On Oct. 5, Monument Lodge hosted a special four-hour seminar on Critical Thinking, sponsored by the Maine Masonic College. The meeting was open to the public with a free chicken stew meal prepared and served by Lee Oliver.
Guest speaker was Sam McKeeman of Camden. He currently serves as Program Manager for the Maine Bureau of Human Services after many years as Director of Organization Development and Training at the Maine Department of Transportation. He has become a sought-after speaker on courses in Ethics, Critical Thinking and Organization Leadership.
McKeeman made clear that his topic on Critical Thinking was not to lead a person to be critical of others. He said that the essence of “critical” in this context is to center on what is important or central which is required for one’s best thinking. It is the opposite of one’s opinion.
McKeeman stressed that critical thinking in decision making or problem solving requires a habit of mind, self-discipline, truth seeking by evidence, and a set of values and integrity among several attributes.
The lecture is one in a series presented around the state by the Maine Masonic College which seeks to help fulfill Masonry’s goal of making a good man better informed and productive in his duties to himself, his family and his community. Further information may be found at www.mainemason.org.
An important aspect of critical thinking, Mr. McKeeman said, was learning to think differently about a given situation and not just accepting the first thought that comes to mind.
He handed out the following and had the class identify a skimmer hat, a toilet with the seat cover up, a dripping faucet, an arrow and a Native American. He then asked what word was in the picture. By being willing to approach a situation from an unorthodox prospective, one can see a word of what a plane does.