Taking a Back Seat to Delhi

I had one overarching and recurring thought while I was stuck in traffic on Delhi’s roads Tuesday: Thank goodness I don’t have diarrhea.

I must note that needing to use the bathroom — urinate, that is — doesn’t seem to be a problem for men on any street in India. They just pull over, pull it out, and pee on a tree or on the dirt, or on the tarmac.

Scenes Of India

I started to count the number of free-range pee-ers on the side of the freeway but then realized my abundant thinking time could be put to better use.

The following came to mind:

What is critical thinking?

I thought about this a lot on the way to visit high school students in Gurgaon, a Delhi suburb. In what is now 20+ years in higher education, I have yet to figure out how “critical thinking” can actually be taught. To my free-range mind, the only way to teach critical thinking is to put people in critical situations where they have to think their way out — by themselves. Essentially, there’s no “teaching” whatsoever involved in that equation.

Maybe I’ll do Cross Fit in Beirut next weekend.

I’ve been working at maximum capacity for many months straight, including chairing AU’s 30th Anniversary Task Force which includes planning an all-expense paid community service trip to Zanzibar for 30 students WHO HAVE TO PROVE THEY CAN THINK CRITICALLY to win a spot on the plane.


The only way I can carve out time to think for myself is to go somewhere that is quieter than my head. I picked Beirut — a raucous town. (Mostly because I got a plane ticket for $176). But when I’m there next weekend, I have to prepare my talk, “How to Build a Global Brand in 365 Days,” for a conference in Seoul in November. I hope to find the time to take a Cross Fit class — my new obsession that I rarely get to do — when I’m in Lebanon on R&R for 72 hours.

I miss my son.

The best part of running around the world like a chicken with its head cut off is that I have very little time to think about how much I am missing my son. Of course I miss Allan, too, but he’s grown person and I know he’s enjoying being a “soccer mom” to David.

Recently, David referred to me as his “iMom” because I’m constantly sending him motivational WhatsApp messages. One time he wrote to me saying how he now realizes what a gift all our time overseas has been to him. He said he knows and see things differently because of each experience in another location.

Wait a minute, does this mean that I have, in fact, taught at least one person to be a critical thinker?

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