I started reading about pragmatism on the internet but got confused and decided to stop. I guess I am just not cut for philosophy 🙂
I wanted to explore the concept though so I settled for practical. The reason was a contradiction I battle on a regular basis. I like to talk and think and assemble ideas and words in ways that make sense and make it easier to think about life, love and the universe. I can spend long periods of time doing this. Add to this the fact that I am addicted to reading and the result appears to be a theoretically inclined, non-practical person that could possibly need taking care of 🙂
The picture is, of course, incomplete. But in what way and when and why are actually the questions needing answering, so let’s analyze.
Much as I like thinking I tend to think about real life, particularly mine and most specifically in regards to relationships. How do I react, how will the other react, what will be said, what could possibly be the consequences etc. So far, so good. I think about my life and how to live it best with a minimum. I also think about what needs to be done and in what way to minimize the effort and increase the results. Not always practically, don’t get me wrong, just… efficiently, you could say. That requires quite a lot of thinking, as even things, let alone people, can throw balls from the left field that leave you scrambling. My wish for control couldn’t possibly take this kindly, so I think about consequences of actions (a lot!) and possible ways of combining actions. That has two consequences (intendend pun?): one, I get bored later when people want to analyze things out loud as I have already done it; two, I appear (and am!) bossy as I have already picked the best of the alternatives I could find and presented it (or started it) as such. That tends to annoy people :). I am learning to talk with people first, then spend the time thinking and come up with a solution (or a change to the soution agreed on – yup, annoying again!).
With a profession that tries to combine practical and theoretical approaches, this type of thinking of mine is not something I do for leisure, it’s ingrained. As a result, unless it’s hectic, I cruise (at a fast pace 😛 ) rather than scramble – perfect!
So far, so quaint.
It just so happens that you can’t think of the little things without touching on the big things (like life, love and the universe), nor should you be afraid of doing so. They may seem too big, too important, and you may feel too lowly, but still, you have a life time in front of you, you can chip away at them. It may seem like a waste of time, but it makes thinking of the little things easier. Decision-making also becomes easier as now you know faster what you can live with and what you can’t. It keeps you cool under pressure (because you almost invariably come up with a plan of action) and allows you the time to wonder and feel joyful when you see kittens, butterflies and small children.
How to do it? We seem too busy to think even of the little things sometimes! Your brain will help. A bit of sleep, good food and water and finding those 5 minutes in the shower/surfing/trekking/gardening/meditating etc. and away you go.
Do not try this while you are changing a nappy 🙂