If you do yoga, pilates, meditation, breathing exercises, stress management, art, music, writing, dance or you are an avid reader, and if you have ever asked yourself, why am I here, you are a philosopher.
You may not know about, or study the love of wisdom, but if you constantly think about and care for people, yourself and the world, in your own way, you are a philosopher.
Through learning and caring, you are creating your own personal philosophy. And this is what most of the great philosophers of the world want you to do. If you take the time to look into yourself and discover what it is that makes you tick, you are a philosopher.
A personal, practical philosophy is what most of us already live by. What we eat, how we vote, our friends, what we read, watch, think and do, is our philosophy. But sometimes, all this can be the wrong philosophy. More to the point, it’s an un-thought-out action, or un-researched decision that make for the wrong type of philosophical or life choice.
We normally think about and test out a few cars before we buy one. We check out many houses and probably clothes before we commit to them. But sometimes, when it comes to what we eat, drink and get involved in, sometimes we just jump in and view the consequences a long way down the track.
I never thought that my love of wine, chips, Vegemite, peanut butter and similar processed foods would ever lead to a major heart problem, but they did. I just ate and drank them without researching the consequences of these things. Simply because they were freely available and I let the philosophy of companies drive my decisions and not my own research. If I’d taken a bit of time to read about the dangerous salt level in Vegemite, or what too much alcohol, or fat can do to your arteries, I would have reduced my intake of these by at least half.
My philosophy was one of what some might call a typical bloke. I had the “she’ll be right” attitude. My invincibility was my strength. My ideas were mine alone and they could not hurt me. I thought, I could exercise off anything I put in my body and it would fix itself. Of course, I was wrong. In fact, if things went a bit different to what they did recently, I could have died. A main artery was 80% blocked. It could have led to a heart attack, and I wouldn’t be writing this.
So I now have a little metal stent inside me, holding open this artery to let the blood properly flow through my body and keep me alive.
My philosophy nearly killed me. This is what an un-researched, un-thought-out philosophy will do. Now I read about most things I put in my body. I find foods that are good for me, not just what I think tastes good. I practice breathing and yoga techniques to help lower my stress and blood pressure, and they really work. I measure my BP at home.
I have a new philosophy for life based upon research, understanding, practice and study. I don’t just do things like I did any more. I think about them, I find out about what can be good and healthy for me, and I feel so much better. I look better. My mind is clearer, my eyes and my skin are brighter and healthier. As my partner says, I’ve lost that haggered look.
This type of practical philosophy of looking after and caring for yourself will lead you to care more about others and the world. You never know, you might even create something that will change the world and make you and many other people happy. You can’t do that if you’re dead, or got the wrong philosophy.