Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Pragmatism is the conscious or unconscious philosophy that most of us adopt for our survival. We tend to look at what is practical and what is not practical and make choices accordingly. Outside forces intervene and they have a significant influence on our course through life, but where we are born and who are parents are determine most profoundly the start of our earthly journey. We have genes inherited from our mother and father and there’s no escape from that relationship. To a certain extent we are moulded in their image. In our early days we are shaped by the teaching of our parents before we are influenced by our friends, associates, teachers, and others with whom we come into contact.

We cannot divorce our likes and dislikes, our prejudices and preferences from those who have shaped us; indeed we are grateful to individuals who have taken an interest in us, those who have helped us on our way, who have contributed to our understanding, the people who have seen our potential and have encouraged us in our walk. Without nourishment, without feeding, without love we would not have made it.

All these pieces of the jigsaw make up the whole picture in which we can see how we have achieved our ambitions and what they were; within the total picture we can see our development, growth, maturation, and fulfilment before contentment and understanding leading to enrichment of life; finally comes a gradual realization of decline, a lessening of our physical prowess and sometimes our mental ability, leading to an acceptance of partial dependence on others, until perhaps a time comes when total dependence upon others arrives. Finally, the inevitable occurs when dust becomes dust and life enters the eternal realm which is the eventual purpose of our being.

Some people think hard and long about eternity, but they do not use their philosophical pragmatism to determine a choice as to how they would like to enter the inevitable state of eternity. Only now in our present life can we do anything about how we shall be at the moment before the sap that runs in our veins finally runs no more. What sort of persons do we want to be? Surely what we are is far more significant than who we are. I may be the Prime Minister, the Queen, a nurse or a dustman, but the nature of my occupation has little to do with my desires, my wants, my needs and most importantly my motivations.

How do these things impinge on the time I set aside for relaxation? What is the best form of relaxation for me? Those who know me will immediately say by sailing yachts. That is true, but now I wish to share my sailing more than in the past and to that end I’m planning on buying a half share in my next boat. This sharing is not just pragmatically practical for the reduction of costs, but for the imparting of skills and knowledge I have gained over the years, so that my new sailing buddy will indirectly learn from my mistakes and successes. Initially, we looked for a trimaran, but we have come to the conclusion that it will be better for us to have a traditional Bermudan sloop with good accommodation and a reasonable performance.

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