Think For Yourself Quotes And Ideas To Get You Thinking Once More

by frugalrvers

We could all use some think for yourself quotes plastered about these days...don't you THINK? Thinking for ourselves has certainly seemed to take a polarizing turn in our society.

Think for yourself - it's good old-fashioned advice that seems to have gone completely out of style in modern America. And it isn't just unfashionable actually, but almost impossible, judging by the current state of the mass brain, if there is one, of Americans lately.

Black and white thinking has certainly devoured our country, like a ravenous vulture, leaving little behind to work with anymore. We are split in a yes/no, good/bad society - all certain our way is the right way...all unwilling to budge or consider various viewpoints. The future outlook is grim, when stuck in such a paralyzed fashion.

Black And White Thinking - The Culprit?

The Trouble With Thinking In Black And White....

The elementary school massacre in Connecticut is one of the worst in a long line of recent tragedies in which all kinds of issues come into play in the aftermath. The killing of innocent children is unacceptable, and the urge to find something to blame is very hard to resist. So we immediately talk about gun control and mental illness, two hot-button topics guaranteed to raise everyone's ire.

But is anyone actually thinking through these and many other issues, or is it all black and white? Whatever happened to critical thinking, processing the facts, overcoming the emotions surrounding a question, and using one's own thinking apparatus to arrive at some sort of reasonable view of the controversy in question?

Is it simply unpopular or maybe even dangerous in America today to take the middle road, to think it through, to be rational instead of having a knee-jerk response? Think for yourself! I'ma thinkin' our future depends on it!

Thinking For Yourself Topic - Gun Control

Here's the kind of black and white, polarized thinking that the media encourages.

If you are pro-guns, anti-control, you believe that every American should be armed and trained in the use of firearms, and that it is our Constitutional right, even our duty, to do so. It is the people, not the tool that kills people (such as drunk drivers shouldn't result in outlawing cars).

On the other side, you have those that believe that guns should be banned, confiscated, and removed from society, and then everything will be ok. At a minimum, why would anyone need assault rifles? If we make obtaining guns more difficult, fewer incidents will happen.

The facts about guns are pretty foggy - many potential assaults have been prevented because law-abiding citizens were armed. Death rates by firearms have consistently decreased over the last 2 decades, even as highly publicized incidents have increased.

Yet tragic stories of a child accidentally killing a sibling with dad's unlocked gun can make it seem if it wasn't there in the first place, the tragedy wouldn't have happened.

No one seems to listen to these facts supporting both sides of the debate. Both sides have valid what now?

There is no easy answer, no definite path, and the sooner everyone realizes this and thinks outside the box, the better.

Is Polarized Thinking Destroying Our Society?

Thinking For Yourself Quotes On T Shirts

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Think For Yourself Meaning In Environmentalism Debates

As a resident of the great Pacific Northwest - Montana, to be precise - I have heard the insults traded back and forth on this issue. Greenies and tree huggers just want to stop all logging, putting tons of people out of work, destroy the economy, and go to ridiculous lengths to preserve the environment.

Rednecks and mountain men and Constitutionalists want to be able to do whatever they want to do with our precious resources - and let the rapacious, greedy corporations have at it.

No one seems to want to meet in the middle, after thinking through the consequences of these extreme black and white positions. Is there any hope of ever thinking that both sides have good and bad points?

How To Think For Yourself - Difficult Abortion Topic

This is an issue that has raged for some time now, so it is a good example of polarization and extreme thinking because positions have developed over time. They also have calcified into hard and fast modes that don't allow for moderation. If you are pro-life and against abortion, you can admit to no situation in which a woman should have an abortion. If you are pro abortion, any woman has the right to abort her child, no questions asked by anyone, including the father.

There has to be a middle ground that you can arrive at if you think for yourself.

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The Mental Illness Debate And Polarized Thinking

Believe it or not, many educated and intelligent people think that mental illness is a myth. These same folks also believe that any use of drugs to treat these non-existing maladies may have potentially deadly results, that our mentally and physically sick society is due to nutrition and lifestyle - and they have some recent examples and events to back them up.

On the other side of the fence, most Americans look to the pharmaceutical companies for pills for every ill - including those that are mental or psychological. If a prescription makes you feel better, how can it be wrong? Mental illness, if it is an illness like any other, can be treated, correct?

Where is the common ground?

One of the most difficult challenges is the bias against mental illness. Does nature or nurture cause it? If mental illness is a disease, then why the wrath at these sick individuals...would we get that angry at someone who has cancer? What if they truly cannot help their delusions, paranoia and likelihood to cause harm to others? Perhaps "the system" is broken and potentially dangerous individuals are able to do damage in a society that doesn't have the resources needed for these "criminals."

Black And White Thought On The War On Drugs

There are good drugs and bad drugs, and there are people who need to be punished for using the bad ones. That’s the position of those who feel that they must have control over others’ lives and behaviors. Then there is the other extreme, those libertines and anarchists who believe that we all should be free to do whatever we want to do with our own bodies, as long as we don’t hurt anyone else.

When you really think about the whole thing for yourself, the truth has to be somewhere in the middle – or if not the truth, at least the best way to deal with it other than declaring war. There have been pharamaceuticals that have killed or driven people to suicide (legal drugs) and there are drugs that are available in nature that make people calm, at peace and in the moment. So where is the drawing line?

Do We Need More Thinkers At The Table?

There are many other important issues that occupy our thoughts these days. Politics, international affairs, energy, sustainability, health care - all of these are topics that people have strong opinions on.

Don't get me wrong, staying with "my team" is hard to shake. I have strong opinions just like anyone else. But these opinions usually creep up when faced with black and white thinking on the other side of the fence - an insulting tone that anyone who doubts a belief is inferior, a criticism that has as many holes as swiss cheese.

I can empathize with those who have oppositional views if we can sit at a table some night and just talk respectfully. But when the mud starts flying, the warrior in me creeps out. Perhaps this is where our society is right now?

I do feel that people seem to gravitate to the easy, extreme opinions that they get from the media and their friends and neighbors without bothering to look at the facts and form opinions based on a firm foundation. I've lived a life of questioning authority, researching my own facts and developing my own opinions based on experience...even if met with backlash and not winning a popularity contest. I've always been quite unconventional, and I'm even more unconventional today.

I've written articles that make me hesitate before submitting, knowing the criticism that might come flowing downstream. But over the years, I've determined that when I feel that "ugh" inside, I am truly thinking for myself...not sticking with mainstream to dodge discomfort.

There is fear in thinking (speaking) for yourself and going against the grain, when warranted. It can be a lonely place in a neat, black and white constructed society.

If you think for yourself these days, you are unfortunately a member of a minority.

Is Black And White Thinking A Serious Problem In Our Society?

Yes, It is a serious problem
frugalrvers on 12/21/2012

We think our current polarized society might be our final downfall...

Updated: 03/09/2016, frugalrvers
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Think For Yourself Comments

frugalrvers on 12/22/2012

Thanks, Brenda! I know we all have opinions on matters that lean one way or the other, but when completely stuck in black or white nothing gets accomplished, does it? I love a great debate or discussion...I really do...because it opens my mind wider - but I don't do well with "because I say so" or "because the president, doctor, teacher, priest, etc. says so" or insults, etc. I want real discussion with whomever I'm speaking know what they think/feel and why they feel that way.

BrendaReeves on 12/21/2012

My brother and sister-in-law are both black and white thinkers. It drives me nuts. Great article!

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