It is really popular In our modern culture to say that someone should “make up their own mind”. That you should trust your own feelings and don’t listen to what others say. If you understand that advice as just another platitude than there is not so much harm in it but if you take them literally than there is a big problem. The problem is that you assume that we can make up our own mind but the best we can do is to stick with an internal narrative that is for the most part plagiarized.
Or do you think that every thought out of your mind comes from an internal well filled with virgin thoughts? Off course not! Think about your own upbringing, what if you were born in a totally different culture. Would that culture not have influenced you as the culture does that you are living in now? Are most of your thoughts and ideas not in line with most of the people around you? Think about your ideas about democracy, gay and woman rights and religion. Don’t you think that the people that grew up in America, Afghanistan, the Netherlands, or North-Korea al have different ideas about these topics. What people think of these topics is heavily influenced by the group of people they live with. In your mind you might have good reasons for why you believe in certain things, and it might feel that you thought of it yourself but that is of course only partly true. Look at the words you use to order your thoughts, those are not made up letters and words. You learned those by listening to your parents and other people around you just like you learned your first ideas about the world around you. Se that person on the tv? That is a good person. See those people there? Those are bad. And this goes on your whole life and out of this pool of impressions you make up your own ideas and sometimes you might be lucky and give birth to a unique perspective. But even that unique thought could not have been made without the underlying layer of shared knowledge. So, if people say, “that you have to follow your own mind” they actually say that you have to cling to that what you have and “feels” the best. And why is this important you might ask, because we have to much ego in the world and we all think we are the source of truth and are willing to fight for it. And what is the value of these words of mine? Well, there definitely not unique and come from all the (dead) people around (mostly books) me. I cannot even pretend to add something unique to it. It’s been mentioned by a lot of big names in philosophy and religion like Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Spinoza, Nietzsche and many more. It is kind of pointless for me to write it down because even these big names are no longer read and taken seriously, but this is my exercise and good deed.