Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I have no personal philosophy....

At least that was an accusation from a quasi-anonymous poster on a discussion forum I frequent, using a photograph of my dog, and a high-school nickname as my avatar. We'd been having a long, disjointed discussion about "the future of life" and how (from his/her perspective) atheism is a philosophy that embraces death.

I had posted a response post to another anonymous poster who'd given up faith and was confused and feeling sort of lost and lonely. I polished this response up a bit and presented it as my personal philosophy. I'm now posting it here. I think this may be a repeat post, but I'm too lazy to go looking through my historic posts for the quotation, so I'm just going to put it up here again, and worry about being repetitive later (if I get around to worrying about it at all).

Here it is. My Personal Philosophy of Life:

Revel in your life. If you have family, cherish them and treasure the time you spend with them - embrace their company and companionship. If you have friends, cherish them and treasure times together with them - embrace the company and companionship that they offer you, and return that in kind. If you have a spouse or a partner and/or children - revel in the fact that you get to share their lives and experiences and be a positive impact for them, a mentor, a role-model, a friend, parent (and for your spouse or partner, lover and confidant). If you have pets, cherish them for the pleasure, companionship and joy they bring to your life. Few things compare to the uncomplicated, unpolitical, nonjudgmental affection displayed by a cat or a dog or pet, or the trusting interaction between you and your pet. If you have a job, strive to excel at it, and be a good influence and positive mentor for those around you. Strive to excel at what you do. Strive for harmony, balance, happiness, joy and companionship in your life. Pay attention to these things a little bit every day.

Do this for a day. Then try it for a week. Then give it a month. Then another. Pretty soon you’ll find that those things that make you happiest are those things that you concentrate on most frequently.

Then finally, on a quiet introspective evening, consider how wonderful it is to be married to your spouse or paired with your partner, parent to your children, guardian of your pet(s), a positive influence to your peers and co-workers, close with your friends, and alive at this very moment at this very time. Then go give your spouse/child/pet/best-friend a squeeze and start again tomorrow.

May you and yours have a life filled with health, happiness and harmony.

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