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The freedom to think for myself


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By John Hancock

I’m grateful for the freedom to think for myself.  We enjoy tremendous opportunity to pursue any thought path we choose, and to find  almost unfiltered information from speakers and writers and sages and elders.

The limitations hovering over us include cultural and religious intolerance, media distortions, political and commercial propaganda, expectations of parents and children, and employment, but none need be as effective as the designers have in mind.  We can avoid self-suffocation if we wake up, and I suggest we must each seek opportunities to escape conformity.

Never before have there been as many powerful tools of information, discovery and dissemination.  There are many insidious aspects of wired globalization, and there are surely frightening activities I may never discover, but I celebrate our American opportunity to know, to learn, to meet, to share, and to speak.

My dad’s main parenthood advice was, “If you help your kids learn how to make decisions, you won’t have to tell them what to do.”

I try to avoid being told what to do, because I’d much rather think and decide for myself.  This is my favorite freedom.

John Hancock
John Hancock
John Hancock had a first career as a symphony orchestra musician and was a faculty member at University of Michigan. He has advanced degrees in music performance from Boston University and U.M. Arts management was his way of problem-solving and expanding the public participation. He was orchestra manager of the Toledo Symphony, executive director of the Spokane Symphony and the Pasadena Pops and chief operating officer of the Milwaukee Symphony. Currently he’s an Eagle Scout, a Rotarian, a liberal libertarian of an Iowa small-town self-sufficiency and was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. A childhood Methodist, he now instead pursues ideas of commonality among religions and philosophies. Volunteerism in civic, political and social services work draws him to town from his forest home outside Spokane. Since 2006, his Deep Creek Consulting has aided non-profit organizations in grantwriting and strengthbuilding.


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