Mention the term “freethinker” and a sense of rebellion, going against the masses comes to mind. You know, society quickly gives us agnostics, rationalists, and atheists as references. Yet, this trait applies far beyond religious circles. It is what differentiates great writers from ordinary ones.
You see, we live at a time when the flow of information around the universe moves at the speed of light. It takes a few hours for an ideology to spread on a massive scale. Think of those social media messages, comments, likes, and following.
You can wake up to a viral video of a new product, and before you understand how it works, there is another viral video doing rounds, needing your attention. Are you the kind to skim and accept, or do you investigate every thought and opinion that comes your way before embracing it?
What is a freethinker?
If learning new tasks and viewing ideas differently excites you, you could be a freethinker. Freethinkers think differently. They are intelligent, creative, and will only embrace new thoughts after investigating them thoroughly. Indeed, it takes a hard-working person to commit to questioning new opinions before accepting them.
8 Traits Of a Free Thinker
What is a freethinker? Below are 8 common traits to identify them:
#1: Anti-Group Mentality
During the national election period, a majority of people latch on to a political course because they want to belong to a group. In contrast, freethinkers will only pledge allegiance to a political or social course because they are truly informed about it.
#2: Great Listeners
In a room full of loud people, a freethinker will sit quietly feeling undisturbed by the shouting. This person would rather engage their minds to think further about the hot issue than spend their energy shouting to be heard. Even when they speak; it is more of a debate than an argument. Likewise, freethinkers read body language to gauge someone’s thoughts.
#3: Investigate Facts
When a new belief, ideology, or opinion reaches freethinkers, they will investigate all facts available before embracing this new thought. Where they find conflicting thoughts, they take time to learn more about the topic.
#4: Abhor Routine
Freethinkers question their daily habits. The what, when, and why they eat what they eat, wear what they wear, or do what they do for a living. These persons want to validate their routines, ensuring that they are still relevant to them today.
#5: Question Childhood Beliefs
A freethinker raised as a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or atheist will question their religion as they grow older. In this case, the aim is not to reject it but to find sufficient reason to stick to it. Hence, a freethinker takes time to research and compare religions, hoping to choose the best one.
#6: Goes Against Pop Culture
Many youths and young adults go to watch the latest movies, listen to new music, or pick their wardrobe to match what is trending at the time. However, a young freethinker questions the functionality of these new products consumed by the masses. More so, should the freethinker get swayed into the pop culture, their tastes remain the same even after another trendy product replaces this current one.
#7: Has a Hard-Working Mindset
Freethinkers are informed people. They like acquiring as much knowledge as possible about anything that affects their lives. For example, they will read diverse books and articles and question the latest laser skin treatment before opting for it. They want to make informed decisions and be in control of their destinies.
#8: Takes Time to Reflect
When freethinkers watch a movie, read a book, see a work of art, or come across information that challenges them emotionally, they take time alone to reflect on it. Some freethinkers will proceed to invite a friend or family member to discuss and share their views about it.
The Impact of Free Thinking
#1: Guarding the Society’s Best Interests
In this digital era, a bad ideology can influence a lazy mind more efficiently than ever before. Anyone out to control and dominate the masses for selfish gain can do so quite fast by targeting people who rarely critique what they see, hear, or read. Hence, freethinkers serve as the sievers of ideas as they go around the world.
These individuals force the rest of us to see the bigger perspective, keeping the world in check. For this, a freethinker is a great resource to the universe.
#2: Embracing Media Objectively
Today, social media affects every aspect of our lives. Yet, not all the information on the internet is authentic, safe, or unbiased. Freethinkers can see the motive behind that catchy news headline. They will compare what they know about the source of the news, and identify the white lies that aim at driving sales.
#3: Intellectual Development
Every free human can learn the art of free-thinking. Kids who master how to think for themselves from an early age develop into responsible intellectuals. These young ones learn to coexist with others, appreciating their diversity.
They are more likely to show empathy to those in pain for they appreciate their suffering. And, kids who learn that death is a natural part of life are less prone to trauma due to a sudden loss of a loved one.
Can You Become a Freethinker?
Now that you understand what a freethinker is, can you become one? Absolutely, yes! Learn how to think critically about aspects affecting your life by nurturing the following habits: –
- Read, read, and read more!!
- Ask questions and seek answers
- Understand and scrutinize your beliefs
- Question authority and be open to answers that lead you to the truth
- Be mindful of your behavior
- Never conform to group mentality, instead think for yourself
- Look at the reverse side of things to validate facts
- Have an open mind
- Write your own life script
So, according to you, what is a freethinker? They may seem weird, bossy, and too curious for comfort. But these are the behaviors that make them stand out in a crowd. Never view them with negativity. See, freethinkers use their creative minds to explore all possible solutions before making decisions. Similarly, nurture habits that can help you to think critically too.