Personal Philosophy and the Boy

I can count on my son for asking some interesting questions which force me to further define some of my ideas. The following is a text conversation I had with him over 4,000 miles away…


[His questions and comments are italicized]

You ever wonder why we’re here?

Nope. I know why we’re here:

To experience life and produce a legacy in our kids.

It may sound flippant, but this is the result of many years pondering faith, the horrors of war, outrage (some fake, some genuine), and watching you grow up.

The Dormant Banshee (Source: author)

I’m sitting with Rosemarie as she sleeps in my lap and reading Quora. Later, I’m going to keep looking at what is needed for you and your school, checking bike routes/bus schedules for you, and sorting out the stuff in storage as I look forward to a rapidly approaching time when these questions are answered directly. I could ponder what it all means, but it is and that’s enough for me right now.

The meaning of life – for me – is to make it meaningful. My purpose is to raise you both to reach your full potential.

Is there a cosmic purpose? [Shrug]

If there is, then it will be revealed when it is appropriate; it would be silly and presumptuous for me to assume I understand it.

In the meantime, I appreciate what is and do my best for what will be.

Ok, so in a way, I do. lol

Hmm. But why do we have a legacy when the people don’t bother to remember it? Why do we create more generations when they just keep getting dumber and dumber? Why do we destroy the earth? And why is it that the people in charge of the major companies, companies that can actually help the environment are so selfish?

Remember the Martian colonization that I was talking about? Makes me want to take a bunch of people there and make a colony.

It’s all about choices.

I was thinking about lineage and the fact that the great-grandparents that came to Ellis Island a century ago are only remembered as a photograph and a name on some form somewhere.

Has the world forgotten them? Sorta. However, their parenting and values were passed into their kids and so on… so in a way, they are remembered.

We destroy the Earth because we make a choice to think in the moment, based on competition for resources or the desire to maintain a way of life or belief system…

Corporations do the same because they are motivated by the organizational goals and the desires of their shareholders. They are forced to make a choice to be viable in the face of competition.

People get dumber because they choose to life in the comfort of their ignorance. Facing truths – especially hard ones that run counter to what they have believed to be true for so long can be too much of a shock to process. For some, it is better that they willingly ignore or pass up the opportunity to grow.

A colony elsewhere will eventually end up with the same problems. What you are pondering are all social issues. No matter how ideal a society is, it cannot take into account the erratic variable of us as members of that society. We crave power, ideas, resources. We will create a set of rules, and they may be great… but there will always be someone who disagrees or thinks that their ideas are better.

So evacuation project Alpha Thirteen wouldn’t succeed?

I mean I recently realized that evac project Alpha Twelve and Eleven wouldn’t succeed. Or Bravo One. And Charlie Two.

Lol… it would, because no matter what, we thrive. It may not succeed in the way you would envision it, but the foundation would be a solid start of another chapter in the book of “Cyclic Repetition.”

Think about the big “ideal societies” of the last century – Communism, the 1000 Year Reich, capitalism… they might have looked ideal to those who penned them, but the reality is that they burned through resources (and people) in an attempt to maintain power.

There has been no human society, culture, or reign that has accurately accounted for how disruptive the human variable can be. Maybe some Amazonian tribe that has not come into contact with civilized folks, sure. But for the most part, empires fade, cultures morph, and societal values shift.

So… “Why bother?”

Philosophers have been debating that for as long as they have been around.

Meaning is what meaning is assigned to something. That looks weird, but you have to place value on your experience. I place value on being a parent, therefore my meaning in life is exactly that. Some people place value on making money, therefore their meaning in life is different. Is there a right or true meaning out there?

Value is subjective in that it only matters to the person assigning it. I can show you the merits of what I value, but the value you attach to it is not exactly the same as mine. It becomes important because “it was important to Dad.”


[Clarification: the great-grandparents mentioned represent only one half of my lineage and is not meant to disparage or diminish the other half. That conversation is for another later blog.]

The conversation is ongoing, just like everything else in life – no absolutes, no assurances, and no guarantees. However, my purpose is clear, therefore that is the only thing which matters… to me.

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