Oct 24, 2009

Free Thinker

October 24/2009

I don’t think I could ever be just a Liberal or just a Conservative or just anything. That idea goes against everything I hold dear. My freedom. Freedom to be a free thinker.

To be so one-sided and closed about differing ideas and opinions, no matter how good, well-intentioned or true the party line claims to be, could not attract my total way of thinking or my loyalty. I am very curious and I need to know all sides of an issue. The world is not black and white. I see it in multi shades of colour. So, no, I firmly believe that I could never be so rigid so as to block out other opinions.

I do search for the truth of an issue, however difficult it is to find. But many people can’t change from one side to another, even if the truth hits them in the face; even if they are thinking or voting against their own self interests, even if they discover deception, lies and corruption. So, in effect, they are cutting themselves off from the freedom they were given: The freedom to think openly, rationally and with thoughtful reasoning.

Throughout most of our lives we’ve been told so many “truths” by others, and we mostly accept them without reason. But who are we not to question these “truths”, beliefs, prejudices and assumptions? Nothing is as it seems in this world. Nothing is cut and dried. When so many untruths are thrown around without people questioning, then individuals, corporations, political parties, religions, culture, governments, etc. corrupt or not, get away with telling you anything, and you will believe it.

Within us all, is a free thinker. It is what we were given by our maker.

The Universe. The big, wide, abundant, undiscovered, Universe. So is there life out there or not? I think we can presume that there is. But how far away? How long will it take to find, the others? And will they be like us?

We live on a planet brimming with life. Everywhere on the planet is alive with organisms and micro-organisms. We share this planet with life of all kinds: animals, fish, birds, bugs. micro-things we can’t see. We have also been given an intelligence, of sorts. By this I mean a built-in intelligence that governs the way we are; our genetics, our makeup, everything that keeps us going without us knowing. In fact, we have very little control over the way our bodies keep us alive, and all living creatures have this. It’s under our radar, like the battery in the Energizer Bunny.

All life is steadily employed. We all go about our daily lives programmed to live and to survive in whatever situation or climate we are given. And if that’s all we had, this simplistic complication of life, life on earth would be very simple. We would all be like robots, programmed to do whatever we were here to do. However, in all the Universe, as we know it, in all the world, in all our minds, we homo-sapiens, human beings, were given something extra. We were given the power of creativity.

More than the animals, more than the trees, the birds or the micro-organisms, we were given the power to think creatively. To analyze, to examine, to deduce and to reason. To come up with ideas and solutions, for everything.

It’s an extraordinary gift - to be able to think up ideas, to communicate with each other, to plan, to dream, to create whatever comes into our heads or our hearts. To create our own future with new ideas. The whole world is an open book for us to do and to be anything we want to be. Think of the endless possibilities and opportunities.

Yet, we get lazy. We want to do the same thing, the same job, meet the same people, listen to the same music, the same TV and worship the same religion and politics. And most of us do things just to "look good" to others. We find our comfort zone with the people who surround us, our community: culture, religion, politics, tribe. Then we conform and spout other people's opinions to "look good" to others in our tribe. We live in a sleeping state and we give up any potential for the opportunity with which we were born. We become robots without a reasoning brain. Unless something happens to shock us and wake us up.

So let's wake up and be.

I am espousing that we open up to our free thinking minds and be more curious about the world and it’s charms: Walk away from the small corners we choose to live in. We live in a mansion yet, we choose to live in a small dark corner of the basement of that mansion. We must be like the turtle and stick our neck out into the world and discover that it’s not such a scary place after all. More important, we must discover ourselves. Self discovery. Who are we? And once we discover who we are, who is our authentic self, we must embrace ourselves, open up to the real human experience we were given. We must open up to the world of discovery, to find our own world views, values, integrity. And our own voice. Then we can steer away from the small-minded, tribe mentality that rules our rigid ways and be open to the world and the Universe that has made us.

As free-thinking humans we can teach ourselves and others to be more creative, compassionate and thoughtfully open to new knowledge and intelligence. In this way, we set ourselves up to openly respond to the junk we are continually being fed, and make better choices and judgments based on our own awareness and reasoning of the things that concern us. So my call to action is: be curious, speak up, try new things, don't copy others, be inspired by others, be creative and don't just follow the crowd. Be the free thinker and the inspiration you were born to be.

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
- Oscar Wilde.

“Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change.”
- Stephen R. Covey

“These things will destroy the human race: Politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness and worship without awareness.”
- Anthony de Mello

“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”
- Abraham Maslow