Philosophy: My Take on Life

John Kuvinka Mirrored
“What’s John’s take on life?”

In addition to my background, some of you might wonder about my philosophy on life. My writing is obviously a good insight into it, but I realize it’s a stretch to expect you to read all of my articles. While some posts I author can be lighthearted and random, I want to clarify my philosophy on a couple of the important topics.

In terms of issues, most people define themselves through their stances on things like politics and religion. I write about politics often – religion, not so much. So there’s no confusion, let’s look at those two separately and I’ll explain myself a bit.

Politics

Whether or not they’re fully aware, everyone has some kind of opinion about politics. Maybe not so much the specific political figures and issues unique to their country. But we all have a philosophy on how we think government should work. Some who do claim they aren’t political and keep it to themselves, for one reason or another. But I think it’s very important for people to be open about their ideas and share them with others. This is how progress is made.

Like many people, I’ve been undecided about the two major US political parties over the years. A lot of us change our minds on certain issues from time to time. And I’d think anyone who’s a deep thinker would admit no one system is perfect. But, throughout the years I’ve always believed in some basic tenets.

Social Programs

I think America, despite its faults, is the best country in the world. In order for us to maintain this our people have to be among the best as well. This is difficult if they’re unhealthy, uneducated, and unemployed. That being said, I’ve always felt there should be layers of government that help support the people when they’re in need. I think everyone should have the healthcare, education, and jobs they need to live comfortably. Some call it socialism, I just call it common sense. I do believe in personal responsibility, but I feel like the government should be earning its keep. Aside from fighting wars I think it’s only sensible that it fights mediocrity at home as well. In order for these programs to function optimally sometimes we have to pay more in taxes. I feel this is a small price to pay to keep America great.

Military Presence

A strong military is also essential when it comes to being the best. Our military is already widely regarded as the best, so I think it’s time we cut back on our defense budget. That sentiment strikes some as being unpatriotic and just plain dangerous. However, the fact is that our military is larger than the sum of the militaries of a handful of the runners-up. That being said, I think we’d get by just fine.

I also believe we should rethink some of our strategies for dealing with conflicts overseas. Like many Americans, I don’t agree with the current philosophy of “nation building” and investing so much abroad. However, I do feel we should show our true power when dealing with terrorism. When all other options have been exhausted we should conquer terrorist strongholds in full military regalia and plant our flag. Not play by their guerilla rules and sneak around on their turf where they have the upper hand. This could be more affordable if we focused less on intervening in skirmishes that don’t concern us directly.

Religion

Like politics, I think everyone has some kind of spiritual philosophy on how life should be lived. Whether it involves going to church or temple, or just meditating, people do have a need for ritual and dogma. I personally don’t call myself a religious person. I wasn’t raised in a church-going home but I identified as a Christian in my youth. As I grew older and began my study of different world religions I felt more comfortable with Buddhism. Though, I came to appreciate the cultures behind many faiths. I’ve personally come to like Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and some aspects of Catholicism. At the end of the day, however, the idea of worshipping a deity never felt right to me. This is why I spent a good bit of time as a young adult studying Buddhism.

Societal Applications

Just because I’m not religious doesn’t mean I look down on those who are. Though I don’t think religion has any place whatsoever in politics, I feel it’s a good source of solace in times of need. It helps to inspire and bring people together in a lot of ways. But, we all know that in other ways it can do the exact opposite. History shows us that religious extremism can result in some of the greatest horrors imaginable. For that reason, I tend to be a critic of organized religion. I think any sort of belief system can be harmful when it suppresses. The suppression of people’s feelings or biological drives is ultimately a suppression of people. In my view, this contributes to the radicalization of small factions. People who take religious rules too seriously tend to be very wound up and don’t play well with others.

Spirituality

Some people prefer this term to religion. Either way, if it’s a force for good in the world I welcome it. I think it should be everyone’s right to interpret the unseen and unknown in their own way. I don’t think any one interpretation should be standardized, however. Sacred emblems or statues on public or government property don’t seem appropriate to me. Businesses should be free to observe whichever religious holidays they prefer as well. I think the idea of trying to force your spiritual beliefs on society is a slippery slope to genocide and I feel it’s best to go with the flow. Finding meaning and value in life is something we should all do differently. Everyone’s life experience is uniquely their own, to be interpreted and defined in their own words.

Well there you have it.

For the rest of my beliefs you’ll just have to read my blog. For something a bit less formal, feel free to check out some random quotations I’ve found meaningful or entertaining over the years.