Large skepticism leads to large understanding.
Small skepticism leads to small understanding.
No skepticism leads to no understanding.
A man goes to a psychiatrist and says, "I have no friends, no one talks to me and if they see me walking down the street they'll cross over and walk on the other side."
The doctor says "That's because you're ugly."
"I'm ugly? I come to you for help and you tell me I'm ugly? I want a second opinion."
"Okay," the doctor says, "You're also stupid."
Skepticism is not negativism or cynicism. It can often seem like suspicion. But it's really a healthy practice of not taking things as the immediately appear. I often advise people to be skeptical about what the read and hear. I say to them, and to myself, you not only have to read between the lines, you have to read behind the lines as well.
If a thing sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Know that most of the authorities in the world, aren't and "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none." as Shakespeare said.
Skepticism is a good practice concerning the things we buy, the people we meet and the ideas that we encounter. In an ideal world no one cheats us, people are what they claim to be and the theories we live by are tried and true. But, since it isn't an ideal world, everything should be picked up, turned over, carefully observed and quietly listened to.
I ask myself, "What's wrong with this?" If I can't find anything significantly wrong with it, I'll accept it. But to understand how we are cheated, why people masquerade as someone they're not and how a charade of useless ideas can get established in the world and embedded in out lives, we need to keep the mind open to check things out before they come home with us. We need an honest second opinion.
DB - The Vagabond