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            One of the humanities main themes is critical thinking.
Critical thinking is one of the most vital skills one can have in the
twenty-first century. It allows for clarity and accuracy between individuals in
a workspace and life in general. Being able to think thoroughly and precisely
can be an asset in every aspect of life. Critical thinking involves
self-monitoring, focus and the ability to accept and understand the viewpoints
of others. It helps individuals self-reflect to justify their decisions and
values. Critical thinking is relevant to the study of history and many other
fields.

Being
able to think critically is a trait everyone must try to achieve at the highest
level possible. Critical thinking skills apply to everything in life. My
mathematics teacher, Mr.Galit has one rule in his class: try! On a daily basis,
I encounter questions that I may not understand at first, but after taking the
time to analyze the questions and break it into smaller manageable sizes, I am
mostly able to comprehend what the question is asking and solve it on my own. A
critical thinker knows where to look for the answers they want and can connect
ideas to see the bigger picture. They solve their problems systematically with
valid justifications to support their own actions/ or thoughts. In the short
story provided by Ursula K. Le Guin, thousands of citizens from the city of
Omelas were forced to thinking critically. They lived an overly joyous and gay
life based on a ‘just discrimination of what is necessary’. However, at the age
of twelve, the children of Omelas became aware of the reason for their
happiness; the abominable misery of a young child who knew nothing but the four
walls of its confinement. Having just half a bowl of corn-meal and grease a
day, the child often sat in its own waste and was extremely malnourished. After
seeing the child, the citizens of Omelas had to decide whether they would stay
in Omelas, knowing the cost of their utopia, or leave. Those who couldn’t stand
the thought of one suffering for their happiness left without knowing their
final destination. This demonstrates the citizens use of critical thinking
skills to analyze a situation and self-reflect to make the best choice for
themselves.

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Critical
thinking is a general domain for many skills that many employers label as an
asset. It is not limited to a particular subject area which encourages
creativity. When it comes to evaluating ideas, ‘thinking outside the box’ or
decided between popular and less popular options critical thinking does not
hinder but enhances and individual’s ability to do so. In a generation where
technology and engineering are so fast-changing, many professions require
quick, useful thinking. One must overcome bias and prejudge when thinking
critically for the greater good of anything. Some of the crucial questions the
people of Omelas had to ask themselves was whether their happiness was worth
the child’s suffering. Would it be smart for them to let thousands of people
suffer for the happiness of one?

Concomitantly,
critical thinking has helped humans advance through the course of history.
Those who dared to ask questions helped the world advance to where it is today.
Critical thinking is the foundation of science, mathematics, physics, art,
technology, humanities, and many other fields. It enhances our literacy skills,
thought process, and helps us acquire knowledge from places we would not use
otherwise. When historians study history, they ask themselves questions, they
place themselves in the shoes of the what they are studying. They look at all
perspectives and construct valid evidence to support their ideas. For example,
when historians are conducting their studies, they look at films, the construction
of a book, furniture, the structure of housing, and clothes associated with their
studies. With this, they try to understand how people of a certain period
thought and eventually, with the right questions asked, a timeline could reveal
the evolution of human thinking.  

In
recapitulation critical thinking allows individuals to solve problems
systematically using valid justifications, identify the relevance and
importance of ideas and enhances creative capabilities. It is the foundation
for many of the skills and fields of study we find useful today. It allows for
individuals to understand the logic behind different ideas and visualize the
bigger picture of something. Without critical thinking, the world would be the
same as it was thousands of years ago. There would be no evolution and there
would be no humanities. The humanities study the beauty and history of the human experience and the collective knowledge acquired from
those who think analytically.

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