This post is relic of a time gone by. It’s a little strange, and I don’t think the way I did in this post anymore, but the ideas I came up with before are still a part of me, so I hope this is, at the very least, somewhat interesting.

A Hopeful Epiphany

01 Feb 2015 - Buffalo Grove, Illinois - 06:34

About a week ago, I had an epiphany. The epiphany was that I (myself, not anyone else) should live my life according to the maxim “live life for others.”

I’m the kind of philosopher that I hate the most - a romanticist philosopher. My thought is constantly driven by emotions, rather than rigorous logic. It’s natural for humans to be so, but in philosophy, this is a death sentence (in my opinion, anyway). How are you ever going to come up with logical reason if whatever reasoning you come up with is produced by emotion? Emotion will never be the origin of complete objectivity. Philosophy is supposed to be driven through complete objectivity. These things cannot coexist.

(Disclaimer: these are my own opinions about what philosophy truly is. Not real philosophers. :P)

Originally, this maxim I produced was intended to be how all people should live. It was produced out of thin air, as I sat in my room, deep in sad thought. Nothing actually happened recently, but I was feeling sorrowful. Obviously a product of my adolescent mind, wired to go haywire in mood constantly. It was in this mood that I thought about the prospect of people living their lives for others. I then formed the statement you saw above as a categorical imperative - my own version of Kant’s universal laws.

So obviously, not exactly an objectively great categorical imperative. But my process for creating my own philosophy is to produce these statements and analyze them with a reasoned mind. After all, it might actually be well reasoned (somehow).

The reason why I haven’t turned into a purely logical mind is because that romanticist part of my brain is absolutely necessary to stay human. If I decided to make myself act in purely logical ways, I’m certain I would begin to devolve. I would lose any sense of personality. My peers would quickly begin to hate me.

Romanticism is who I am as a human. Philosophy is who I am beyond that.

Anyway, after analyzing what I came up with this time, I decided that it should truly be called a maxim because I decided it shouldn’t apply to anyone other than myself. It seems to only be a good way to live for myself. And here’s my reasoning:

As I have grown up, I have developed into a person who essentially lives for the approval of others. It’s something innate, and I don’t think I could change that, nor would I want to. It has come to define who I am. I essentially derive pleasure in life from company and approval from others.

However, this has come to mean that basically, I love to brag about myself. I enjoy the pointless tauting of accomplishments that, in the eyes of the uninitiated, are impressive, and in the eyes of the knowledgeable, are not even close to impressive. It has become a selfish and pointless thing, to live to impress others. It has led to nearly no direction in life. Even if impressing people made me happy, it seemed like there really wasn’t a point to it all.

Even worse was the fact that since I have never innately cared about doing things for myself, for purely self satisfaction, I really never did anything at all. Sure, I care about eating, and sleeping (sometimes), but when it came to ambition, I have never really been able to be satisfied through myself. It was all just for bragging - the only satisfaction I gained was when others approved of it. After finishing something on my own, without evaluation from others, I innately solely worry about what others think of it. Is it according to others’ standards? Is this truly good? Or am I just in over my head? And after I realized how pointless it was to live in that way, without a direction, eventually I just did nothing at all.

There has to be a different way of living, right?

I’m never going to be able to change my habit of needing social interaction and approval to be happy. At least, I shouldn’t count on it. It’s very well ingrained inside of me - so far ingrained that I have doubts about whether I can change it. And I’m sure that even if I was able to, if I tried to change myself so drastically, it would be damaging to myself.

So why not embrace this habit of instinct? Why not change my mindset about what I do to take advantage of the fact that I naturally gravitate towards other people?

And that’s what my new maxim is. It’s me embracing that mindset and even making it into something noble. Now, whenever I think about what I am doing, I think about everything in terms of benefitting others, not myself. It’s what I have always wanted to do, anyway - break off the pointlessness of the past and care solely about others. And that’s not altruistic or godly - it’s human. For me, anyway. That’s just how I am.

Others aren’t. That’s okay. Don’t live like I do if you don’t want to, or can’t. This is just how I have decided to do things.