This 4th of July marks the 245th anniversary of the declaration of independence that forever sealed the fate of the United States as an independent sovereign nation. However, the past couple of decades have been a tumultuous time for the world. We’ve seen a drastic shift in geopolitics, climate change threatens our way of life, and the pandemic showcased a glimpse of the destructive powers of nature.
Let’s take some time to reflect on the values this country was built on – the free thinking abilities that led to its foundation and progress. Hopefully, it can help us face the uncertainty that lies ahead in the future.
Can You Truly be a Free Thinker?
Free thinking is one’s innate capability to reach conclusions based on logic and reasoning. It entails forgoing one’s preconceived notions on any subject matter and calls for skepticism even when faced with the highest of authoritative viewpoints.
However, in today’s world, where one is flooded with reams of information, can one truly discard the fact their actions and influences are governed by some external factor? Does one accept a viewpoint instead of exploring deeper into what real truths are? Perhaps, the answer lies in choice – choice that comes in the form of independence to think freely.
Yes, you may hold a certain viewpoint based on the external stimulus you receive in the form of facts, validity, and weight of the information, but one needs to remain plastic to the idea of other viewpoints and accepting that they hold more weight compared to previous ones.
Even Newton’s law of gravitation, though groundbreaking, wasn’t set in stone. It wasn’t until Einstein came along with his general theory of relativity that Newton’s law was brought into a new light. What’s remarkable was his free thinking approach and resolve to think independently and creatively against preconceived scientific notions. One which challenged established norms and set in stone new information that brought us one step closer to understanding the universe.
What Lies Ahead?
History is testament to the fact that challenges faced by humanity have always lead to an acceleration in innovations and technology. Take, for instance, the world wars, the space race, and various pandemics (including this one). These times called for new solutions to existing problems. As of now, the current research that went into combating the pandemic, particularly the mRNA vaccine, has the potential to find a cure for cancer. Current research in fusion technology may lead an end to the looming energy crisis worldwide, and in turn, help reverse climate change as a source of clean energy.
This 4th of July, let’s be thankful for what the power of free thinking has already helped us achieve on a global level and how it continues to drive us towards sustainability. Perhaps the only way forward is to instill a sense of questioning in the hearts of young minds to prepare them for the world.
The power of information cannot be understated. Young minds are especially susceptible to molding information to a desired liking, such that their personality is cemented around it. By incorporating a critical thinking mindset, they’ll be less susceptible to outside influences with malicious agendas.
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