The Importance of Thinking for Yourself
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Politics and Activism

The Importance of Thinking for Yourself

You can do it. Seriously.

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The Importance of Thinking for Yourself
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In my experience, if there is one thing you can do right, it is think for yourself. There is nothing worse than someone who feels a certain way for someone else’s reasons. As a child, for example, we inadvertently inherit certain qualities from our parents. We may catch on to their belief system as well. Our parent’s beliefs can serve as a moral guideline in our youth, but after a certain point everyone needs to come into his or her own. It humors me when someone is telling you their political beliefs, and they have so much conviction, but their jargon, in actuality, is what their parents have told them verbatim. Although they may sound knowledgeable about politics, most people understand the strong correlation between the party affiliation lineages in most families. It’s logical to think similarly to them because that is how he or she was raised. Throughout High School and especially in college people should have an understanding in which they need to figure out what they what for themselves. If nothing else, have your own opinions. Whether they are wrong or they are right at least they will be your own.

A lot of times people will expect you to think as they do because that is showing your support. We have all at some point had a friend come to us with a problem regarding one person in particular. They rant about the issues they have had with this person, and you listen. When this happens, judging on the severity of the situation, do not be the person to rush to their side and let them cry. Unless it is something seriously traumatic, as harsh as this sounds, coddling someone who is upset is only going to make it easier to wallow in his or her sorrows. Show compassion, but be levelheaded and really think about the issues because that is the key to solving them. Furthermore, solving the problem would make your friend happy again, which is the ultimate goal. As soon as you hear the problem, it can be easy to fall into this joint-effort in hatred. Don’t do that. Just don’t. No matter who this person is, do not let your friend talk you into making them “the enemy.” It is still possible to show support without hating them. In some cases, it can even be good to play devils advocate because looking at the situation from a different point of view may give your friend a different perspective. Situations such as this one become even more difficult to handle if you know or are even friends with so-called adversary. If the relationship between you and this other person is jeopardized, then you are adding unnecessary drama to your life. Causing drama where there is none is one of the most immature things you can do. Also, keep in mind whether this seems practical. Maybe even give this other person the benefit of the doubt. If you know them well or know them at all, you could be able to understand it from their side or at the very least comprehend if there was some kind of malicious intent. There are always two sides to every story, and too often people forget that. To simply hate someone because of something they did to someone else is completely ridiculous. In an ideal world, you probably should try to not hate people at all… But if that’s not possible, at the very least hate people for viable reasons that are your own!

Too many people are too lazy to think for themselves and this disappoints me. What’s also disappointing is how often we all forget how important it is. In politics and in relationships, developing your own thoughts is a crucial part of coming into your own. Taking charge of your life happens when you know what you like and what you don’t like, and taking control of your life doesn’t come from people telling you how to think and when to think it. Our belief system is an unalienable right. It is the backbone of our actions. It is something that we alone can and should control. There is nothing dignified about being piggybacking onto someone else’s thoughts and claiming them as your own. Be true to yourself because having convictions and thoughts of your own is crucial in developing yourself to your full potential. If you don’t want people to tell you what to do then certainly don’t let them dictate your thoughts and emotions.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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