Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Philosophy of Chris

Many people have commented over the years over how I managed to stay happy. People, get married, have kids, have a great job that pays an obscene amount of money and yet they are miserable. I don’t have any of those things and to boot I’ve got Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and I’m happy.

I will attempt to illuminate - The Philosophy of Chris.

1. Think. Most people go through life not really thinking deeply about their beliefs. They don’t think about how they can make the world a better place or how to truly make their own lives better. They believe what they are told to believe or what they are meant to. I think people avoid deep thinking because if they examine their current beliefs they might need to discard them. This could leave you a void where you don’t have any beliefs. There is nothing wrong with not knowing what you should believe. There is no reason why you can’t come up with your own moral values. "The unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates.

2. Treat others the way you wish to be treated. I know, the golden rule. It is the core belief of many religions. Just because something is ancient and simple does not mean it is any less valuable. You don’t need to believe in a creator to believe in this rule.

3. Pick your friends. Some people just seem to accumulate friends over the years similar to the way a roof collects cobwebs. Do you have a so-called friend that doesn’t respect you, never listens and doesn't respect your privacy? If you don’t like somebody just stop returning to their phone calls they will get the message eventually - no conflict necessary.

4. Ignore it and it will go away. This sounds like terrible advice. Sometimes you are given a choice of a number of different actions you can take all having unsavoury consequences. You got really drunk and called someone’s grandmother a wrinkled old prune. In the morning you have vague recollections and you’re not entirely sure your memories are accurate. You can either apologise. Or perhaps everybody else was drunk as well and nobody remembers what you did and apologising will simply dredge it all up and upset people all over again. You think on it very hard eventually, you say to yourself just make a decision and hang the consequences. There is a third option: Ignore it and it will go away. Most people have very short memories and even if some do remember what you said they will eventually forget.

5. Things do not happen for a reason. The universe has no sense to it. It is a collection of random occurrences. Just because black comes up 14 times in a row on a roulette table does not mean the universe is planned. Having a disabled child is not divine retribution or caused by eating too much red meat. It is easy to spot patterns and sometimes our minds see patterns in randomness.

6. Trust yourself/guts. Many people are unwilling to trust themselves. They go through life continually second-guessing themselves rechecking and doing things over. The secret is not to worry about what people think, realise that all humans make mistakes and account for it. There is no need to worry people will understand if you screw up.

7. Have low expectations. Humans are some of the most reprehensible animals on the planet. They screw up, they disappoint you - some are selfish and stupid. If you expect everyone to remember your birthday, to always be reasonable and polite, you are going to be disappointed – a lot. Accept people for what they are. This doesn’t mean you should tolerate people’s bullshit. The trick is determining if someone is being an arsehole or just being human.

8. Have fun. Life isn’t a serious affair, nobody lives forever so why not have fun?

9. Don’t take shit from anyone. If someone is extremely rude or obnoxious, don’t let it slide even if they are a child or you are meeting them for the first time - in fact especially when you are meeting them for the first time. If someone is rude to you the first time you meet them and you don’t pick them up on it immediately it will set the tone for that relationship in the future. It doesn’t matter who it is.

Take my advice at your own peril.

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