Another Smiley :]

Yes, I am posting another post on smiley faces. Isn’t this picture simply adorable? I like this because it highlights a paradox. Yes, I’m complicating things even more. Here’s my message: BE HAPPY

Happiness isn’t a state of false brightness. Happiness isn’t equal to excitement or contentment. Happiness isn’t just about smiling. Happiness is a feeling that is indescribable. So when I say be happy, be what you feel is truly and deeply happy. Remember, you can be happy and sad at the same time. Isn’t life full of paradoxes and oxymorons? That’s what makes humans special, no?

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A career in philosophy?

My mom’s best friend’s son is here. He’s not that talkative. In fact, the only thing I clearly remember him saying is that he thinks philosophy is really intriguing and that it is high on his list of potential career choices.

Side Note: I don’t know what it is about the word ‘intriguing’ that makes it so awkward to use in context. Do other people feel that way too? Maybe its just me…

You know how the new generation is marked by stubbornness? If I was to be a tad bit nicer I would say perseverance rather than stubbornness. Either way, our heads are thick like rocks. In my mom’s best friend’s son’s case, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that his stance on philosophy was set in stone (though he was clearly being difficult).

Here’s what I think about philosophy( or should I say, what philosophy is). For me, philosophy is just putting into words what everyone already knows about life on some level. The only difference is that ‘philosophers’ are more aware about some ideas and other people aren’t.

Maybe I’m ignorant. Sometimes I wonder what a career in philosophy would be like. What would I do? Think? Write books on my thoughts? What does philosophy contribute to society?

That’s when I think about the French Revolution. Ideas have a big impact. It was the ideas of the Enlightenment that spurred on the prospect of thought that all people are equal; therefore, people do have the power to change a political system that they feel is unjust and/or corrupt. However, where did that get France? Sure, now its a democracy but look at that road it went down. Do the ends really justify the means? Some people described the revolution as ‘devouring’ its own children. Above all, I view the ‘children’ as the original ideals. These radical ideals have been developing for a long time and a great majority of the people supported them. A lot of good that did; only 2 years into the revolution and signs of the Terror were already emerging. Soon enough, the ideals were warped into hyper superstition and well, terror. That’s why yes, ideas have strength but without action or careful process of thought, acting on these ideas will only lead to chaos. France got its democracy but how can we be certain that chaos will always lead to a positive outcome?

Another way I look at philosophy is that it is not a reflection of human nature, but rather an idealized or warped expression of human nature. Or maybe it’s the state of human expression that we desire to have. While philosophers think that they are getting to know more about the human condition, they’re really losing touch with a sense of reality. Before you all argue with me, look at evidence. Just how many philosophers have ended up in the mental asylum or otherwise committed suicide? This just proves that philosophy is creating nothing from nothing, believing that there’s an answer when there really isn’t.

My final point? I agree that philosophy can be a tool (I cringe at using ‘important’ prior to the ‘tool’) in many careers like journalism or law. However, it is not a necessity as understanding philosophy or not, life goes on. Why? Because philosophy is either writing what’s already here or pulling nothing from nothing. I think that if I were to choose a career, I want to do something to help people. I want to do something that contributes to the development of society. I don’t know what that’s going to be yet but right now, I’m open to all suggestions (excluding philosophy).

To Life…

Hubris is dangerous. Life is finicky. People are persnickety. Society is prejudiced. Combined, these form a dangerous combination. Assuming life does not equate to character, nothing alone can do damage. Combined, the results are deadly. Since the latter three are inevitable, let’s try to avoid the first. Easy to do? Really?

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to be arrogant to have hubris. The most common, and the most pathetic form of hubris is hubris in retrospect. I used to think we learn history to prevent us from walking down already trodden dead ends but it turns out, we’ve done little to improve. That’s what history is isn’t it? We fancy ourselves smarter and more capable than the previous generation to handle our futures and the future of our interlinked societies but the blatant truth is, our moral values haven’t changed much. Sure there’s democracy and all that but how do we know what other people think? That test you got perfect on? Do you know your friend is jealous of you? That slight twinge of joy when others fail, do you know when that happens to people. Here’s another question: do you know when that happens to YOU? I know this because it’s what I feel. Before you reprimand me for being a sad and bitter person, I get the privilege of asking (or should I say daring) you to admit that you don’t. Don’t play the cowardice dice with  me; it’s so easy to say anything with the anonymity of the web huh?

What history is, is that we view life in retrospect from what I call a ‘bird’s eye view’. Amidst the chaos, you can’t really see much. Now pretend you’re a bird. Pretend that you’re lifting off the ground. Your view gets clearer and clearer as you rise higher and higher until the sound of shoving and yelling dissipates into fresh air. Now, you can see miles and miles from all directions. All people are equal. An old man falls and nobody helps him to get up. Another man nears him and it seems like he’s going to help. People stare at him. He shudders and leaves. Later, he is reprimanded by his peers and is deemed as a moral coward. Can you honestly say that you won’t do the same thing in his position? I don’t know, I admit that I always underestimate the gravity of peer pressure. On this level, I really admire Chelsea Handler for always stating the blatant truth. She is the polar opposite of those phony politicians with their whitened smiles and faces masked with promise of lies. We think that we are too smart to trek down the same doomed road but after all the extra twists and turns, its where we end up. The difference is that some of us realize it, and some of us don’t. Therefore, history is a circle. It’s a cycle of never-ending generations of people making the same type of mistakes over and over again. Its funny, we ridicule it and then we go back to our own little bubble.

Some things are inevitable; pride is one of them. Every person on Earth is self-centered to an extent. I’m not saying that’s bad or wrong. I’m not saying we should fight it. I’m saying it would be amazing and revolutionary if we did but no matter what, we should always admit our weaknesses. Admitting means acceptance at some level which is a teensy weensy step to improvement. This is why I fully believe in our potential to become morally superior than the previous generation. Actually, my opinion is very paradoxical because I don’t think the character of mankind can change yet, I believe it can. For me, there are some things in life that you have to believe in. It doesn’t matter what the truth is, you have to believe in goodness. Sometimes, believing is the only thing that makes us different from a pessimist. We only have this life. Might as well enjoy it.