Signup for a folk alley account

Free and Unecessary Thought

August 26, 2006

Recently, I saw a news blurb from one supposedly newly freed country, half way around the world. A well dressed, well educated, well spoken man confirmed, to the astonishment of the interviewer, that he'd been warning his students from having too much "free and unnecessary thought". At first I thought that this man was joking, that this was surely some sort of comedy routine. As I listened, I kept waiting for the punch line, but it never came. I was shocked and dismayed to find that this man is a University Professor! Old idiologies die slowly, it seems, even in "free" societies. Come to think on it, this isn't too far from where we are today in other parts of the so-called 'free' world. Is freedom such a relative thing?

One thing that I value more than just about anything learned growing up, was something my folks and long time mentors to our church youth group had insisted upon our understanding above all else - to think for ourselves That meant not to believe by wrote what someone attempted to pass off to us just because they said it was so (tradition), but to consider a thing well before settling on the matter. This meant that we were to seek wise counsel and weigh things carefully before saying, "This is what I believe to be true, and this is what I'm going to do about it." It meant that we were going to have to develope critical thinking skills. It meant that we were going to have to look at all sides of an issue. It meant that we were going to have to develope courage. It also meant that we were going to have to become responsible; quite a challenge for teenagers growing up in an era of a between-a-rock-and-a-hard- place no-win, war torn society. They taught us not WHAT to think..but, simply, how to........THINK. That's a touch stone (true wisdom) which has gotten me out of a few tight spots over the years, and has kept me from following the lemmings of our time blindly over that proverbial ledge and into the sea. And for this valuable lesson, I am eternally grateful.

It has been my pleasure (and sometimes pain) to discover many good songs here on Folk Alley protesting a variety of unethical and unsavory practices and policies against humanity and of it's stewardship over this earth and it's inhabitants. Many songs encourage calls to action, reinforcing unity of purpose. These songs are not only really good listens, but also challenge me to reconsider some of my former attitudes about things. It's songs like these which cause me to stop and think before I leap, blindly, to support a cause or idiology, or even to settle comfortably into one without a thought.

Instead of imbedding links to the many individual songs here, I will simply provide a link to Ann VerWiebe's recent blog, "Where Have All the Protest Songs Gone?" and encourage you to participate in the conversation. Feel free, as well, to post active links to good protest songs down below in this thread.

We can be grateful (glad) that we have the priviledge to express thoughts...ANY thoughts, even those difficult thoughts which are deemed by some (yes, even right here in the good ol' U.S.of A.) to be 'free and unnecessary'. Thank goodness for those daring teachers and professors and mentors who are willing to encourage free and critical thinking, and for forums, such as Folk Alley where we can have collective class "sit ins" and "stand ups", not "drop outs". I'm hearing things here which would encourage me to consider a matter, thoughtfully, before running my mouth about it, before wearing a really cool looking tee-shirt or button to promote a cause, or even before casting my vote on an issue. I want to be able to really believe in a thing for which I stand or am promoting. In order for me to be able to do that, I must first carefully consider all viewpoints.

One thing's for sure, I'm supporting Folk Alley if for no other reason than to encourage free and open expression in a free-thinking challenged world. Leave it to Folk, yet again, to pave the way for open discussion and dialogue!

What are some of the songs or comments you've heard here on Folk Alley and from around the world which have challenged your sense of what you THOUGHT you knew to be correct thinking, and how have they affected your attitudes toward change?
Share if you dare!

Now, does everyone have his assignment? Good.
Class dismissed!

Posted by JoLynn Braswell at August 26, 2006 5:14 PM

Support Folk Alley During Our Spring Fund Drive!


Recent Topics



April 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30               

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008

March 2008

February 2008

January 2008

December 2007

November 2007

October 2007

September 2007

August 2007

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005

January 2005

December 2004

November 2004

October 2004

September 2004

August 2004

July 2004

June 2004

May 2004

April 2004

March 2004

February 2004

January 2004

December 2003

November 2003

October 2003

September 2003

August 2003