This blog is a long and perhaps never-ending meditation on a single question:
How do I live?
The question may seem like a strange thing to ask. Ancient Greek philosophers spent a lifetime studying philosophy in search for a way to live a virtuous life; where I live, one of the wealthiest and most educated nations in an era that is arguably the most peaceful time in the entirety of human history, however, there seems to be a simple and yet definite answer to the question: by maximizing our happiness in life. For some, it means relentless pursuit of material pleasure such as wealth and fame while others dedicate their life seeking internal fulfillment such as relationship and tranquility.
The answer, perhaps rather unsurprisingly, is not as simple as we would like it to be. More likely than not the chances are: Even the person who values spirituality more than anything else in life wouldn’t mind to see an additional $100K show up in his bank account one morning. As hilarious as the example might be, let’s think about it for a minute. Why would one who seeks internal fulfillment in life experience an increase of happiness, even just for a brief moment, when receiving some sort of material rewards? Exactly how does one know when his happiness has been truly maximized? Or rather, are we all foxes who believe that grapes are sour only because we can’t grab them?
I do not have an answer, at least not yet and not concise enough. Pieces of thoughts here and there have come and gone through readings and various life journeys, but the puzzle is never fully solved. In other words, I do not have a clear philosophy for life, of which the danger is best illustrated by the great Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca with an analogy of sailing†:
Someone who sets sail in a ship and is carried this way and that by stormy winds hasn’t been on a voyage. . . . Being out of control, drifting through events without finding time for the experiences that are most valuable and meaningful, is very different from truly living.
Realizing the risk of not having a life philosophy of my own is when I had the idea to start writing. I do not want to be afraid of reflecting on my own memories when I grow old for I have wasted the precious time I have been fortunate enough to receive in this world.
As amateur of a writer I might be — language has never been my forte, let alone English being my second language — I do enjoy being creative, may it be writing, drawing, designing, coding, or my favorite, daydreaming. I don’t intend to write for anyone but myself (and my cute little baby Clara), so unlike elsewhere, all there is in this blog are some random and rather unpolished essays or thought fragments that I hope one day will come together and help me solve the puzzle: How do I live?
† Warburton, Nigel. (2012). A Little History of Philosopy. Yale University Press; Reprint edition (October 30, 2012).