I once had someone tell me something along these lines, delivered as a sort of condemnation.
Always be on guard when someone offers to make something easy for you. Run like hell. They are stealing away an opportunity for growth. Of course, they aren’t promising you something that isn’t real. The easy road does exist. Most everyone takes it.
Thinking about the future – even some daydreaming – is fine and natural, but do it while you’re doing something to move forward into the future. This is the only way to keep imagination – which can tend toward darkness and anxiety or grandiosity – in check.
If you were born in America, you were gifted with quite a heritage: explorers, craftsmen, warriors, statesmen, sailors, writers, and artists from Henry David Thoreau and Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis and Thomas Edison. Should you take pride in that heritage?
Man, I thought the culture wars were bad when I was a kid. It’s cliche to say now that people are more divided along political lines than ever, so I’ll spare you. You know it. And that divide is particularly evident when people try to communicate with each other.
Oh, you’re anti-racism, hmm? You believe women should have equal rights? You’re against war? You think Nazis are bad? Good. But that belief (and repeating it on social media, etc) doesn’t make you a hero. Being “more enlightened” than your ancestors in these ways doesn’t actually make you smarter or wiser.
“Capital goods” are the materials that create wealth. And when what you have to work with are your machetes and your shovels and your chainsaws, those are your capital goods. If you can take care of those, maybe you will take care of the bigger capital goods (with more potential for wealth creation).
Don’t get me wrong: there are plenty of people who are wiser than me. There are plenty of thinkers and writers more profound. There are plenty more original (I’m certainly influenced by lots of philosophers – some whom I don’t even know). There’s just not anyone else who can do my thinking – and living – well for me. And isn’t that what philosophy is supposed to be for?
All humans need freedom and responsibility in their lives. Together, those map pretty well to the ancient Judeo-Christian idea of the “dominion” of all humans with regards to the creation around them.
I don’t know which is the right answer, but I have considered (and lived) both approaches in my own small way. Right now I lean toward privacy – before I leaned toward publicity. But whatever the case, I hope to maintain the freedom to choose either.