The meaning of life is happiness. I am happy when I act in ways which promotes, preserves, protects, produces or honors life and liberty. (human life and liberty)
Education is a tool to increase happiness in an individual or society. Therefore, any educational program should enhance the promotion, preservation, protection, production or honoring of life and liberty. (human life and liberty)
These philosophies were developed based on many readings and personal experiences I have been through. I have found that by keeping my personal and educational philosophies succinct, they are easy to follow and reflect on. Any action I choose to take can easily be evaluated by asking “Will this action promote, preserve, protect, produce or honor life and liberty?” Any educational program or decision I make can be evaluated in the same manner. If my reasoning is sound I am rewarded with personal happiness. If it is not, I receive cues from my body, mind and soul that something I have done is not aligned with this philosophy.
I have found since I developed this mindset that many challenges I face as an educator are easier to address. Many issues I face in my personal life are also easier to address as well. No longer am I struggling to find meaning and reason behind everything I do. I know my exact purpose and that is to promote, preserve, protect, produce or honor life and liberty. This is where my happiness resides.
When I originally developed this mindset, I did not include liberty as part of it. I decided to include liberty in it as I believe liberty to be the “genetic variation” of thought. Let me explain the relevance of this notion.
Genetic variation allows for an evolution of a species. Typically, the strongest continue on thereby making each successive generation a little more resilient than the previous (preservation and promotion of the species). If by contrast an entire species is genetically identical, it becomes more likely for an external force, such as a disease, to wipe out the entire population.
Compare this now to the idea of “variation of thought” or the lack thereof. If everyone has the exact same idea about how to live or is forced to live a certain way due to slavery, it increases the chance of harm coming to the population due to an inflexibility of thought.
For example, what if we all decided that the way the Mayans lived (human sacrifices and all) is the ultimate way to live? Those who are against this style of living would be forced to follow the practices deemed ideal. Isn’t it possible that this would lead to an ultimate stagnation, possibly even a regression, of our species? I suppose it is possible that following Mayan principles is the best style of living but it is far more likely that it is not. We need diversity of thought to continuously seek out better ways to promote, preserve, protect, produce and honor life.
Liberty is not clean though. With it comes deathly outliers. It is up to those of us who are pro-life to recognize our role and root out these outliers.
As an educator, my job is to prevent these deathly outliers from ever coming into existence.
I find that my job as an educator fulfills all of the requirements of my philosophical mindset. Everyday I get to promote, preserve, protect, produce and honor life and liberty. My influence may not be direct, but it is vast. I can’t think of another field that has the reach an educator does.
This philosophical mindset I hold is not set in stone. It is always up for change and adaptation if I find reason to change it. The important piece is that it is unique to me. It may not be perfect but it provides me a rule structure to follow and live by. As I find reasons to change it, I do.
I think it is important for every individual to be able to self-reflect on their own actions. Self-reflection is only meaningful though when there is a standard to compare to. My standard is this philosophical mindset.
If you have not taken the time to root out exactly what you believe your purpose to life is I encourage you to do so. Yours may align with mine or it may be completely different.
Personal philosophies are just that… personal.
Good luck on your journey!