There are times, however, when one must shut down (or up) one or both of the features of logos. It has struck me before that one doesn’t need fully to understand a language to know that a particular speaker of it is an idiot. Any thinker-talker of the slightest capacity ought to know when to look before leaping and when to hold his peace. The broadcasting of opinions is not for every forum and every occasion, and the loose tongue is oft the symptom of an empty mind. We could perhaps all use a reminder that some of our most pointed and devastating sentences were better never said. To the sartorially inclined, think of it as buttoning one’s lip.
Devastating WWII public warning
That said, there are times when thinking ought to be suspended too. Rushing heroically into the clichéd house on fire would be one of those occasions, but there are many moments when a thorough unplugging of brain is just the order of the day. A man never yet hit a golf ball sweetly who was thinking how it might be done while making the attempt; a sportsman never yet brought down his moving quarry while wondering about how it would later taste; a driver never yet swerved to avoid an errant child while contemplating the value of the child’s life. We are instinctive beings. That which was not provided at birth we acquire through learning as skills, the execution of which has nothing to do with thinking. Where we think, in these circumstances, we surely fail.
Do or do not; there is no try.The best of us, as talkers and thinkers, sometimes should shut up and shut down.