Why clearing the mind of clutter is so essential to progress.
There is a common thread that runs through the writings of activists across the globe. And that is that before they could really take on the root cause of the problems they were facing, they first had to free their own minds and decide for themselves what was right and what was wrong outside of what the social, religious or cultural norms were.
It is surprisingly hard to do. Most people are able to challenge only a portion of their preconceived notions and so their focus of change is narrow. Those who succeed often become great agents of change because they see how all the various forms of discrimination are interrelated. Discrimination comes from the same place even if the target is different.
Humanism and Freethought help clear the clutter out of our minds. But not everyone is willing to clear out everything. They are rightly concerned about being left adrift. After all, once you clear away the clutter, you usually go back and put some of the old stuff back in because, as it turns out, it was useful.
Many people approach self-reflection fearfully. A Humanist makes self-reflection a habit of the mind. We are continually challenging our assumptions. Our goal is to continue to improve ourselves and the world we live in. The benefits of clearing out the clutter of our minds are so great; we can’t imagine living life any other way.
How do we nurture Freethought and clearing the mind, even if it is on a small scale? How can we reassure people who need to take this journey that it will be ok and that they will emerge on the other side of this stronger and more centered as a human being?