Note: This column contains complex philosophical concepts and abstruse intellectual thinking. I don’t understand it myself.
My past two columns have asked Are You Recession Ready? and explored the all-important topic of Recession Etiquette. Today, we’ll consider, “What’s the most important part of getting through this recession?” Not resorting to eating shrubbery, for sure. But, after that? The point is to come out of this difficult time wiser than we went in. Bet you didn’t know that. See? You’re smarter already. What an amazing service I offer.
In university, I took a philosophy course. I quickly became convinced the reason universities teach philosophy is because professors enjoy making students suffer. This shows how little I knew. That’s only one purpose.
A lesser goal of philosophy is to take basic questions of life that cannot possibly be answered and then attempt to do it anyway. This is supposed to make us wiser. Generally it just made me more confused.
However, I suggest that in order to glean wisdom from the recession we attempt a little Recession Philosophy.
One profound life question philosophers attempt to answer is, “Why am I?” Recession Philosophers attempt to answer, “Why am I broke?” Something like that.
The way philosophers answer questions no one can answer is by posing questions no one can understand. And yes, people get paid for doing this.
For example, to answer, “What is life?” one philosophical question my professor posed was, “There is a goose in a bottle. How do you get the goose out of the bottle without breaking the bottle or harming the goose?” My classmates and I offered genius answers like, “Does the Humane society know about this?” and “Wouldn’t it be easier to raise chinchillas?” The correct answer was, “You just do.” And again, yes, people get paid for this.
In Recession Philosophy the question would read, “There is a goose in a bottle. How do you serve the goose so that it will feed a family of six with leftovers for lunch?” The answer is, “You just do.
Particularly if you’ve made a large side of rice to go with it.”
Here’s another profound question, “Why is life painful?” Recession Philosophy tweaks this slightly to, “Why do they keep sending me RRSP statements?” An answering question might be, “Wouldn’t I be better off keeping my savings in a sock under my pillow?” You know philosophy’s actually amazing. I feel wiser already.