We must learn to be more rational and discerning in every situation, thinking beyond what we are supposed to believe, thinking freely, opening ourselves to the possibility of being wrong and perhaps, (even more frighteningly) the possibility of standing alone. For many must stand alone for political polarization to cease and for true critical free thinking to begin. The ability to think freely without the cage of authoritarian titles, the chains of dictating labels, and the tyranny of polarization is a necessary condition of finding free thought. Critical free thought and the transference of differing ideas with the means of understanding is important and significant as we search for peace in a world filled with new war, militancy and cyber danger. It is fine to be influenced; it is fine to be inspired; but we must not let any one ideology become the law by which we cannot break nor critique under any circumstances. For when this happens, when unbreakable, non-critique-able laws of the mind emerge, the mind becomes a slave of thought. If what I believe in cannot and is not challenge-able, or malleable, then I must ask: Why is this belief so difficult to change? Is it difficult to change because of the stoutness of the belief or the stubbornness of my character? Is it difficult to change because of the strength of the idea or the strength by which I am willing to hold onto it? Disputes, confrontation, and war are the result of stubborn characters battling for the assertion of their strongly held ideologies. Discussion, conversation, and treaties are the result of critical thinking and the transference of ideas with an ardent desire of sending knowledge, understanding, and/or making peace.
Many slaves of thought are advocating throughout the political scene. These chained brains are from the left and from the right. There are some using their religion to assert the truth of their statements. There are some using their oppression to assert the invalidity of other’s opinions, experience, and knowledge. There are some using their privilege to devalue the experience of others, and there are some using their lack of privilege for their own ideological purposes. All of which may, can, and should be taken into consideration when one is analyzing what is the most truthful and what will bring the most happiness to the governed people – rich and poor, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, European, national and foreign, immigrant and native, etc. But, none of these alone should dominate in all aspects and facets of your thoughts and your politics. The world is a stream of colored thoughts, full of opinion and creative information. These thoughts are only waiting for your arrival in order to add to the dullness of an experience you might have disregarded. It is when your thoughts become dominated that you remain dull.
We must politicize the people. But we must not polarize the people. We must politicize them to be critical consumers of knowledge. This means introducing our children to all of the opinions of the world and allowing them to discern for themselves what they believe and why it is that they believe that. Doing so erases the victor as the only writer of history, and teaches that history is a tale of two cities (or more). When the politicized people fall blindly into a label and follow blindly into the ways of a sole political, religious, or social position then, humanity releases. We become laws and not limbs – inflexible versus flexible. We become a category and categorization takes away the complexity of the human who in various situations will act differently, think differently, and believe differently. This is not true for all things and all situations, but openness is significant for when the time arises, and peace will only come from opposing what is believed to be what you are supposed to believe. It is crucial that when we begin to think critically we understand that all true critical thinking takes into account the opinions of all sides and understands the purpose or logic of the opponent.
It all comes back to being. Being has no boundaries except for those which we makes for ourselves. Your identity is a journey, and there is no journey more vital than the journey we must take with the people who are most different than ourselves. Who you are is just as much who you’ll become as it is what you are today. Therefore, we must think freely and we will never become a slave of thought.