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Teen Perspectives on OC Philosophy - Flexible Thinking


Teen Perspectives on OC Philosophy

Originally Published in the Summer 2021 issue of the Open Connections Magazine


The years spent at Open Connections are an incredible time of metamorphosis, of gradual transitioning from early childhood to young adulthood. Our community is privileged to be able to observe youth undergo this change over the years we spend together and we see core OC concepts and values wind up as integral parts of their fully realized young adult selves. We asked the members of our teens in Group Tutorial IV (GTIV) and Shaping Your Life (SYL) to reflect on how the OC philosophy has helped them develop the perspectives through which they experience the world. We hope you enjoy seeing the value of Open Connections through their eyes.


This time we hear about:


Flexible Thinking

by Owen, Shaping Your Life


Flexible thinking—how your brain is able to make anything out of everything; the balance between your freeflow instinctual filter and your previous knowledge; how things that you create concepts of relate to one another. Your precision thinking will identify (from previously gathered information) what you are looking at/thinking about, and your approximate thinking will attempt to relate new information to precursory discoveries in order to create new concepts. These new concepts are then filed away for later use. Flexible thinking is the balance of the two. It is how we are able to make something out of nothing, and is the basis of creativity. If given anything we could turn it into something new through the process of flexible thinking. This can be used to solve problems, and is extremely useful for the creative process. I like to play with the balance of approximate and precision thinking through art. It is all on a scale, from absolute expression and abstraction to precision and technicality. I am partial to making chaotic nonsense, and I think I wouldn’t be able to make what I make without the use of approximate thinking. I am always able to make something out of (seemingly) nothing. I can take a mark on a page, and through approximation, I can turn it into whatever I want, and create something that has never even been made before. Then, through the use of my precision thinking, I can refine this new idea into something complete and interesting. It’s like pulling art from an ocean of creation, and then polishing it until it shines.


Sketches by Owen


  • Owen sketch
  • Owen drawing