Finding Your Own Philosophy

For those following me on Twitter, you may have noticed I got into a bit of a debate on moral and governing philosophies. I apologize if such discussions are not your cup of tea, and I promise this blog post will have little to do with those topics discussed. However, the debate got me to thinking about how we define ourselves and how we view the world.

Regardless of what political views or moral codes you subscribe to, most people hold an idealized concept of how they think the world would work if everyone held the same beliefs and lived by the same rules. Some people strive to make those ideals a reality. They engage in protests. They participate in letter-writing campaigns. They attempt to teach as many people as they can about their philosophies. These can be good things that bring about positive changes in our world, and yet we often see in the media how these actions polarize people into “us v them.”

I don’t subscribe to any one philosophy with unwavering devotion. I have my own ideas about what a perfect world might hold, but I refuse to dwell too deeply in such fantasies. We live in a dynamic, imperfect world. It’s always changing, and we should celebrate that constant change. Life would be boring otherwise.

For the most part, I consider myself a realist. Despite my love for writing fantasy fiction, I want to live my life in the world as it actually exists. I don’t look at the future through rose-colored glasses in the hopes that someday all wrongs will be righted and we’ll live in a paradise society. It won’t happen. People are imperfect, and therefore, society will always be imperfect.

Sometimes people accuse me of being a pessimist. Thanks! I’ve found that pessimism has served me far better than being overly-optimistic. While I would never want anyone to take their own pessimism quite as far as I take mine, it can be healthy to expect the worst on some occasions. It can help you to make better preparations for tackling the walls that come between you and your goals, and when the worst doesn’t happen, you can break through your walls with greater ease. (Plus I enjoy being pleasantly surprised more often than suffering disappointments in my life. Life can be hard enough as is without adding further let downs.)

So once again, I apologize to my Twitter followers who may have gotten annoyed with my weekend ramblings. But I hope I’ve gotten some of you out there thinking more about your own morals and philosophies. Think critically! Don’t let anyone put you into a box when it comes to your beliefs, and that includes yourself! And don’t subscribe to any one set of beliefs just because someone you respect or admire told you to do so. Investigate, learn everything you can, compare differing philosophies in depth, and then decide where you want to stand. And if that standing place happens to be on your own, don’t be afraid. It’s better to be true to yourself than to stand with those whom you don’t agree with.


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