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Why I Chose Philosophy as My College Major

The word philosophy literally translates to meaning the love of wisdom. In this sense, I can think of no greater pursuit to choose in a course of study. Philosophy, in a way, can be seen to be a basis or foundation of support for all other studies that one may wish to pursue. Where fields of science, mathematics, law, medicine, and so on make incredible discoveries and contributions to the world in what they produce, philosophy seeks to understand the often overlooked why questions of existence, language, human behavior and so much more. Although why questions may not often have direct, conclusive answers, they do initiate a journey by which we can grow in the depth and wealth of understanding what it means to be alive and how we might live in such a way that will create a better world for the future of humanity, and all life on Planet Earth.

Why is our world the way that it is? Why is it that in a world so plentiful of resources, so many human beings go without life’s necessities?  Why do the economic systems of the world functions in the way they do? How can a government truly best serve the people and planet? Why do we believe what we believe?  How do our beliefs create the way our world is today? Why are we here?

Those are just some of the questions I seek to explore and discover insights about, with the hope of having productive dialogue and discussions with others by writing books and generating media to inspire conversations. I am most fascinated by understanding why our world is the way that it is today, and how we might be able to make it better for the future of life. I am especially interested in language, which shapes the words and images for how we think; and thus, how thoughts create how we act and behave.

Philosophy is often disregarded as a major because many people choose a major based on the job they can get with it, and how much money their degree will enable them to earn. Yet in the words of one of my favorite philosophers, Alan Watts, “If you say that getting the money is the most important thing you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living – that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing…after all, if you do really like what you are doing – it doesn’t really matter what it is – you can eventually become a master of it. It’s the only way of becoming the master of something, to be really with it. And then you will be able to get a good fee.” I propose that money should not be the motivation or reason for why we might choose what we want to do in life, or what primarily interests us to study and learn about, rather, money should be what we receive for the amount of value what we are doing produces in the world for others.

Wisdom, I would suggest, is one of the things our world needs most of all right now. We need understanding, empathy, truth, discernment, kindness, generosity, compassion, peace, inner-freedom, human-authenticity, and shared goals for what we, as members of the human family, wish to achieve. Wisdom, I believe, is both a foundation for all those virtues and values, and should be what guides as we continue forward in our journey of life.

Therefore, whether within the context of academia or otherwise, I choose to study and hope to learn more of wisdom’s mysteries and secrets, and to share them with the world in word and deed.

About Author

Dylan B. Raines

Philosophy student, working to support The Global Goals and United Nations.

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