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Tools for Creative Thinking

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Assessment of any tough problem is done by using the following six interrelated tools. The "Triad of Scope Knowing": (1) WHAT IT IS--a thing's essence nature when it came into Being + its content potential (e.g. an apple seed contains the genetics for the entire apple tree) + its evolution pattern. Seed assessment avoids its offspring (e.g. Roots, Trunk or Vines, Branches, Leaves, or Fruit) and looks for health or flaws in its genetic make-up. (2) WHAT IT DOES in Events (changing realities) and the Event's influences on things inside and outside itself, as in Where and What is Being Done to it; Was Done; and Can be Done. Example: while or after the tree grows, rodents may be eating its roots; the weather affecting its trunk; and animals biting its apples. (3) HOW IT APPEARS to ones Senses may be real, distorted, or fantasy. Who does the viewing, for what reasons, and with what bias determine conclusions, effects, and consequences. An unripened apple is preferred by some; a ripe apple by others.

The "Triad of Depth Knowing": (4) the OBVIOUS is inspected by sight, emotions, and/or Feelings to discover what is taken for granted or its subtlies. The Real is made from the Spiritual Elements; all else is unreal. (5) the HIDDEN (internal structure) is entered by intense Curiosity, a flood of Questions, focused concentration, and trial-and-error explorations to discover what is behind the Obvious or the covered flaws. In troubleshooting one may find: (a) one is dealing with only one link in some interrelationship; (b) one pays attention to only the general idea within that one link; (c) one improperly links things together; (d) one overlooks certain meanings in certain links; (e) one fails to do a good job with one or more of the links with respect to arranging or combining them; (f) one ignores them completely. Any of these causes one to have flawed or limited ideas and therefore frustration--a set-up for inefficiency and ineffectiveness--a set-up for conveying the wrong intension or message--a set-up for confusing the receiver. (6) the BASE/FOUNDATION, the deepest underlying part for what is assessed, is like the skyscraper building's Underground support, or the Philosophy of a Thought Structure, or the "Seed" parenting an Organism. Essential to Critical Thinking is to determine the Thing's Source + recognize the inner meaning of its external appearances, for those aid discernments needed for Classification.

When these six are in harmonious rhythm, they can awaken ones consciousness to a new awareness of an established inner meaning of Truth/Reality. Otherwise, there is disharmony somewhere in the interrelationships. To illustrate, my struggling Black Youth Mentees are assessed for what is obvious, hidden, and foundational about them. The Obvious is their common certain "Sameness", despite the uniqueness in each of them. Hidden common problems are mental barriers preventing the receiving of self-help information. A keystone Base/Foundation behind their barriers which cause self-defeating behaviors is being starved for Needy Wants--e.g. a lack of Love, sense of Power, and feeling important. Exploratory questions: what does it take to penetrate their mental barriers; how to stimulate their desire to change; what programs will woo them to persist to their goal? Continuing with the "What's Behind That?" Query process enhances arriving at diagnostic Essences and Elements of their problems. Each time the scope/depth of a given boy's problems are studied, the wider is ones scope of understanding and the richer the depth of meanings found. With repeated study of, and reflection on, those problems, the inner layers covering the hidden core messages impart more new insights. Also, each peeling away of yet another top layer provides more focused direction for specific management. Then Mentors/Mentees can explore workable solution options and take action. The model is to follow the Sankofa process--acquiring principles of African Tradition for application to ones present problems in order to move forward into a thriving future.

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