Free Expression and the Rights of Lateral thinkers

A lateral thinker is a sovereign individual who has acquired skills and who consciously values the rights and responsibilities of independent thinkers. The School of Thinking supports free expression and the universal rights of lateral thinkers. Here are ten lateral thinkers’ rights which are supported by the School of Thinking.

A Universal Declaration of the

Rights of Lateral Thinkers

1. As lateral thinkers, we have the right to use thinking in a quiet and confident manner, simply for its own sake, because our unique thoughts and thinking are the cognitive property and product of our own proprietary brain and are intrinsically valuable as our own unique Intellectual Property (IP).

2. As lateral thinkers, we have the right to have pride of virtuosity in our lateral thinking skills because lateral thinking is hard. It is not natural thinking but is an acquired skill. Logical thinking is natural thinking.

3. As lateral thinkers, we have the right to use that skill and to consider a “lateral thinking reaction” rather than a reaction based on emotion or past experience alone. The thinking might make use of experience and emotion, but these would be part of the lateral thinking instead of controlling it.

4. A lateral thinker has the right to free expression and the right to escape from current views of situations and to search for much better views of situations because we can and because it pleases us to do so.

5. A lateral thinker has the universal right to be wrong.

6. A lateral thinker does not have to defend a point of view at all costs. There is the responsibility to see other points of view and the right to design a much better decision.

7. A lateral thinker has the responsibility to acquire wisdom or to seek it out wherever it may be found. Wisdom is quite distinct from the sort of cleverness that is taught in school. Cleverness may be useful for dealing with set puzzles or defending local truths but wisdom is required for designing a better future.

8. A lateral thinker has the right to get on with his or her own work and to get along with other thinkers and if things go wrong a lateral thinker has the responsibility to think things through and to fix them without creating a fuss.

9. A lateral thinker has the right to spell out the factors involved in a situation and also the reasons behind a decision.

10. Above all, a lateral thinker has the right and responsibility to be asked to think about something, to focus thinking in a deliberate manner upon any subject. Lateral thinking can be used as a tool by the thinker at will. The use of this tool can be enjoyable whatever the outcome. This applied thinking can also be practical—the sort of thinking that is required to create value and get things done.

– Adapted from the Learn-To-Think Coursebook and Instructors Manual © 1982 Michael Hewitt-Gleeson de Saint-Arnaud and Edward de Bono, Capra New USA. ISBN 10: 0884961990

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