A major difference between western philosophy and eastern philosophy today is found in practice.
We hear of meditations, yoga, and all sorts of things that people near us do to bring themselves closer to oneness with the universe. Karma, energy and peace are not just words, but they are practices that people in the western world today try to live by… Even if they do it wrong… At least they try.
And as for western philosophy, well I’m afraid that is mostly restricted to the text books. Western philosophy today seems to have been limited to the person who attempts to prove his wisdom by how much he can read and how well he can regurgitate the clever words, mind-blowing questions and how many old Greek dudes’ names he can pronounce.
However, this philosophy was not always like this. This philosophy holds an important role in the foundations of our society today.
But I remember one time in high school when I was sitting in class and the teacher had gone out for some time. I was doodling in my book, daydreaming about one of the girls in my class.
I then got the idea that I should write her a love letter. But after a short thought, I decided that I was in no mood for that kind of embarrassment, so I decided that I would just try to get her attention, while also being able to disguise my intentions… And to cherry the top, I could also entertain some of my classmates.
So I began quickly writing out little “HELLO” letters on some paper and I distributed it to all the girls in my class.
I think everybody had a little laugh.
When the teacher did come back, the letters quickly found their way to her attention and when they did, I sat quietly at my seat in the middle of the class with a little smirk on my face.
I was genuinely expecting her to see the funny side of it all. But she didn’t. I don’t know if it was related to whatever she had been doing outside the classroom, but she did not give off any positive vibes…
Instead, she quickly asked the class if I had written anything else on the letters. I immediately presumed she thought I had written something distasteful in some of them… But I didn’t. I just wanted everyone to be happy. Making them happy made me happy…
But here I was, my intentions being turned on their head… and I have to admit that on that day my heart fell to the tip of my toes.
I was just trying to be nice.
But now I realise that maybe even just trying to be nice could soon be something to be only experienced in the textbooks, tested in a five mark question… and the theory of being nice could one day be reduced to the wisdom of a sociology 101 undergrad, to be shared over a turkey during Thanksgiving.
But I was just trying to be nice.