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The Courage To Think

“I think therefore I am” René Descartes 

“Oh when you were young did you question all the answers” Graham Nash

If there is one thing about psychiatric patients it is that they can think outside the box. We see things in a unique way. But who to say who is right and who is wrong? 

prison photoThe Bible says  “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” What that means is that no man on this Earth is my enemy. This is confirmed in scripture when Jesus commands us to Love both our neighbor and enemy. What is my foe are the ideas that people possess.

So many people accept what they are told without questioning it. That was true in my life without a doubt. Everything that school, and church for that matter, taught me I bought without a second thought. I never thought of questioning the teachings as they were presented as absolutes. What got me to thinking was when I went to college. At that point my life was pretty much miserable. I was empty and I needed something in my life. As such I explored alcohol and drugs. I had a glimpse into the world of people using illegal substances. As a youth in school I was taught that drugs was a quick way to ruin. My experiences in high school seemed to confirm that. Those who used drugs failed poorly academically. But in college I saw some of the best athletes and scholars partying. Realty testified that what I learned was a lie. With Pandora’s Box opened wide I wondered what else I was taught was a lie.

In accepting the teachings of Jesus Christ I rejected the ways of the world. The transformation began in the mind and it was carried out through my actions. I saw that all men were loved by God and that I should act accordingly. Right then and there things such as racism and superiority of the United States were crucified on the cross of Truth.  Carrying the call to love all further down the line, I could no longer accept war of any kind. Once I remember that in high school I advocated the first use of nuclear weapons. After all it was said “Better dead then red.” I accepted the jargon, just like everything else, without even knowing what red was.

It is a hard journey and one needs courage to think. It is so easy to simply accept what one is presented without investigation. After all to believe what one is told is easy and it takes no effort whatsoever. Also it takes a great deal of honesty to evaluate situations. You have to always consider the possibility that you are wrong.

The question needs to be asked ‘Why would I be lied to?’ The answer is that people are manipulated to be controlled. After all if we accepted that fundamental truth that all men were equal and that we should love everybody then we couldn’t participate in war. The truth of the matter is more nefarious and that is that the devil is in control of the world, at least to a certain extent. If you doubt that you really don’t know mankind’s collective bloody history.

There is something I call the “Myth of Nations”. I cannot prove this theory but I hold it in truth. That whatever country a person is born in that country is portrayed in the most favorable light possible even to the point of lying. I recall reading Josephus’ works on Israel’s history. I was well acquainted with the Bible and the Old Testament goes heavily into the history of Israel. But Josephus’ work contradicted what the Bible said. I put down Josephus’ work knowing with certainty that he was lying to enhance his country.

I am quite certain people in Greece glorify Alexander. People in Mongolia look at the grand days of Genghis Khan. Contradicting truths are the norm, just view the American revolution from the textbooks in the United States compared to what is taught in England. You would think they were talking about two different events. Unfortunately in the world the reality is that everybody is wrong in their biases. Never let somebody else think for you have the courage to investigate. If something seems to good to be true, it is. We are all fallible people and thus collectively we are far from perfect.

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The Courage To Think

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2018). The Courage To Think. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2018, from


Last updated: 24 Feb 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Feb 2018
Published on All rights reserved.