|John Corbett as Chris|
on Northern Exposure
Seems to me I once regaled The Toads in the Garden
with a poem on existentialism, but that poem didn’t show my own philosophy.
Now Corey has prompted us to pretend we are hosting a morning radio show, like the one in the once-ever-so-popular TV show Northern Exposure, “Chris in the morning.” Chris would talk about any subject that caught his fancy, and wax philosophical for the benefit of his listeners in The Great White North. It was wonderful fun.
I am not a seriously philosophical person. I am not even a serious writer. My style is “humorous essay” and it translates into poetry fairly well, for the most part.
But philosophy? Well, I looked it up in an online dictionary, and there are as many definitions of the word as there are philosophers, but I like this one:
the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group
However, we have a friend who is a philosophy professor. We had dinner with him every night for more than two weeks, and I’m guessing he would choose this definition:
a discipline comprising as its core logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology (the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity).
I had to look up epistemology as well, because I’ve never seen the word before (after many decades dedicated to words) and still don’t know how to pronounce it properly, although I’ll probably remember how to spell it.
For my own philosophy, I have taken bits and pieces from all over. From doctors I have taken the directive “First, do no harm” and have found I cannot live up to it completely, but I do my best. (It was less complicated when I was single. Having a husband makes it easier for me to hurt someone’s feelings, I’ve discovered.)
I have no children of my own, but I have a much younger brother as well as nieces and nephews, and a grandniece and some grandnephews, and I share my husband’s six grandchildren. I also have an almost overpowering instinct, which I call my Mother Bear Instinct, to protect them.
With that instinct never far from the surface of my mind, I believe we have a responsibility to preserve the planet for the youngsters we love, for the youngsters our friends love, and for generations yet to come.
I recently saved a story from the Vancouver Observer, and got around to reading it today. It was scary. Australian climatologists have delivered an ultimatum. To stop using fossil fuels “or to become the dumbest intelligent species yet, to have knowingly caused our own extinction through wilful blindness. You choose.”
I live in Canada, a country once respected throughout the world for its actions on behalf of peace, sanity, and caring. We no longer enjoy that respect. Our present federal government doesn’t believe in global warming or in climate change, but instead believes in piping the crudest crude oil ever known, from northern Alberta to northern British Columbia, to be put into tanker ships and sent across the Pacific Ocean to the orient.
Oh yes, and laws about protests in Canada are becoming increasingly strict, to the point of disallowing freedom of expression, so what can we do?
I am old, unhealthy, and powerless. I wring my aching hands because of my powerlessness, but another part of my personal philosophy is that I am not in charge of events as they happen. To reinforce the validity of this belief, my dog refused to go for a walk with me today, preferring to wait for my husband. If I'm not in charge of the dog, I'm not in charge of much.
Therefore, I realize it will take more than just one voice, it will take millions of voices worldwide, creating a power much greater than Kay alone, to make the change before it is too late.
I cry for the children in my family, ranging in age from 8 months to 11 years, because scientists have warned us that we, as a species, will become extinct through our own foolishness. Not in my lifetime, but during the lives of our grandchildren, if things don’t change.