Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What's your philosophy?

Everyone has a philosophy of life - things one believes and makes decisions by - things which guide one's point of view of people, reactions to people, handling pressure situations, dealing with personal losses, success/failure at work, financial losses, death of a near relative, and so on. People may or may not call it philosophy, but everyone has ways of drawing opinions and conclusions.

A good philosophy comes from a good mind - a mind which thinks rationally. One's ideas and opinions may change over the course of one's life, especially when coming across other ideas, exploring other horizons. So the question is:

Does philosophy make a difference?

Philosophy does make a difference. The holocaust was a negative and dark chapter of our history. The murderous ideas that caused these killings and tortures ware the fruits of an evil tree that grew in evil soil - the mind of Adolf Hitler. After the takeover of the government of Germany, Hitler executed his idea that "only Arian's should live" on all those Jews, infirm, aged, with the cost of so many lives. To some, the holocaust is a chapter of history, a thing of the past. For some, who lost their relatives under the Nazis, it is a gruesome and evil memory and experience. But the pains and sufferings borne during that time will leave a permanent scar.

It is much easier, it must be said, to speak of an event so long ago, and learn lessons from it. So what lessons can be learned then?

It matters what one thinks about life

It matters what one thinks about keeping promises

It matters what one thinks about time

It matters what one thinks about morality

It matters what one thinks about "is my life my own"

It matters what one thinks about God

It matters what one thinks about death and after

But when the lessons apply to one's own life, introspection can reveal that under pressure or pain, one struggles to live up to one's philosophy. Socrates was one man who deserves great respect. He said "the unexamined life is not worth living". He believed that virtue was essential and sufficient for happiness. The crowning glory of his life, is that he died for his convictions.

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