If I say that I think, but don’t communicate that fact, then all the thinking in the world is not going to get me where I want to go. So when we think, we must communicate what we think, rather than be afraid to. Even if the truth hurts, we must let it out, then there will be no misunderstanding. However a further misunderstanding can come from the recipient interpreting it in a different way, not thinking through what was said or the spirit in which it was said.
Words and the way they are communicated can give different interpretations, and we can also misinterpret what is communicated. So clarity in communication is also important in order that we do not confuse the message we are giving. This is easier said than done as we are all guilty of this and sometimes, even unwittingly.
Thinking and communication therefore go hand in hand. Actually communicating some message, that has been well thought out and evaluated is a satisfying thing to both the thinker and the recipient, especially if it is done clearly and with no confusion.
The term psychologically minded is bandied about a lot these days. That means the person is aware to a degree how to say what he or she has to say, in an angle that makes an impact and is effective. Otherwise the message can be lost or misinterpreted.
Students are often reluctant to ask questions because they are afraid the teacher will show them in a bad light. The teachers in this instant bear some responsibility, as they should encourage the asking of questions during a period set aside for that. The mere fact that someone asks a question means he is thinking about it. It is possible he had not understood what was said, but at least the reply to the question may now give him a chance to understand. This vital practice I believe should be encouraged.
Finally, we all suffer the consequences of our actions. In order to have some control over those consequences, it is wise to think through before acting. We will then have an additional chance to think through, and perhaps reduce the likelihood of making a mistake and improve the likelihood of making a wise decision.
In the present context, we have little time in our lives for contemplation. We are too busy getting through the day and just surviving, so thinking becomes a luxury few can indulge in, That is why it is so important to train oneself to do this at early stage, so one finds time. Then the rest of the days activities can be achieved more efficiently. So in this context thinking helps to better organize ones day and hopefully better manage time and life.
Thinking is definitely not meditation, which is also a good thing, if we know how to do it properly. In meditation you take away all thought processes and try to clear the mind of everything. One can improve retention skills by meditation which also helps in mind body balance, but it not for everyone.
All this goes to the heart of the need to teach people how to think, starting with problem solving skills at school, rather than rote learning. Schools are the most practical places to get people to learn to think, using new techniques and other teaching tools. The teachers have to be taught these first at teacher training and therefore some conscious effort has to be made on the part of the Education departments if one can even contemplate a measure of success in this are.
In summary, whereas thinking covers all area of thought, which we are inevitably engaged in most of our lives, thinking in a manner that improves our lives, where we are empowered and take control of our lives and destiny is a useful tool to learn, as it is more positive than negative and provides more meaning for our actions.
Religions have a role to play as they more often than not try to remove thought from belief, and should encourage people to question their beliefs as only then can one be stronger in the chosen faith, or if unhappy choose another or make up their own!