Most people are or have been under the false impression we can think what we like.
Maybe that’s what we think we think, but unless we’re off the grid, cut off from the rest of society, we are wrong.
Viktor Frankl explained others can take everything of you away, but they can’t take away your thoughts. What they can do instead is manipulate them.
Our thinking is controlled and managed by the culture and society we inhabit, mostly by the media we expose ourselves to and the people with whom we associate.
Sometimes we find ourselves thinking about something and a ‘little voice’ kicks in to say “you shouldn’t be thinking that – it’s not good for you”, or “people will laugh at you” and so on.
Our freedom to think whatever we wish is restricted.
Not just through our own core values or moral or ethical code but by more immediate manipulation, usually by people trying to make us do, or not do something or buy into something ultimately for their benefit; to enhance their freedom as they see it, which is usually not to our highest good.
Besides manipulating our thinking through media, drama, advertising, art, and straightforward propaganda others also get a good idea of what we are thinking from the way we behave in response to their efforts and even before they attempt to influence us.
They get this from our body language, how we dress, how we hold ourselves, and how we behave in other ways. We tell others a lot about ourselves without saying a word.
But of course, that depends on how they ‘read’ us. Don’t give away your secret thoughts by what you do and say. Be who you are and keep your own counsel.