Glad … for independent thought

I’m so glad we … have reason and free will.

Moms used to say, “If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too?” and that was how we knew we didn’t have to do what everyone else does.

Moms would say things like you have two ears and one mouth and you should use them in that proportion. Or look before you leap. Or if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything (wow, we could sure use THAT mom these days).

Nowadays sometimes it feels like moms are saying, “Jump off that cliff! It was good enough for me and your father, so it will be good enough for you.”

But we still don’t have to do what everyone else does.

We still get to peer over the edge of the cliff and choose to stay up here on high ground.

I don’t have my mom to talk to anymore. She would have been 97 this week, but she only got 82 years and change.

She’s still around, though. This whole series of “choose to be glad” musings is because when people started getting angry with each other, she would start singing, “Happy talk, keep talking happy talk,” or “You’ll find that life is still worthwhile if you’ll just smile,” or you get the picture.

Thanks, Mom, for raising me to think happy thoughts and not necessarily doing what everyone else is doing.

If the substance between your ears is telling you that you don’t want to do or say or think what everyone else is doing or saying or thinking, that’s the beauty of this life: You don’t have to.

Oh, you may have to suffer some consequences, like dealing with people who look at you cross-eyed and wonder why you’re not doing or saying or thinking like they are.

But you’re thinking for yourself. And doing what’s right according to your thoughts. And saying what you think is right.

And I bet you’ll sleep better tonight for it.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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