"If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences"- W I Thomas

As a sociologist, this quote rang true for varying reasons. I mostly associated this quote with group thought, action, relation, and movement. It also held weight in the straight forward theory postulation and arguments I have been enveloped with for many years. I never really had attributed it to anything close in a personal nature. I have spent the vast majority of the morning pondering what and how this quote affects me. It began to take more of a metaphorical meaning, it revealed itself to be a commentary on just how serious thought can be. Positive or negative, thought can be the most powerful influence at any given time, for any given situation. Outside of acts of nature, every event man is involved in; whether it be the basic skill of conversation, driving a car, eating an apple, or the massive cooperation and planning that goes into political movements and war. Thought is the basis, the framework, the driving force. It stands to reason (at least to me) that my individual thoughts hold a lot more weight than once believed. Here’s the rub, thought is also the major downfall of everything mentioned above. Obviously if I go through life possessing an always positive thought process, I might feel better; but I would be remiss to not acknowledge the reality that exists outside of my own (reality). Does that make any sense? I hope so. So where’s the balance? What’s the fine line? Where does my reality meet the reality in society? It is no wonder that wars are fought over thoughts (ideas, religion, norms,) that are simply rooted in one humans thought. No matter the thought and process, the consequences are always real.