Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Hana’s Realizations

So it’s Sunday night and I already made the great decision of leaving all my homework till now: and unfortunately there is nothing I can do to change that. I’ve been sitting here for a good 30 minutes trying to think about a time where I have recently re-evaluated and changed the ways I see things or popped the stereotypical bubble of many things in life. And guess what? I’ve came up with nothing. Of course there is always the things we were told when we were little “the tooth fairy is real” or “santa is real” or “the easter bunny is real”, but I’m trying to find a time where a whole change in perspective set a series of events in motion. After thinking about the reason I couldn’t come with anything, it dawned on me: what if I can’t think of anything because I haven’t popped that bubble yet? I haven’t questioned the unexplored life I’m settling for. I haven’t evaluated my life with philisophical consideration. I haven’t ever been truly skeptical about what was infront of me. With those thoughts in mind I’m trying my best to come up with things I can reconsider. There are the simple things like why we go to school everyday or why we sink into a daily routine. But the bigger ones I can’t think of because I have no idea what I want to do in the future. I have no idea what career path to take, what university to go to, where I want to live…. just absolutely no clue. And that’s when I thought about it: none of the people in Plato’s cave knew what was to become of their future, and maybe that’s why they never questioned it. They were so settled into their daily routines of watching the figures on the wall (to them they were actual real things) that they didn’t know to question why they were doing this everyday. Maybe if I had some idea of what I wanted to do in the future I would be able to evaluate the things I’m doing now.

What if it this whole paragraph was actually me climbing my way out of the cave. With all my realizations of what Plato’s cave is truly about and what I really need to do to be able to evaluate my life, maybe that is what it took for me to actually explore my life. I figured out I have been settling (and what on), and now I can focus on the important issues and use this as self-improvement for the future.



One Response to Hana’s Realizations

  1. bryanjack says:

    These are some pretty profound realizations to be making, to be sure, Hana! I think many grade twelves (even the ones with the next few years planned out in post-secondary or work situations) share your inability to truly picture The Future™; I also think that a good deal of this comes from the way our culture presents schooling and work to young people, and how we celebrate the success of those out there in the “real” world.

    Asking young people to decide what they would like to do in “the future” as if it is a far-off trip they will take one day isn’t realistic; the future is what you make of the present as it unfolds.There is no imaginary line in the sand you cross one day and realize, “Ah, now I’m an adult: this is my future.” It seems pretty universal that, no matter their age, people are constantly surprised to find that time has passed so quickly and, without realizing it, they’re 18 years old and graduating from high school…twenty five and living on their own… thirty and married, or a parent… or a grandparent looking at retirement.

    As a thirty-five year old, I don’t know what I want to do in “the future,” but I know what I am good at, what I enjoy doing, and how to pursue things that I want. I know what my limitations are (to some degree…), and I like to think that I am working on them. By following this personal course of action, I don’t worry too much about “the future,” because I can trust that if I stay connected to myself and what I want out of life (in a general sense: financial security, supportive friends and family, free time to pursue personal projects, hobbies and adventures), the future will be all right once it arrives.

    But I can empathize that I haven’t always had a firm sense of self-identity, and that coming into touch with “who I am,” or what I want out of life was indeed a Cave-shattering moment (series of moments, really). It happened gradually, and all at once, in different ways; what made it the profound time in my life that it was was my paying attention to my thoughts, feelings, and reactions to what occurred around me: my evolving relationships with friends and family, my passion for sports and other interests that emerged through travel, education, and exposure to different people, and the influence of teachers, whether they were coaches, older teammates, friends, or… actual teachers.

    You make a great point when you note that, “none of the people in Plato’s cave knew what was to become of their future, and maybe that’s why they never questioned it.”

    To know that we haven’t exited the cave, or that there might be more than what we know, is an essential first step in transcending that cave.


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