The powerful need to think for ourselves27/01/2017 at 1:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
Tags: Guidance, life skills, personal development
There’s a footpath that passes close to where I live. It’s a direct route between local communities. It’s as old as you care to think. In places, it runs adjacent to a busy main road which no doubt is just as ancient in origin.
Go back far enough in time, and the footpath and the road were probably equal partners. Each would have been wide enough for humans and animals to travel along. However, over centuries, one became a busy thoroughfare, and the other remained a quirky, winding path. But they each get you to your destination.
A society’s collective thinking is very like those routes. It makes sense for us to put things and people into categories – to put ideas into highways of collective thought, as it were.
It’s easier to say “I am Christian/Jewish/Muslim” for example, than it is to think exactly what your personal, unique experience of spirituality might be.
It’s easier to say, “Science is always right” for example, than it is to think about those countless times that scientific research is bent towards the commercial concerns that fund experiments.
And it’s easier to believe that we vote freely than it is to delve into the murky waters of psychometric social media advertising that can suppress or encourage votes for the benefit of a particular party or individual.
Well-trodden highways are practical in many ways. I’d rather use my car when I’m in a hurry than put on my boots and walk the fields. But it absolutely behoves us to think for ourselves – to be willing to walk the less travelled route, at least some of the time. That way, I believe, we are more likely to be able to look into the hearts and motives of others, and understand for ourselves our own best direction.
An extended version of this post can be found at The Huffington Post.