Don’t follow me blindly

blindly

Children are often strongly influenced by the attitudes, philosophies, and sometimes even the prejudices of their parents or other powerful influences. Even basic facts can be taught to a child in a different way than they are to large numbers of others. It is common that some people follow such ideas throughout the remainder of their lives almost in a blind way, with no exploration or challenge. No comparisons or scientific like testing.

open mind
Have an open mind

My parents certainly did have firm opinions on certain matters. I was influenced by them like the many children I mention above. But I consider myself fortunate that I was introduced to opposing points of views as a teen and adult. Sometimes my first instincts were to fight opposing beliefs. I thought I had good evidence to support my perspectives on things, but then found that I did not when challenged to defend my beliefs. When I didn’t, I became confused and tongue tied or even hostile. However, there came a time when I finally decided to close my mouth, listen and keep an open mind. By listening, I either realized that my original thoughts were blindly held and made no sense, or I finally found strong enough evidence to support the opinions and attitudes I initially blindly accepted.

Here is an example. My father used to always quote the following:

“If you are not a liberal at 25, you have no heart. If you are not a conservative at 35 you have no brain.” – Author not firmly identified.

Is the quote above always the case? Obviously not, and I don’t feel that anyone who thinks otherwise is abnormal or bad, but it does imply that life changes and priorities can change people’s points of view over time.

What have you learned from what you blindly accepted with no real investigation? Do you ever ask yourself if you and/or the majority, or designated “experts” should be believed? If not the experts, then why you and/or the majority? How does continuing such a belief ultimately benefit you and others?  And if the experts do eventually have their hypotheses proved right, then was it worth it for you to fight it so hard with so much less knowledge?

In my life, I have learned to reject a lot of the less than ideal thoughts and attitudes I learned in my youth. I made the choice to take the high road on certain matters, even if I wasn’t sure about them. Or sometimes it wasn’t a choice, it was life’s challenges themselves that influenced my thinking and full acceptance of certain ideas.

change
In what directions will your thoughts go over time?

Though not everyone I grew up with has gone through notable thought and attitude transformations, I do see that they haven’t been entirely unchanged either. I guess there are many factors that have attributed to this. One is that we live in a place that welcomes a variety of people with different philosophies and points of view. That is a strong influence. Another one is that as time goes by we fall into and roll with certain situations. The world is changing around us. Change can be very good. Change often equals progress, no matter whether it is change forward, or in some cases change backwards. But we must not be blind to the change or the reasons behind the change.

When I write about transformation of thoughts, I don’t want my discussion to be misconstrued as a denunciation that original thoughts and teachings are often wrong. I rather want to suggest that people be inquisitive and question thinking. I hope that people can feel fully confident that their views and philosophies are for the best of both themselves, other people and the world around them. Then when that time comes, the faith in those beliefs will be at their strongest and closest to the heart. Not blindly followed beliefs for beliefs’ sake.

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14 thoughts on “Don’t follow me blindly

  1. Vivian Zems April 10, 2017 / 5:54 pm

    A philosopher! Sound words. It’s amazing how we’re essentially made up of what parents and family have told to believe. This inevitably leads to unnecessary conflict. Very well written.

    Liked by 3 people

    • updownflight April 10, 2017 / 6:39 pm

      Thank you, Vivian. It is so true, but I’m happy that I’ve learned to see things in new ways.

      I’ve found that some people are more open to thinking in new ways, and others’ views are like rocks. Never to be budged.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Morpheus April 10, 2017 / 7:22 pm

      So many things my parents told me were lies. LOL. So, either they didn’t know and we’re accidentally trying to make me ignorant, or they and we’re purposefully trying to make me ignorant. Either way… it’s pretty bad.

      Liked by 2 people

      • updownflight April 10, 2017 / 7:37 pm

        Some of my beliefs vary from those of my parents, especially political views. My dad labels himself conservative in some ways and somewhat liberal in others. I guess it could have been even more one-sided. The way I grew up and some of the opportunities I had were different from those of my parents. That’s not always the case for some people.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Morpheus April 10, 2017 / 7:40 pm

        Oh, absolutely. Me and my parents are intellectually and spiritually on different wavelengths. Hell, we’re practically in different solar systems. Lol. It’s not that serious, but it just shows how obtuse our views can be. I sure hope I don’t screw my kids up like that.

        Liked by 2 people

      • updownflight April 10, 2017 / 7:44 pm

        I don’t think you’ll screw your kids up. You seem like a type of person that would allow them to explore for themselves and be independent thinkers. If you’re not, please consider it. My parents were sort of hands off parents to a reasonable degree. That helped me. So many parents now are helicopter parents. I don’t think that’s that good for kids.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Vivian Zems April 10, 2017 / 7:41 pm

        Wow, I get that. I think that belief systems are actually worse than just words- or perhaps the 2 go together.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight April 10, 2017 / 7:45 pm

        I agree that the two go together (words and belief systems). Thanks for bringing that up, Vivian.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Morpheus April 10, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    Great post. I totally feel the same way. Psychologically speaking, it’s very hard for humans to change their opinions and values after those proving years in adolescence (or very rare, anyway). With that in mind, I think I agree that kids need to be exposed to other divergent opinions and viewpoints early on (even before their teenage years). Then, let them make up their own minds.

    Liked by 2 people

    • updownflight April 10, 2017 / 7:33 pm

      Thanks, Morpheus.

      Unfortunately opinions and values are even taught in some schools around the world. I wish that at least there there would be numerous ideas presented in as unbiased of a way as possible, though I know that’s hard for people to do.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Robert Matthew Goldstein April 12, 2017 / 6:53 pm

    I’ve heard that Winston Churchill made that comment. Liberal and Conservative had different meanings in the post war world. The statement essentially means, if you are not working for progress at 25 you are heartless and if you are not working to preserve the traditions that bring us progress at 35 you have no brains. The context in which a word is used is everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight April 12, 2017 / 7:58 pm

      Thanks for clarifying that, Rob. I learned the quote from my dad. I guess he put his own spin on it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robert Matthew Goldstein April 13, 2017 / 11:43 pm

        The gains we make in our youth become the traditions we preserve for the next generation.

        When I was 25 I was all about fighting for the right to marry my partner.

        Now I’m all about preserving it.

        The liberal becomes a conservative. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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