Did y’all see our forever FLOTUS and BFF in my mind, Michelle Obama drop the mic at the first night of the Democratic National Convention? No matter your political leanings, you have to acknowledge the brilliance, grace and beauty that oozes when Michelle speaks. More importantly, she speaks the truth! Knowing, we are entering what is likely the most important election cycle in our lifetime, we need to talk about the often underutilized skill of critical thinking.
Far too many people rely on talking points, assumptions and innuendos to select who they are going to support or what they are going to believe. But fear not, we are here to help all of us remember how to think and ask the right questions (and how to help others do the same).
Below are the top 50 questions to ask yourself when you hear a new piece of information. Keep in mind, these may have been written with the election cycle in mind, the truth is, we can benefit from these all the time. So here goes, here are 50 questions to ask so no one automatically believes things like injecting bleach to cure Covid-19 or that it has to take 50 years to clsoe the wage gap Black women experience.
benefits from this
is hurt by this
makes the final decision about this
is most directly affected
deserves acknowledgement for this
will be the key people involved
would be the best person to consult
else is discussing this
are there similar concepts or situations
would we see this in practice
is there the most need for this
is this an actual problem
can we get more information
are areas of improvement
will this idea take us
can we go for help with this
are the strengths and weaknesses
is another perspective
is an alternative
is the counterargument
is the best- and worst-case scenarios
is most or least important about this
is getting in the way of taking action
can we do to make a positive change
would this benefit our society
is this acceptable or unacceptable
would this cause a problem
is the best time to take action
will we know if we’ve succeeded
has this been an issue in the past
can we expect this to change
should we ask for help with this
is this similar to …
can we change this for our good
does this disrupt things
do we know the truth about this
do we see thins impacting our future
does this harm us and others
sill we approach this sagely
does this benefit us and others
is this a problem or challenge
is there a need for this today
is it relevant to me or others
have we allowed this to happy
is this the best course of action
has it been this way for so long
are people influenced by this
should people know about this
Who is spending money to support this / make it happen?
Who is trying to hide it?
You don’t need to ask all 50 questions. Pick one or two from each category to check your gut feeling about something. You can use these questions anytime you encounter new information or if you want to challenge someone to re-think their opinion (that last part is my personal favorite). Let’s all be more critical of information we consume…and let’s do what we have always done…help educate those around us. Time to save the people from ignorance. Hopefully these questions help.
Author and Our Truths founder, Christy Pruitt-Haynes combined her 20 years of leadership in organizations including The Memphis Grizzlies, MTV Networks and Infiniti with an education in Human Resources and Organizational Development to create Christy Pruitt-Haynes Consulting and change the professional landscape for women and people of color while helping organizations achieve excellence. This TEDx talk giving executive, wife, mother, aunt, daughter, sister and friend loves travel, laughing uncontrollably and losing herself in great music.
Theme song: I was here by Beyoncé
Proudest moments: The births of my daughter Christiana, niece Nia and organization Our Truths