Do what you’re told or do what you think?

Been thinking a lot about the educational system lately. I’m becoming less convinced that doing what you’re told is as important as doing what you think.

History highlights the ambitious innovators, outside-the-box thinkers, and those who take risks in search of reward. Certainly we stand upon the shoulders of our predecessors, and I’m not begrudging any lessons learned, but maybe sitting in those classrooms-of-my-youth inhibited original thought. Perhaps the clouds of ambiguity have now cleared to reveal a clarity of perspective.

A few days ago I stood in front of eighty law students and spoke about quelling the voices of parents and peers, Fox and CNN, religion and rules. When one strips away those sounds, a silence occurs and you start to hear your own personal roar. Mine didn’t speak about algebraic equations or French historical facts. It didn’t ponder Newtonian physics or iambic pentameter. No, the cultural curriculum we call education never appeared in the acoustic absence. Instead I found myself listening to an inner conversation, about personal principles, core beliefs, the “Who am I” thing we used to have during 3:00 a.m. drinking binges back in university years. ┬áIt’s the type of communication a lot of people mask with Xanax and Valium and other means for the chemically-inclined.

Today I met with a Congressional candidate and threw some questions his way. As a Pro-choice candidate, would you legislate a 15-year-old can have an abortion two hours before birth? And if a husband punches his pregnant wife in the stomach in the first trimester and kills the fetus, should he be charged with anything? You are absolutely opposed to the death penalty but you agree with the killing of Bin Laden? If there is a discrepancy between your personal principles and what your constituency wants, how do you intend to vote?

Because if you are going to lead, you damn well better not lead with your chin. You should know where you go to inform your opinions on things and that place better be built on a rock solid foundation, Anyway, point here is that I don’t think enough about why I think some things. I find that I just accept them out of some allegiance to law or society or parents or some outdated educational model. I don’t think that’s going to work for me anymore.

New word of the day: Whoriginal (def) the selling of one’s beliefs as original thought when they are clearly stolen from the minds of others

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By ccxander