Parenting in 2021 is challenging, for sure. Sometimes, I could kick myself for raising my children to be independent thinkers. When a son’s or daughter’s opinion opposes my own, I cringe. Yet, living alongside growing children who are adept at independent thinking helps me grow as a person. I don’t regret teaching them to think for themselves. We don’t always see eye-to-eye, but we respect each other’s right to an opinion.
Some issues in life are not about personal opinion, however. They’re about Absolute Truth. You can’t change truth, no matter what an individual’s opinion happens to be. The United States of America is in crisis. Most logically-minded people agree that government officials like Joe Biden are making things worse. In fact, a Hot Mess Press colleague of mine recently wrote about the damaging effects Biden’s nonsensical babble has had on the country.
I used to wonder how a nation of a seemingly majority of intelligent people could so quickly be reduced to compliant servants. Why do people instantly obey tyrants regardless of how outrageous their demands might be? I’m now convinced that lack of independent thinking is the problem. Many people have lost their ability to think for themselves or, perhaps, never had it to start. Either way, if more people would develop independent thinking skills, quality of life in America would improve. I adamantly believe this. When a person turns on a mainstream TV network and automatically believes what he or she hears without conducting any additional, independent research, there’s a problem.People with agendas are aggressively pushing dangerous ideologies such as Critical Race Theory on students in America’s schools and universities. It’s time we teach our kids to be independent thinkers.
Independent thinking takes courage
The world’s greatest leaders have historically never looked for safety in numbers. They’re usually independent thinkers who would rather remain true to themselves than conform to a crowd of politically correct opinions. At least, this used to be the case. It takes to courage to think for yourself, especially if the result places you in opposition to the mainstream. Thinking independently doesn’t mean that you refuse to consider other people’s points of view. In fact, it means the opposite — that you respect every person’s inherent right to form an opinion and make choices in life, even if those opinions and choices differ from your own.
Ideas to help develop your thinking skills
Learning how to think independently is a valuable tool that enables you to discern fact from fiction, truth from lie and reality from fantasy or delusion. The following list includes several helpful tips for developing independent thinking skills:
- Become an avid reader and read articles, books and other literature that feature ideas that oppose your beliefs or opinions.
- Engage in discussion with people whose views are different from your own, and really listen to what they have to say.
- Learn to consider other perspectives — play the devil’s advocate, even challenging your own position on important issues.
- Conduct research using credible sources (which does not include mainstream media).
- Always cross-reference to determine a source’s credibility. (Credibility and popularity are two separate issues!)
- Understand that political correctness is an agenda that can and should be questioned.
- Determine what your convictions and beliefs are and be willing to stand for them.
- Base decisions on reality and facts.
- Understand that an opinion is simply that — a personal view or thought.
Independent thinking is (or should be) an integral component of a free nation. Qualities of an independent thinker include confidence, self-awareness, persistence, diligence, open-mindedness and empathy, to name a few. When we lose our ability for independent thinking, it opens the door for corruption and oppression. Thinking for yourself is about more than expanding thought patterns or restrictions. It’s about protecting freedom and encouraging/enabling each person to achieve his or her full potential in life.
Inability to think independently places free people at risk
Being an independent thinker doesn’t mean you can’t trust others. It means that you understand the importance of trusting, then verifying. It is a fact that there are evildoers among us who want as much power and money as they can get. They’re willing to oppress others to further their own agendas. They’re willing to destroy lives.
If people don’t think for themselves, they’re at risk for manipulation, exploitation and oppression. The oppressors have stepped it up a level in the past year. Not only do they issue commands without merit, they persecute, scorn and punish independent thinkers for questioning their ways. If you’re a parent, you’ve likely told your children at some point that asking questions is the way we learn. If that’s true, then why are there powerful people trying to stop others from asking questions regarding face masks, viruses, injections, election integrity, etc.? They’re censoring, cancelling and destroying individuals, groups and businesses. This oppression occurs simply for asking questions or holding opinions that don’t align with their agendas. They label independent thinkers as extremists. They publicly ostracize them.
We need independent thinking now more than ever, if we hope to save our country.