Every time I get to know someone, you begin chatting, knowing each other, and the obliged question about the career comes in forcing me to answer: “I am philosopher”. Suddenly, you start appreciating a change in their faces, trying to figure out what a philosopher is?, what they do? or why being one?
Once they are out of their bewilderment, they venture to ask: “why philosophy?” or “what is the use of being a philosopher?” intending no to be rude. But usually is like this: so you like to do nothing or sure you must have failed badly in life to study that… Many things may come to mind, but after years of explaining why philosophy and what is philosophy, finally I realized that being a philosopher has done so much for me and it is the best decision so far.
What is the use of being a philosopher? To study ancient thinkers that know nothing about the present, those things are obsolete, it is a social standard for rebels, they smoke funky things, etc… Well, those ideas are very far away from what philosophy is. Even my dad doubted my choice for being a philosopher and decided not to pay my degree. Why study something that has no use in life?
Why not being a philosopher? As time passes one becomes more and more mature and realizes that many things in life is not what you imagined… specially for an idealist person. But being a philosopher has opened me many doors. I can speak with anyone that doesn’t share my thoughts without judging, until they defend their point of view. Also philosophy made me curious to know more, to do the right thing not because someone said so, but because I am convinced of it –like my faith-; it has made me a good speaker capable to make sense for others; I can help with great advices and change people’s lives. To read and think what is useful, to doubt common ideas and seek for answers that are not visible. I can see the world in a different perspective: broader and deeper.
It may be not all philosophers are the same, but we share many traits that keeps us constantly wondering about the world to make it better. That is what philosophy made for me, it changed my life to be able to change others by being an intellectual. To listen, argue, write and debate ideas, thoughts, habits, etc. we are able to change minds, to say things that maybe are weird or crazy but we always make sense.
So philosophy is not dead, it makes us more human and conscious of others, it is useful because it gives structure to our thoughts, we are capable of think what we are feeling and give the right treatment, we are open to new ideas, experiences and ways of living. I can’t be bored that easily, thought always assault my mind and constantly ideas come rushing into my head to be contemplated, the ability to read books and share their wisdom, to stand up for myself and do the right thing.
Jimena Casillas C