It has always amazed me to be behind someone in a store checkout line and watch the person calculate their purchases in their head or see a carpenter figure dimensions and amount of material needed with out using a calculator or paper. It also amazes me to teach people in their twenties and thirties who cannot answer a question on an assignment unless they find an answer in black and white somewhere to copy and paste.
It does seem that we are letting our minds deteriorate in capacity to support our living in a meaningful and sufficient manner. Some of it is the laziness that comes from use of convenience. It is easier to use a calculator or iPhone to do our math and it is easy to sit in our pajamas at home and go to school or work from our computers. The problem is that we are lowering our ability to survive well when the unexpected happens. This was seen in the response of different locations with Hurricane Katrina. Some knew how to regroup and go on because they had practiced before in other hurricanes. Some only knew to depend on someone else to come help them – they had not practiced helping self.
One of the best ways to use our minds and not lose our mental capacity is to engage in creativity. We can do this through hobbies and play – even playing sports as adults. We can also do this by choosing to do some things the “old time way” instead of always through convenience. We can do long division on paper, we can cook a cake from scratch, or we can repair things at home ourselves instead of hiring it out.
An old adage that stays true throughout all ages of life is “Use it or lose it.” Our minds have awesome capability even as they are being formed in the womb. As with other endeavors, thinking is something that practice makes more perfect.