Dan Antion, the owner of the blog, No Facilities, asked a question a little over a month ago that I would like to explore in my own perspective. What Happened to Our Independence? He was not talking so much about the U.S. as a nation as he was addressing the general attitude of so many people who live in this country.
Way back, probably before a number of you were born, independent thinking was the “cool” way to be. To give you a frame of reference, I am talking about the 1960s. Sure, most people were trying to fit in and there certainly was the influence of illegal drugs. However, even those of us who were not alienating our parents and dabbling in the psychedelic were questioning all sorts of topics that were in the news and schools. It was a time of self-ruling intellectual growth that, as of late, has gone by the wayside somehow.
I am ashamed to say I got into following one of the flocks just like so many others. Following a flock made me fearful of whatever I was not familiar with, which, looking back, was ludicrous. Maybe that unknown perception was a good thing that I had become blind to, all because I would not delve into it all because of suspicions I had collected from others.
It was only two months ago when I started reading news articles again after several years of ignoring what was going on in the world around me. Until that time, I hid out in a cave of impassivity, believing my thoughts and feelings, along with so many others, did not mean anything to the powers that be. I had closed my eyes and my ears to notions that might be helpful as well as the ones I needed to be aware of for personal safety. I was so far from being an independent thinker as one could get. Well, as far as I had ever been anyway.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, I had prided myself on being a ‘rebel’ thinker. I was the one in class who asked the annoying questions that got the teacher hot under the collar. I was beginning to wonder where that person vanished to.
It was the end of last May when I came across a site that aroused the questions once again, Pocket. Its primary use is for saving web pages to view later but the owner(s) on the site also send emails to their subscribers full of suggested articles to save for reading later. It has given me a variety of sites and pages to explore. It has gotten me started on skipping down the path of knowledge again.
When I ponder on the concept of independent thinking, what comes to mind is having keen observational skills encompassing the entire realm of the senses and keep the mouth closed. Sure, questions are needed but does that really have to involve speaking? As far as answering questions, I believe they should be found on one’s own. Speaking is not necessary.
In today’s world, there are so many ways to communicate and very few of them encourage people to think for themselves. Society, as a whole, does not seem to question the answers they receive and, instead, presume the person who is answering knows all there is about the particular subject.
We have become sheep willing to follow anyone who has an answer, whether it be right or wrong, just as long as we do not have to think for ourselves.
Did Rome fall because of this type of mentality?