NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

From gun hater to gun lover

One of my friends—I'll call her Jenny—stayed with me for a few days because she needed more encouragement that she had The Right Stuff to become a doctor, which she doubted. She is now a professor at the medical school I attended and chair of her department at a hospital in the Detroit Medical Center, so I was correct: Jenny did have what it takes, as did another friend who also doubted herself. She became a neuroradiologist, med school professor, and president of a prestigious medical organization.

Just as I changed the misconceptions of my friends (and others) who didn't think they were doctor material, I changed Jenny's misconceptions about guns. When she pulled into my driveway, she hated them, but when she left, she loved them.

What happened? I took her to a shooting range. After a bit of initial hesitancy and fear (understandable), she quickly realized that target shooting was fun—so fun that she didn't want to stop.

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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