The Importance of Thinking for Yourself

“To find yourself, think for yourself” ~Socrates

We live in an information overload kind of world. There is information everywhere about any and everything. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact it is great to have such a vast pool of knowledge and ideas to pick and choose from. But at the same time I think it’s important to not just embody whatever is being fed to you. From what you choose to wear, to your religious views, your political views, your music taste, and all the other stuff… In my view it is important to examine what you believe in and the values you choose to hold to your heart. Are you able to trace your values and what you consider important to you to a source within yourself or have you consciously or unconsciously taken on something that has been prescribed to you? We all have this amaaaaaaaazing ability to think critically. It doesn’t matter what the graduate from whatever ivy league school is saying on the television or which fashion blog is saying what the current trend is -it’s about what you think and how you want to lead your life. Of course, if you happen to truly agree with what they are saying then that is A-OK! The way I see it if I’m going to wake up everyday and go about my life in a particular way, it’s going to be in a way that I see fit for myself, that actually makes sense to me, and that contributes to my happiness. This doesn’t mean every man for himself or anything like that, it means living in harmony with what’s inside you and what’s outside and around you -finding the balance.

In politics it can get easy for young people to feel like we aren’t “qualified” enough to have an opinion or critique the sorts of things happening in the political sphere (locally & globally) and conversations taking place around issues that are considered “complex”. I challenge this notion. The political sphere is not filled with foreign robots that exist in a separate realm -it consists of people. It consists of you and me. It consists of us. There are 44 million eligible voters across America. FORTY FOUR MILLION, I SAY. If that is not one of the most powerful things you will read all day!! Simple things like voting can go a long way in dictating how our politicians go about doing their job and carrying out their duty towards us as citizens. We have the ability to choose our leaders and we even have the chance to be the leaders ourselves if we feel like no one in place is doing the job good enough. Young people need stronger representation in the political sphere and if we don’t deliberately seek it out it certainly will not be served to us on a bronze platter, let alone a silver one.  As with anything in this beautiful life of ours all it takes is a little curiosity and a genuine interest. All it takes is a willingness to learn and a willingness to be wrong every now and then. What are the kinds of things that you would like to see happen in your home, in your backyard, in your neighborhood, in your district, in your city, in your state, in your country, or even in the world? Never be afraid to ask yourself the hard questions, never be afraid to not know the answers, and never be afraid to make mistakes. I started with one of my favorite Socrates quotes and I will end with one of my favorite Gandhi quotes: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Peace

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