Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Young philosophers-

I was poking about a bit in cyberspace, and came upon a question in someones space regarding her son. He was interested in becoming a philosopher, and she was inquiring about the prospects for employment. In philosophy, that generally means an academic career.

Sadly, I could find no way to comment as a guest on that particular forum. It is an exhausting prospect, signing up and logging onto all of the many forums out there just to make one comment. However, her question is one dear to my heart.

So, to answer, I recommend that her son pursue the dream. In the days when I became an adult there was a glut of professors, courtesy of the Viet Nam war and student deferments. Since philosophy is a huge subject, never-ending, it allowed students to ride the deferment train a long, long time. So, I faced a world in which there were a lot of competitors for the few philosophy professorships.

It was not necessarily a mistake on my part to turn from the dream of becoming a philosopher by profession. However, I do think that we pay a very large price in forsaking a dream. Dreams are vital to the soul, to the essence of each of our individual beings. Forsaking a dream is sacrificing a part of oneself. That sacrifice should never be made thoughtlessly. If possible, it should never be made at all.

Pursue the dream, young philosopher. Be flexible, be creative, but do not forsake the dream. Attend to the practical, but never let it overwhelm the dream. There are a thousand little deaths down any other road. Seek life. Follow the dream.

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