Independent Thinkers

What this country needs are independent thinkers. I am ashamed of the partisan politics being orchestrated by our nation’s leaders. Our elected officials are so caught up in opposing the other party, they aren’t doing the jobs they were elected to do. The hate rhetoric encourages citizens, and some university students, to be caught up in emotional anger and even violence.

I once heard an African folk tale that can illustrate this.

The folk tale tells of a village school which was situated in a mountainous region. The children were progressing well in their studies. But, not far from the school was a dangerous cliff. Although warned of the danger, children would often play too close to the edge. Occasionally, a child would slip and fall to the rocky ground below. Some were seriously injured and it was a long way to the hospital in another village.

The people were greatly distressed over this situation and decided something must be done. “If we build a clinic at the bottom of the cliff, when a child falls, we will be able to get him medical care right away!” “This is just what we need,” everyone agreed. They excitedly began making plans and preparations for their new clinic.

One day, the people looked up and saw one lone man with hammer and nails piecing together heavy wooden rails at the top of the cliff. “Would not it be better that none of the children fall than that we repair their broken bodies at the bottom of the cliff?”

THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SOLVE A PROBLEM. It doesn’t make someone a child-hater, just because he would rather build a fence than a clinic.

Politically speaking, there is a lot of hype and mis-information out there. Someone starts a rumor, then it is quoted as fact, repeated exponentially, and everyone jumps on the political bandwagon. President Trump is neither all good nor all bad, but he is an independent thinker. Yasmeen Waliaga’s article, “What’s the Deal With These Orders?” on the Feb. 9 issue, is a good example of informed independent thinking.

Be an independent thinker. Following the flock is for the birds.