Why the DBA (Don’t be a Wage Slave) concept?
Why Is Critical Thinking Important?
When we first achieve consciousness, most thinking people quickly realize that we are faced with a tremendous conundrum. On the one hand, we grasp that it is our birthright, our natural state, to be free to choose our own path in life; and yet, on the other hand, we understand that that liberty, that emancipation is a distant and perhaps unachievable goal. Everyone needs to have an income to live. The only question is at what price? We need, I believe, a traumatic event to trigger a response and set us in a certain direction.
In my lifetime, some fifty years ago in North America, the industrial working man was obscenely well paid. A person, devoid of even a high school diploma, could easily earn $2,000 to $5,000 a month – a lot of money! On one particular day, we had a school trip to a paper-making factory — some three hours away from my village by car. I was 16 years old and in the tenth grade.
I remember an employee housed in a tiny hut no bigger than the average bathtub for eight hours a day. He was situated above the factory floor. His job was to judge the quality of the wood in front of him. He had two buttons: “on” signaled that the timber could be cut into board-length pieces and “off” meant that the fiber would be chopped up and thrust down a vat on its way to becoming paper. He had a “good job.” His wife stayed at home and looked after the children. I was shocked, however! There would be no man left to retire at 65 – he would be mentally dead. This could not be me or most reflective individuals, I think. So, what is the answer? We must simply learn to think critically. This is not some profound intellectual pursuit. It is accessible to virtually everyone.
Fundamentally, critical thinking is the handmaiden of personal freedom. Our world is overflowing with excessive amounts of data. Critical thinking skills allow an individual to see the world with the clarity and alacrity necessary to lead that exciting and dynamic life we so often hear about. It is analogous to a breath of fresh air on a windswept beach. Its power energizes us and cleanses our mind as we explore the shore– and we feel alive! In the same way, for the person, intellectual lucidity is necessary to function successfully in an increasingly complex society. To access this portal we must simply nurture two key elements: doubt and curiosity- the doubt to always question what we hear, see or read and the curiosity to seek the truth.