Surely most of us have heard the expression “food for thought.” But as we grow in our understanding of healthful living, we come to understand that though all physical nutrition can be classified as food, not all of what is called food can be classified as nutrition. One must be selective in their choices of food to make sure what is eaten is truly nutrition to the body. In like manner, one must be selective in their choices of what is consumed by the mind. All that we listen to, read, and watch can certainly be classified as “food” for thought, but how much of it can truly be classified as “nutrition” for thought.
I remember reading some years ago a very impressive statement that changed my perspective upon intellectual stimuli. The author wrote, “The mind, the soul, is built up by that upon which it feeds, and it rests with us to determine upon what it shall be fed.” At the time I read this statement, I had already adopted this principle to my physical health, so it only made sense to apply it to the mental and spiritual aspects of my being as well.
Much of what the unsuspecting population consumes as food is in reality empty calories at best, and a harmful detriment at its worst. After just a few generations of processed foods and Drive thru restaurants we have a society with epidemic obesity and chronic diseases. Conditions which could have been prevented by the right lifestyle choices, if the proper education concerning food and physiology occupied a place of honor in our modern world.
The same principles hold true with our mental consumption. Much of the intellectual products we imbibe is useless information at best, and a subtle poison that corrupts our way of thinking at its worst. After just a few generations of immoral music and movies, endless sitcoms, and a public educational system for which it is difficult to find the right word to describe, we have a backwards society that believes that it’s degradation is advancement.
What then is good nutrition for thought some might ask? Speaking from personal experience I would answer, true observable science such as anatomy and physiology. The reason a good doctor or surgeon can perform their work with confidence is because the body is designed and operates on fixed laws. They know how the various organs of the body should look, and how the various systems of the body are supposed to operate. If things were in a constant state of changing and evolving, they could have no concrete way of knowing if something outside of what is considered the normal conditions is indeed a problem, or just a normal part of the random unpredictable processes of nature.
Also gardening and observing the processes in nature of how things grow provides excellent nutrition for thought. In fact observing nature in a calm environment of trees, grass, birds, and animals provides a very surprising intellectual stimulus. The less artificial your visual environment the better. The more one observes the living canvas of nature, the higher the thoughts seem to excel above the mundane.
In closing I would like to point the attention to the greatest source of nutrition for thought. In the same book I referred to above the author wrote,
“God has provided in His word the means for mental and spiritual development. The Bible contains all the principles that men need to understand in order to be fitted either for this life or for the life to come. And these principles may be understood by all. No one with a spirit to appreciate its teaching can read a single passage from the Bible without gaining from it some helpful thought…As a means of intellectual training, the Bible is more effective than any other book, or all other books combined. The greatness of its themes, the dignified simplicity of its utterances, the beauty of its imagery, quicken and uplift the thoughts as nothing else can. No other study can impart such mental power as does the effort to grasp the stupendous truths of revelation. The mind thus brought in contact with the thoughts of the Infinite cannot but expand and strengthen.”