Why I Chose Philosophy as My Purpose
Updated: Feb 9
For some, a life of relative peace is sufficient for them to call it worthy. One that is with few disturbances and yet with little external influence. There are many who prefer to live their lives privately, keeping a small group of family and friends around.
Some might see it as worthy enough, to return from work, bring the bread to the family, and live life in a joy not seen by many outside of their own circle.
While I try to respect this lifestyle, which the shamelessly arrogant may call "mediocre", I guess that I would prefer to die than live a life of little impact on the world beyond one's job and personal commitments.
You see, privacy is a very comfortable thing to have, because it protects you and others close to you from judgement and criticism. It is comfortable, but also overrated, as that is the "easy" way to live life -- to live it while being, so to speak, "afraid" of one's potential impact on the world.
When I managed at times to reach a state of serenity, I realized that a peaceful and relatively anonymous life wasn't enough to satiate my hunger for contributing to the world. Thus, serenity became insufficient because, like joy, it brought very little beyond the emotion itself, which is pleasant.
Because of that, I realize that, if I wish to be more impactful, I must sacrifice some of that serenity and some of the joy and set aside some time to write my thoughts and share them with others.
I do so not because I see my thoughts as divine, which I don't at all, but because if I don't,, then what else do I have to live for, basically? What else do I have to live for, other than the mere sensation of fun?
I am easily stressed, so I can't get a degree nor a driver's license. Thus, philosophizing, which is something that isn't as exhausting nor stressful, seem to be one of the few things I can actually do with little problem, if I want to be useful beyond just myself.
I view philosophizing as a skill, rather than simply the history of philosophy and philosophers. Being logical is something that requires both practice and expertise in, and thanks to certain education sites such as Udemy I was able to study these things without stress and exhaustion, found in tests and in reading extensively.
It's not something I would mention proudly, it is simply a tool I use for what I see as my job; a means to an end, rather than an attempt at self-glorification. Ultimately, all I want is to be useful in accordance to my level of skill.
I tried monotonous jobs before and they made me feel existentially empty, to the point of painful exhaustion. I don't know why for certain, but it seems that this very activity of book-writing and article-writing, do not exhaust me at all, nor stress.
What's great about philosophizing is the fact that anyone could, in theory, do it. Beyond the bare essential of logical reasoning, there aren't a lot of guidelines beyond your freedom to think and to come with potentially-new ideas.
My favourite philosopher, in fact, is Diogenes, who was simply an eccentric street-dweller. There isn't really a general picture of philosophers because every person could in theory become a philosopher.
Degrees in philosophy, beyond the prestige attached to them, are at best used when applying for working in academics and in lecturing. It was one of the reasons I decided to eventually drop out of university, because I realized that the info I was given could easily be attained online, at cheaper prices, and sometimes, at free.
This is why universities are, I believe, become less and less relevant at least when it comes to philosophy. In general, beyond the necessary professionalization through exams and degrees, there is little necessity in academics, in a world whose information is becoming more and more accessible using the internet.
Philosophy might not be necessary nor relevant to every single person, due to many reasons. The functionality of philosophy could in theory be replaced by the more-accurate sciences, by religion and by shallow pieces of media.
However, when people still seek philosophy, regardless of the alternatives, it is then when one knows, that being a philosopher is still relevant, even in this century; that providing insights that came from contemplations, are still as arguably desired as empirical sciences. It is then when I realize, that I still have a reason to live beyond self-gratification, despite the disabilities involved, that hinder me.
As to why philosophy is still relevant in the 21st century, that is a question that every philosophy reader should be encouraged to ask themselves. Whenever you type "philosophy" in a search engine or click on a link that leads to a philosophy website -- I cannot reach your own motivation, as different people may seek it for their own reasons.
Because of that, the seeking of philosophical content is arguably a personal one; a desire for more existential content; an alternative for one's local religion; an escape from the potential emptiness of our hyper-consumerist world.
Whatever your motivation for reading philosophy may be, please know that I am grateful for your presence, as your very presence, ultimately, justifies my own. It's thanks to people like you, that philosophy is still relevant to a degree, regardless of other fields being arguably more desired and thus more relevant.
As to my "beef" with the so-called "Ms. Chen", that ambition for vengeance might never be direct. However, symbolically, you see, she represents the "common" man and woman; the very audience I wish to eventually expand my content's influence.
With enough contribution made to the world, I wish to eventually be relevant enough, to be recognized not only by philosophy-seekers such as yourself, but also by more "common" folk. It will be then when I'll be able to affirm to myself, that my life purpose as a philosopher has been achieved.
And, in order to do that, a life of privacy and serenity cannot be fully embraced, as its comfort is, ultimately, counter-productive. In the end, the desire for so-called "greatness" is but a desire to be far more helpful than one otherwise would have been.