Critical thinking - 9 big benefits
If you hadn't noticed, we're big fans of critical thinking. We thought about why it's so important and so important to us - and we thought about what's in it for you. We came up with these 9 benefits of helping your kids build their critical thinking skills:
1. Give your kids an edge in their future careers
It's a competitive world out there, and strong critical thinkers have an edge.
Across industries - from business to medicine to just about anything - employers are increasingly searching for people who can make good decisions, spot bad decisions, and find ways to make improvements. They no longer (for the most part) want employees who only know how to take orders.
2. Make them less likely to be manipulated (or to joins cults)
A strong analytical mind is also a sharp, naturally skeptical mind, which helps protect people throughout their lives from falling victim to scams, believing disinformation and, of course, taking up with cults and things like that.
3. Make them more likely to think for themselves and to speak up for themselves
Critical thinking skills help provide a protective layer – a voice of reason – against the onslaught of cultural, peer and advertising messages that can otherwise make kids (and anyone) feel bad about themselves.
And these skills also strengthen a person's ability and desire to advocate for themselves and others (including, one day, their elderly parents).
4. Help nudge the future in an ethical direction
Science and technology is advancing at an increasingly rapid pace. Who do you want to decide the future of humanity? A small group of tech companies and billionaires? Instead, we can contribute to the pool of people who will at the very least try to ensure the necessary ethical, social and existential questions get discussed and debated.
5. Preserve freedom, the diversity of ideas and the peace
A society that has people who can think, reason, listen to different view points and exchange ideas in a civil way is an important prerequisite for freedom, democracy and the rule of the law. Arguably, these are major ingredients of a peaceful society. More critical thinking can, quite literally, make the world a better place.
6. Keep their fears in check, ie. so they don't join mobs
That protective voice of reason that we keep alluding to also helps to keep their fears in check. It helps them to not give into messaging that can make them more fearful of others. (And it enables them to spot that messaging from a mile away.) Generally speaking, critical thinkers don't grab their pitchforks first and ask questions later.
7. Encourage empathy and overall decency
A lot of what we're talking about here leads to empathy - having the ability to see issues from different angles and perspectives, being willing, able and unafraid to understand another's viewpoints and to imagine what it is like to walk in their shoes. It's both a timeless and timely mindset.
8. Protect your grandchildren
Critical thinkers value critical thinking, which means you can rest easy that your kids will pass these skills on to the next generation – including any potential grandchildren.
9. Encourage them to seek more out of life
Critical thinkers tend to ask questions and to see more questions and to wonder about the answers - they're curious. That means the more we can get kids to use their brains, the less likely they are to be satisfied sitting around for hours upon hours consuming a constant feed of content that's been created to keep them sitting around for more and more hours consuming a constant feed of content. If only but for this reason alone.
There are more benefits of critical thinking, to be sure. But these are the ones that speak to us. And these are what inspired us to create our collection of books that focus on helping to encourage strong, reasonable, curious and empathetic minds.