Being an only child, I am very absorbed with myself. Not in a selfish way, but in a contemplative, reserved way. I think this is a trait that is probably pretty common among only children because growing up we spend so much time alone and we are our parents’ only concern, so we inherently receive a lot of attention and support. Therefore, only children tend to think about themselves a lot because that is how they are brought up. This tendency can result in a negative self-absorption and selfishness where one only thinks about oneself at the cost of others. But it can also result in a very contemplative and almost nervous concern for one’s life and future, i.e. what do I want to do in life, am I doing the right thing/making the right decision, what kind of people do I want in my life, what kind of person do I want to be, etc. This is not to say that people who have siblings do not have the same concerns, but there is something about only children and the time they spend alone and the way they are brought up, that I think fosters this kind of thought.
Tag Archives: thought
“Moral: To sustain ardor, one must be in love not only with the thing itself, but also with the idea of the thing itself.”
I recently read this quote by Stephen Dankner in a newspaper article in The Advocate, which is based in New England, and I read it at just the perfect moment as I am trying to decide what I want to do with my future; more precisely, what I want to pursue graduate studies in and this quote sums it all up. So what do I love in essence and in thought? At the moment I am trying to make up my mind between Art History and Film. Submitting applications for both is a bit confusing and it’s hard to imagine which I would enjoy more. But reading this quote brought up a very basic, fundamental notion that I hadn’t thought of but makes all the sense in the world. Do most people have the luxury of loving what they do as well as the idea of it? Probably not. I think it’s a hard to achieve because it’s hard to even figure out what you love in essence AND in thought.
The life of a philosopher is a life of luxury…to just be able to sit around and think. The possibilities of thought and what one might gain insight to through thought are phenomenal. All the questions that could be answered by one very simple, fundamental thing that we take for granted, THOUGHT, are endless. And that is the beauty of thought – it is never finished, done. You can always think and think and think more…and perhaps come to more and more conclusions about things that you always wanted answers to. And those answers certainly don’t need to be final. In fact, they probably won’t be final, because as you accumulate more thoughts over time, you will probably change your mind about things and reach a different conclusion. This is the kind of life a philosopher has the luxury of leading…thinking all of the time. But after some time, the luxury may begin to fade and turn into despair as one realizes all that there is to think about and the limits of time and possible answers. Furthermore, after all is thought, what does it amount to? Does it lead to any kind of change or progress in one’s life or in the world? Perhaps sometimes yes and sometimes no. This is the despair of the life of a philosopher.