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“In Depth Thinking”
11 December 2003
William Golding wrote a incredibly unique essay called “Thinking As A Hobby.” According to Golding, there are three grades of thinking. Grade-three thinking is thinkers who say one thing yet mean another, although one may never actually know it for it’s mostly kept within them. They will side with the minority, they are easily swayed. Grade-two thinking is thinkers who constantly contradict themselves by saying things like “judge not least ye be judged.” However, they will judge another and justify it by reasoning what gives them the right to judge. Awe, then there’s grade-one thinking, thinkers who are naturalist. They have already been through grades-three and two and have graduated to grade-one. They can think, act, and talk for themselves. Seeing the simple pleasures of life and nature, and other’s point of view; yet never loosing their own.
These levels of thinking bring to mind and fit perfectly with the essay “Salvation” by Langston Hughes. Hughes tells of himself as a young boy at the ripe age of 12 who has been saved from sin at one of his Aunties big revivals. Oh she told him how he would see the light and how “something happened to you inside” once you were saved. She told him of how Jesus would come and that from then on how God would always be with him. The preacher preached a lyrical sermon and sang a song about the “ninety and nine safe in the fold, but one little lamb was left out in the cold.” Then he started calling for the young little “lambs” to come forward and give there lives to Jesus and be cleaned of their
sins. Of course all the little girls stared sobbing and went forward to be saved. All the other young children followed suit, except for two boys. Westley and Langston were left sitting on the bench all alone.
Westley finally grew weary of just sitting there and he lend over and whispered in Langston’s ear. He took the Lord’s name in vain and complained of how hot it was in the church and then he said, “Let’s get up and be saved.” So, Westley got up and got himself saved. Langston was now left by himself. He kept waiting to see Jesus so he too could get up and be saved. He waited and waited, and still no Jesus. He could hear the songs still being sung and the preacher saying, “Why don’t you come?” As the day drew more near to dusk, Langston started feeling ashamed of himself for holding every one up. He sat and thought a few minutes and came to the conclusion since the good Lord didn’t strike Westley dead for taking him name in vain and lying about being saved, then is must be okay if he just lied about it too. So he got up and got saved. His Aunt was overjoyed and the rest of the congregation all shouted and jumped with joy. But later that night, Langston began to feel guilty about lying to his Aunt and everyone in the church that day. He cried unstoppable tears and his Aunt thought it was because he had the Holy Ghost inside him. Langston knew that wasn’t true but couldn’t bear the thought of telling his Aunt any different and breaking her heart.
Westley is a perfect example of a grade-three thinker. He did what everybody else was doing at that time, although he did not believe in being saved. Langston on the other hand, is a grade--two thinker. He thought long and hard before making the final decision to be saved. He reasoned and contradicted himself and his own beliefs, making
him a prime example of grade-two thinkers. Langston is not far from being a grade-one thinker. In a few short years, with age and maturity, he’ll become a grade-one thinker without a doubt. What an accomplishment for a boy no older than twelve to achieve such a high level of thinking, when most adults can not, nor ever make it past grade-two.
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Harlem Renaissance, Jazz poetry, Langston Hughes, Omega Psi Phi, Langston
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