Monday, August 29, 2011

Wandering Thoughts

Think ahead, be in the moment, and yet reflect on the past. [That's a neat trick but it is worth learning.] Yes, reflect on the past, but don't nurse wounds or let your steps be entangled with regrets. Look for lessons, not grievances. Take time to think, but not too much for we all have deadlines and excessive thought can be procrastination in expensive clothes. Consider not just what you think of things but how you do so. Your compass may be broken. Beware of people who peddle envy. Their prescriptions will do you no good. Given the choice of freedom or security, choose freedom. Security can be a prison. Remember that institutions aren't as strong as the people who lead them. They are as strong as the incentives and restraints that govern the people who lead them, for even the most well-intentioned can go astray. Beware of basing actions on sudden emotions but pay careful attention to your intuition. It can be transmitting a signal from years of experience. Value good friends. They are rare. To understand their worth, try being one.


Dan in Philly said...

Spend time reading the fathers of the modern world, from Plato and Aristotle to Thomas Aquineas to Sarte and beyond. Their thoughts are far more accessable to a well read person than most might think (otherwise they would not be so influential), and once you grasp their basic ideas, you will find these ideas repeated over and over in the modern world.

In this way, you will see the undercurrents of all public and even private debate, and you will have a huge edge on anyone not so studied. You will be able to understand and articulate their arguments better than they can, and will be able to anticipate their problems and solutions. You will be able to arrive at the fundamentals of any situation and will be able to arrive at truth more quickly and with greater clarity. You will learn how to present ideas that are well grounded and well thought out, and your reputation for wisdom will become great.

There is a reason that the higest degree conferred by universities is call a philosophy degree. Even a little understanding of philosophy will greatly aid your career, and mastering it will unlock many doors.

Michael Wade said...


I completely agree. I've gotten more from the study of philosophy than from many "more practical" subjects.