It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. – Aristotle
It is a dangerous trend that critical thinking and the application of knowledge — wisdom — is a lost art. Deep thought is replaced be emotionalism, individuality replaced by tribalism. We are quick to react, slow to learn. We spurn our responsibility to younger generations — creating a sibling society shaped by peers rather than elders. We ignore the lessons of history in willful historical amnesia. We allow falsehoods into our thinking. Ryan Michler writes in Sovereignty:
One phrase that gets tossed around a lot these days is “my truth.”…the reality is that there is no “my truth.” There is only “the truth.” You might have a theory. You might have a perspective. You might have an assumption. But unless you’re operating in objective reality, your opinion is just that — an opinion…Words are powerful. If you’re distorting the meaning of a word or phrase to fit your narrative, you’re likely limiting your perspective and your own sovereignty…[we] must strive to recognize, understand, and act according to objective truth — as in truth that is not subject to interpretation.
What Michler is referring to is the myth that we can make our own truths, or that truth is relative and ever changing. Relative truth is a logical contradiction: Relativism states absolutely there are no absolutes. So, more simply, don’t waste time with opinions, deal with only facts.
We’re not perfect and cannot know everything. That doesn’t mean we should allow our weaknesses compel us to blindly follow all that comes before us.
We should not, like sheep, follow the herd of creatures in front of us, making our way where others go, not where we ought to go. – Seneca
Wisdom takes effort, real work. It is a skill honed by time and experience, but only if we intentionally seek it out. “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows,” said Epictetus. Many forces compete to negate and blot out our wisdom. Michler continues:
Your parents, your teachers, your coaches, and your employers — bless their hearts — have spent decades conditioning you, prepping you, and getting you to follow orders. Sure, they may have your best interests at heart, but what has started with noble intentions has now become a pattern for the way you operate your life — like a robot…One of the greatest threats to the powers that be is a wise man who operates in the world of objective reality. The wise man who questions authority.
King Solomon famously wrote thousands of years ago, “Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out…’whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.'”
Who will listen to her call?