Independent thinking and self-concious decision making is what builds a person and the society. Yet, it's the most discouraged, criticised and often punishable act that a person can do. Our culture has done a nice job by misinterpreting and abusing values - such as obedience, loyalty and teamwork to suppress the importance of independent thinking.
This starts to happen from our birth, where parents tries to give extra protection and care all the time. They will not let their eyes off the child, would not allow the child to touch anything or to play at his desire. This may be purely unintentional and due to their excess love for their child. However, unconsciously when they continue this beyond the limits, they do actually harm their child by blocking the creative sense and opportunities for self-realization. Afterall, humans are not weak as we seem.
As I discussed in the previous post, schools to exert enough pressure to kill off the rest of the independent thinking capabilities within a person. This will continue to happen until the exam oriented education structure vanishes and people realises the value of each other irrespective of the educational or social background he comes from. Sir.Ken Robinson nicely presents this point in this TEDTalk. Take some time to watch it, if you haven't seen it before.
Things get worse, when you enter into higher education, where you expect the independent and critical thinking is to be fostered. You are guaranteed to have poor grades if you are to challenge or tries to explore beyond what is taught. Parrotised lecture notes should be vomited on the paper if you want higher grades (is it the lack of knowledge or envy is still a puzzle). With the beliefs of higher the GPA, higher is your salary, nobody doesn't seem to be bothered to diss the current knowledge system. These professionals are so vulnerable to change and would never encourage their sub-ordinates to change. This results with a legacy knowledge system that is incapable of solving today's problems.
When it comes to politics, corporate business or any other form of community activities you see the obvious. There is very little room (or actually no room) for independent thinkers. You're assured to be sidelined, mocked, harassed and in worst case even to pay the penalty with your life, if you are to hold a different point of view from the so called majority (which is actually a minority, which has exploited the power and force to grab the blind following of the rest, who have been trained not to use their wit by the earlier systems).
Just think about it independently ;)