There is a great deal of pressure in this society not to think. To simply accept what we are given, and repeat what we have been told. This starts with our earliest childhood training, is strictly reinforced in most schools, and continues on into the factory or boardroom.

In essence, this turns us into sheep. Easy to control, easy to herd; a faceless mass without our own opinions which can be wound up and set off to combat the other "Players." (Those who are in control, either politically, economically, or spiritually.) If you look into a mirror, though, you won't see a sheep. You will see a man or a woman. It's time to take back our own power, and make our own decisions.

It's time to stop doing what we are told, and do what we decide is the right thing for us to do.

The first step is to start examining everything that we are given. Look at all the news, all the opinion pieces, all the proclamations made by the spiritual leader of your choice, all the ads you see. Then, decide the merits of what they are saying based on clear and critical thinking, and use that as the basis for your actions or opinions.

To do that, you have to understand not only logic, but logical fallacies. You have to be able to spot red flags, which are an indication that the words before you may be designed to manipulate. You have to become a true skeptic; not disbelieving everything on general principles (a false skeptic) but examining everything that you are told.

This is true, whether you are listening to CNN or to the latest report from a fringe group. Whether it comes from Jerry Falwell or the Dalai Lama. Nothing should be automatically dismissed, and nothing should be automatically swallowed. If you treat everything with an air of inquiry, and actually think about all of it, you will be surprised at how much knowledge you can gather from the most unlikely sources.

And, best of all, you will able to explain that reasoning to anyone who asks, without feeling threatened or unprepared.