12 April, 2014
The Oxford Unabridged Dictionary offers many definitions of independent, including "not depending on the authority of others" and "not dependent on others for forming an opinion." Making up your own mind, in other words. We all need relevant information and data on which to base our opinions off of. It's the way that we seek information and how we apply it that makes us dependent or independent thinkers. If we uncritically accept whatever values or ideas we've been taught by parents, teachers, or church, never questioning these ideas or asking ourselves if these ideas really make sense, then we are dependent thinkers. Independent thinking means making sense of the world based on your own observations and experiences rather than just depending on the word of others. It means trusting your own ability to make judgments, even if they contradict what others say. It means acting in accordance with these judgments, even if you sometimes make mistakes. An independent thinker knows it's psychologically better to make your own mistakes than someone else's. For these reasons are why Steve Jobs is an independent thinker and an influential figure in the technology industry.
Steve jobs had the ability to make his own judgments, even as a kid. As an eleven year old child in middle school, he was bullied at Crittenden Middle School. One day, he came home and told his parents if he did not transfer he was going to drop out of school. His parents didn’t want to break the promise they had made to Steve’s biological mother so they moved to the city of Los Altos. Even at an early age, Steve understood the decisions he needed to make in order to become successful. He, however, did not yet realize that this fateful move would lead to his first encounter with the co-founder, Steve Wozniak, of Apple Co. As an adult, Steve had the decision to make the company go public. Although at the time the country was in a state of recession, and nearly everyone disagreed with the decision, Jobs took the Company Public. It was an extreme success. Steve Jobs was worth two-hundred and ten million dollars more the next day. I.e. two-hundred and seventeen million dollars. Jobs made his own decisions, not all of which were idealistic and beneficial, throughout his life which caused him to help create and profit the company Apple.
In an excerpt from Barack Obama’s Dreams of my Father he talked about a book he read in college. A book named Heart of Darkness which described, in the author’s opinion, why African Americans were the “…cesspool of the world” (Obama 103). A couple people questioned Barack for this and his response was so he could understand what it is white people hate so much about African Americans; his response was, “That’s the only way to cure an illness right? Diagnose it” (Obama 103). Independent thinkers don’t take in what they are first told about the world. They study it and then decide on what they will do with the information they have learned. Steve jobs around 2003 was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. “Instead of immediately opting for surgery, Jobs chose to alter his pescovegetarian diet while weighing Eastern treatment options” (TheBiography.com). After nine months he finally opted for surgery. Before immediately choosing to do something Jobs decided to try other methods of remedies. Although he worried a lot of people he did end up making the right choice.
Sandra Cisneros in her anthology about her family and career strived for the attention of her Father. Her Father mentioned to her once, after she had graduated from college, that all she is expected to do is marry. She ponders to herself, “Wasn’t College an investment? And hadn’t I spent all those years in college? And if I didn’t marry, what was it all for? Why would anyone go to college and then choose to be poor” (Alexie)? As Independent Thinkers they sometimes reflect on decisions they have made in their past....
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