Aim for a greater impact

In all the things you do when living your life: implementing projects at work, spending time with your family, fighting the bureaucracy, enjoying your favorite music ... have you sometimes paused and wondered how all this fits into a bigger picture, what point and meaning all these may have in the end? And when you went about reflecting so, did you have a clue how one would actually have to think about such things? There are no simple rules in these matters. (Simple rules are only for those who cannot think and choose for themselves.)

What you need is philosophy. Philosophy, in all its varieties, extends and refines your abilities in reflecting on your life, your broader goals, and their connection to what you're thinking and doing, day by day.

Engaging in reasonable and responsible activity is certainly part of living well - as you surely know if you found yourself somewhere in the list I've given above. Sometimes, however, you can have a stronger impact when doing something on a more general or more abstract level. The question is of course how to find these occasions, and how to get to the more abstract level. The study of these questions is what philosophers have done through the ages, and they have given answers (though no simple rules).

You may even observe that some of them have given up their chances to participate directly in the great game of life and withdrawn to work out their thoughts quietly, carefully documenting them for later generations. Sometimes it is good to spread insight on a more general level, and then (but only then) it may be preferred to engaging actively with the developments in the world.

And dispensing advice, as I'm doing here in my small way, will hopefully be helpful as well. True - it takes time and effort, but I think it's well spent. I can reach more eyes and ears that way than if I'd just apply it to my own life. There's a responsibility coming with that, of course. I must be certain that what I recommend is really sound, and effective. Otherwise, what would it be but another way of wasting your time (as well as mine)? Take care.
Copyright © 2007-2012 by Leif Frenzel. All rights reserved.