Don’t Just Do It – Think about it first

Just Do It

One of the must successful, pervasive, and iconic slogans in American consumer culture.

But for a moment, don’t heed it’s advice, and instead, think about what it actually means. The message of the slogan is to act without thinking. Why would this ever be good?

The obvious argument is that it applies in sports. Don’t think about what you need to do when you field a ground ball at third base with less than two outs and a runner on first, just throw to second. But to know what to do, you have to think. The knowledge of what to do in this situation may be so well ingrained that it seems instinctual, but it isn’t. A baseball player who has been playing since he could walk is just able to recall the knowledge extremely quickly, because it’s what he knows best. Even the throwing motion, which seems so natural, is just recalled from the brain extremely quickly. Babies are not born knowing how to throw a baseball.

Then how can you ever do anything without thinking about it? Certain Id-level tendencies are ingrained in humans, tendencies toward aggression or other animalistic behavior. It has become typical in our culture for people to blame their actions on some force that was out of their control – anger or drugs or air conditioning made them act that way. They were as innocent as somebody who witnessed an accident on the highway from the other side of the median. But this is a cop-out, a socially acceptable cop-out.

People are, at all times, in control of their actions, and people don’t do awful things unless they really wanted to.

Please, don’t just do it, don’t just pull the trigger.

Think about it first.

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