It’s a question that stumped, amused, and bewildered me and my fellow nine-year-old classmates.
We furrowed our eyebrows, but couldn’t answer the question. Was there an answer to this question? Was it a riddle? But wait, even if it were a riddle, can it be more than that? Where do words come from, anyway? And who gets to decide what they mean?
“English is a funny language,” was all Mrs. O’Malley had to say in response to our wide eyes.
And the English language continues to fascinate me now as a adult. Words often work for us — we employ them as tools that aid in passing along a message.
But words can work against us, too — and they can prevent us from seeing the world through an accurate lens:
Are you a black-and-white thinker like I am? How do you “catch” yourself in the moment when you’re thinking in extremes?
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Nov 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Beretsky, S. (2013). Video: Why Black & White Thinking Can Be So Hard To Kick. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/11/12/video-why-black-white-thinking-can-be-so-hard-to-kick/