Recently an older gentleman (yes, even older than me) in my senior’s writers group, when it was his turn to read his writings, read us his views on the world’s problems and his sage advice on how we could make them better. Then to top it off, he finished by providing detailed information on some material items that most of us would never have known.
When he was finished, I sat back and considered, what did he just say and why did it seem so profound? Although his piece was well written, there was very little substance. He just expounded his personal opinions on how to deal with various worldly topics, based on the insight he had gained during the long years of his substantial worldly experiences, and of course, there was also his presentation of little known obscure facts he had garnered.
It was then that I had an epiphany, he was philosophizing. The man had become our group’s philosopher. A simple definition of what is a philosopher from the dictionary is: “A philosopher looks at the world in wonder. He seeks the underlying meaning of things; he wants to understand it and codify it into a system of thought. If he succeeds in this task, he often feels compelled to share his enlightenment with the world, even knowing it is likely futile.”
While that is a formal definition of what is a philosopher, I think a better definition is a person that takes the time to ponder the mysteries of life and the world and shares their views and opinions of these topics with others. Wait a minute, isn’t that a grandparent?
How do we respond when a grandchild asks us a serious question? Don’t we usually give them an answer or advice based on the experiences and knowledge we have garnered over our life? Isn’t that philosophizing?
I guess that means I need to change the vocation on my business cards and in Linked In from “Author” to “Author and Philosopher.”