Is every Indian truly independent, though the country got its Independence many many years ago..? What is Independence..? And Independent thinking..?
- "not depending on the authority of others" and "not dependent on others for forming an opinion." Making up your own mind, in other words. But what does that really mean? Does it mean forming an opinion without input from others? No, of course not, otherwise we "reinvent the wheel" every time we make a decision.
If we reject what our parents, teachers or Institutions have taught us simply because they say something is right, does that make us independent thinkers? No, that's just what psychologists call "anti-conformity" rather than non-conformity. Making up your own mind is an action, not a reaction.
Independent thinking means making sense of the world based on your own observations and experiences rather than jut depending on the word of others. It means trusting your own ability to make judgments, even if they contradict what others say. It means acting in accordance with these judgments, even if you sometimes make mistakes. An independent thinker knows it's better to make your own mistakes than someone else's.
Critical thinking is a tool that you as an independent thinker can use.Too often people think that being critical means just tearing some argument down: "Critical thinking," they write, "is the ability and willingness to assess claims and make objective judgments on the basis of well-supported reasons. It is the ability to look for flaws in arguments and resist claims that have no supporting evidence. It also fosters the ability to be creative and constructive - to generate possible explanations for findings, think of implications, and apply new knowledge to a broad range of social and personal problems. You can't really separate critical thinking from creative thinking, for it's only when you question what is that you can begin to imagine what can be."
One shouldn't defend his own beliefs too passionately or criticize someone else's beliefs too strongly." When he complains 'it's just my opinion', think if it is a good opinion or a bad opinion?.Is it well-supported by evidence or reasons? The goal is to teach students how to take a position and defend it strongly and with passion, and yet fairmindedly."
Commitment and Fair-mindedness goes along with the notion of critical thinking. As we mature to adulthood, we go through different stages in our thinking about beliefs. As young teens, many of us see the world from an authoritarian perspective. There's only one right answer and it's the teacher or authority figure's job to give us "the" answer.
Sadly, many adults never get out of this stage!. Then, as we mature, we begin to see things in a more relative perspective, recognizing that different people have different points of view. At this point, we can take several paths - we can slip into complete relativism, believing that any opinion is as good as any other; or we can slip into nihilism, giving up any belief; or, if we keep growing, we move forward to the final stage.
Here, we recognize the need to make a commitment to personal beliefs that we have arrived at by careful thinking and a need to take responsibility for these beliefs. But at this stage, we also accept and respect the idea that others may hold contradictory values to which they are equally committed.
In other words, we see the need defend our values and to be fair-minded.
All of us here try to inculcate such an "independent thinkers". I strongly believe, true independence comes from "Individual liberation". To that I say, "HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY."