Archive for August 11th, 2008

Time to Think

August 11, 2008

I remember back when I was in the Marine Corps over twenty years ago.  I was in Beirut with the multi-national peacekeeping force.  My unit provided security for the airport perimeter.  This meant that I spent twelve hours on guard duty every other day for the entire time that I was in Beirut.  Standing guard for twelve hours gives you lots of time to think about stuff.

I tell my philosophy class that one of the reasons that philosophy is not very popular is because many people are too busy to think very long about any one topic, or hardly at all sometimes. It is not uncommon for students to tell me that they had to read an article numerous times before they began to understand it.  In contemporary American culture who has time for that kind of reading, unless you are required to do so?

 Perhaps, we purposely fill our lives with activity because we don’t want to think about certain things.  Maybe it is just easier to stay busy than to deal with the painful problems of life.  Is this really better for us?

I wonder if the quality of our lives, and of our society in general, would be better if we were willing to think a little more.  It might not be “fun” but I suspect that it would be worthwhile.

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