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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Philosophy for Housewives: Part 1

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

These articles and series are aimed at wives and mothers because I am a wife and mother.  It might seem odd to write on philosophy, or for that matter on theology or international relations, for an audience whose daily concerns center around meal preparation and potty training.  So this first series will address precisely that conundrum: is philosophy for Housewives? 
The fact is, you already have one.  A philosophy, that is.  It determines how you interpret information or situations, and how you respond to them.  If you think about it that way, you see why it’s pretty important to define your philosophies intentionally; if you don’t, you may even be holding conflicting ideas without realizing it.  Just as well-developed philosophies lead to predictable and rational behavior, a jumble of undefined and conflicting philosophies will lead to inconsistent behavior. 
Our choices and actions tell us what our true priorities and values are; they attest to a philosophy of some kind.  If you are so busy, for instance, that you don’t have time to enjoy a book or your children, or to visit your sick aunt in a nursing home, it is important to identify the elements of choice in your busyness.  Nobody acts in a vacuum of thought.  So where do your thoughts come from?  What is your philosophy, or worldview, if you like?  I’m no Aristotle myself, but I hope this week to share some of the methods I’m learning by which to identify and develop the kind of philosophy that leads to productivity. 

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