While browsing for books last weekend, I noticed how, next to the overflowing business section, the philosophy section is overwhelmingly small in comparison.
& one of the thoughts I had then was—what a shame!
When Prof Keating from The Dead Poets Society said "Medicine, Law, Business, Engineering: these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But Poetry, Beauty, Romance, Love these are what we stay alive for"; I really felt that.
For me, it wasn't until I started reading philosophical texts that I feel a sense of richness in my (inner) life. Philosophy helps me understand myself (self awareness). With self awareness comes self acceptance. & There is no greater happiness than self-acceptance.
I know it can sound abstract & wishy-washy but philosophy is what gives life its meaning. Some of the most important ideologies that shape the world today are rooted in philosophy; social and political concepts like equality, democracy, communism and capitalism all stem from philosophical theories. It can be applied far and wide in every field.
For example, self-help and mindfulness, a genre dedicated to self-improvement & a happy meaningful life heavily draws on studies from Psychology, which draws on theories from Philosophy.
& It was also through Philosophy that I was introduced to the concept of animal ethics—which seeks to understand our relation to other animals and our moral consideration for them. Prior to this, I thought “rights”, “ethics” & “morality” were uniquely human concepts & thus can only be applied to humans. I’ve since learned that just because we are the ones to construct such concepts does not mean we shoud exclude animals from such considerations. & so, I feel forever grateful to philosophy for the introduction and have found it deeply meaningful ever since.
Through this post, I want to bring awareness & to encourage those who can relate to my sentiments to explore the very broad area of philosophy (logic and ethics are the branches that interest me most). Especially since it's not in our mainstream curriculum—our only access depends on whether or not we regard it as deserving of our attention in our already-limited free time.