Thoughtful Independence

Dependence doesn’t mean delegating to others what you’re able and willing to pay for. Dependence doesn’t mean learning from, or listening to, somebody else. It’s not dependent for a medical student to go to medical school and learn what previous minds already discovered. Dependence isn’t any of these things. Dependence is when you stop using your mind, in some context, and let another do your thinking for you. An independent person hires a car mechanic to do work he’s unable to do. But he still has some clue of what’s going on. He observes and thinks about what the mechanic is doing for him. He compares prices, and asks questions. As with car repair, so with all of life. We live in a complex and specialized world. That’s the best kind of world to live in. Yet if one is to survive and cope in that world, independent thinking is needed more than ever. The opposite of dependence isn’t knowing everything, or trying to literally do everything for yourself. The opposite of dependence is never quitting on thinking.