfect, or your mindfulness practice is not perfect, but how do you know? This story goes to show even a cracked pot can be seen as perfect, just as it is. In the same way, you’re perfect just the way you are, with all your imperfections - that’s what makes you unique.

Shamash Alidina





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