Monday, March 1, 2010

Four L Overview

I've only recently come up with the basis of my personal philosophy.  In fact, I started with Learn, Love, and Live.  It was days later that I realized how important Laugh was.

The entire pursuit started with my trying to find my most important values.  Knowledge was the first one I came up with.  In the middle of trying to figure out what other values were important to me, I thought back to when I was trying to create my personal philosophy, years before.  Being the bibliophile I am, I tried looking for a book on creating a personal philosophy.  Believe it or not, I couldn't find one that I wanted.  Other things occured and my search for my personal philosophy was left behind. 

But now that's all changed.  After so easily coming up with the four L's, I have a difficult time seeing how I couldn't figure it our before.  With Learn, Love, Laugh, and Live, what else do you really need?

Learning makes you so much more aware of what's going on in the world, both inside and outside of one's self.  As I have in my email sig, ignorance is not bliss.  I have seen too many people who were willfully ignorant and proud of it.  "I don't need to know that!"  I actually pity those people; they will never be convinced that they do indeed need to continue to learn.  "I'm too old to learn anything, and what good would it do me, anyway?"  Ever hear of dementia?  Exercising the brain holds it at bay, according to some studies.  From now on, I'll try to cite my sources, but this is just an overview.  Most don't realize that many public universities offer free classes to senior citizens. 

Love is an almost obvious one, but I go beyond the standard definition of love.  Not everyone needs to get married and have kids the old fashioned way.  Some people aren't suited to marriage and others aren't suited to parenthood.  I point out to the many stories I've seen in the news recently about parents killing their own kids.  (Yes, I promise to start adding links in the next post!)  And what about poor families that just keep having kids?  I'm not trying to blame the poor, or minorities (as some might accuse me of), or any one particular group.  I'm just saying that if you can't afford another kid, use protection.  I want a family more than anything (as I'll talk about in the future), but I'll wait to have kids (or adopt) until I am more financially ready.  Back to my original topic for this, I also mean love for one's self and for one's friends, extended family, community, and humanity.  If we ever find sentient life, I'll entend my definition (unless they come to destroy or eat us...  just saying.).  I didn't even think about community until I was writing that, so this blog is already working out.

Laugh is one that most wouldn't think of adding.  Personally, I think it's very important.  What is the point of life if you don't have some fun?  Yes, you can get a lot of things done by purging your emotions and just slogging through.  But then WHAT IS THE POINT?  Life is much more satisfying when I take the time to get a person to at least smile once a day.  Getting them to laugh is even better.  I do this each and every day at work, whenever I can.  It helps to reduce stress and even increases productivity for a bit.  You're welcome, work.

Live is perhaps the most important of the four, yet the previous three help to apply it, to an extent.  Learning allows the mind to see things with a new perspective.  Loving helps you meet and interact with those you might otherwise would not.  Laughing helps you to keep going during difficult or stressful times.  But living is more than just the sum of the other three.  Going on a roadtrip, skydiving, or rafting uses a bit of the first three, but are adventures all of there own.  Even something as mundane as trying a new coffeeshop on your own, taking dance lessons, or exploring your neighborhood is living.  Life is an adventure; enjoy it and learn, love, and laugh along the way.

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