Are you an American thinker or a follower? Our nation can be categorized into two groups: those who think and those who follow. It doesn’t matter what your political, religious, or secular affiliations are. People either think about things and make their own decisions or follow the prevailing “wisdom” from politicians, the press, or the professor.
For years, I’ve taught that we should avoid getting our civics lessons from the politician, the press, or the professor. But what about life lessons? Let’s talk about it.
After hearing a speaker talk about thinkers and followers, I realized that our nation is either getting informed and evaluating the evidence, or they are slowly believing anything they are told as “the way it is now” or “the way it’s supposed to be.” How do these so-called authorities know? What makes them “the authority” on anything? The axiom “Trust but verify” has never been more true.
You see, the thinkers will receive information from several sources on all sides of an issue. They don’t enter echo chambers to affirm their initial response but open themselves to consider the evidence. If someone tells a thinker that the sky is falling, what’s their first action? They look up to see if it’s true. Thinkers check history. Has the sky ever fallen before? They ask questions. What would make the sky fall?
Thinkers are not motivated by someone else’s fear. They want to discover the truth (facts) for themselves. Prevailing wisdom may say that the sky is falling, but intuitively, thinkers know this is a rash claim. Thinkers don’t trust authorities for conclusions. They seek answers until they are convinced. Their conclusion becomes conviction. Thinkers are not easily swayed.
On the other hand, followers don’t take time to think. Thinking is hard work and time-consuming. It’s much more fun to engage in entertainment rather than solitude and study.
Followers don’t trust their own instincts. They readily accept what authorities tell them. Followers never seem to grasp the possibility of being led by people who may want to control them. Followers place their destinies in the hands of strangers with motives that may either be good or bad.
You can’t control a thinker very easily. They have convictions and have the courage to stand by their beliefs. Followers may sway with every new idea that comes along. Why? Because they are more inclined to follow their feelings, not convictions.
Are you an American thinker or a follower? One path is the hard way. The other path is the easier, softer way. These days, We the People need to evaluate what we are told, then choose the path we know to be right.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸
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