Tuesday, January 31, 2017

why we need a new philosophy

"I think, therefore I am," says the Western philosopher and our worldview is based on it. 
"I belong, therefore I am," says the wise man from Africa who tells me the African worldview is based on that. It means that I am, because you are and it's relationships that count more significantly than critical thinking according to that philosophy.

Have a look at the cartoon below.
The cartoonist  expressed hope that this year will be a year of building bridges instead of walls. So far it's not looking too good. There's a lot of wall-talkDescartes wrote "I think therefore I am" in the 17th century. Perhaps in the 21st century we need some refreshing African philosophy. A healthy mix might lead to more bridges and break down some walls.

The critical thinker in me thinks she's very important, but she doesn't always make me happy. There's a kinder person inside of me with a hint of African warmth. Critical thinking is necessary, but there can be too much of a good thing. Working with Alzheimer patients, I see people who have lost their ability to think well. If they try too much critical thinking, the result is only suspicion and fear. They don't understand their environment well, so often the best I can do to help them is to make them feel like they belong: I am here, we are together, so we are fine. 
This brings peace to a troubled mind.

"Our culture is the best culture" said a Dutch politician in 2016 and this is not a member of our 'furthest-right' party. I'm sad she had to make that point and I disagree. Cultures are not to be measured or judged, but to be experienced. Then we meet each other and say: "Hey, you're interestingly different!"
Meet people, share and take away the right cocktail.

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