In this week’s VulnerABILITY Podcast, host Marisa Donnelly and guest Abe Lopez jump into controversial topics headfirst. The focus is on learning to think for yourself and what that means (especially in a society that often pushes you to follow the crowd) or hide your ideas/beliefs etc. from the public eye.

What does it mean to truly ‘think for yourself’? In terms of making decisions, that sounds easy: decide what you want based on you, not others. But for controversial issues like culture, faith, family, love, etc. this isn’t always easy. And truthfully, our lives are so highly influenced by others, experiences, pain, etc.

This week, as a reflection on Pride celebrated across the United States, Abe and I discuss gay rights under the umbrella of personal choices. We highlight an important belief we share: each person’s choices, perspectives, decisions, opinions, and thoughts should be his or her own. We discuss faith, identity, group biases/mentalities, and I even share excerpts from a passionate piece I wrote on the subject.

Highlights From the Episode:

[8:30] “If you don’t ever consider perspectives outside of your own, or if you don’t entertain the idea that maybe someone thinking something else might be right… or have a different perspective… how do you grow?”

[10:10] “In order to think, you risk being offensive. And that doesn’t mean your perspective entitles you to [be] offensive, or that you go out of your way to be offensive. But sometimes you have to make a decision or thought for yourself that might be offensive to someone else. And that doesn’t make it wrong.”

[14:00] “If you don’t use your own mind [and] if you don’t think for yourself, somebody else is going to do it for you.”

[19:30] “What matters is how we look at different situations and find our own perspectives on things, based on what we think. [Or base don what we] learn from the facts or pull from our emotions.”

[19:40] “I think it all boils down to absorbing everything from the world… listening to different perspectives and learning different things. [And] searching and researching [to understand] for yourself.”

[27:10] “You need to know your ideas and thoughts intimately… You need to study yourself and know why it is that you think this way. Because there will come a time when maybe you’re challenged on it, and you need to know who you are… Because if not, you’ll continuously go through different ‘jackets’ of identities.”

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