I spent 7 hours today reading a 35-page philosophy article and I'm not even halfway through. Not that it was distressful. I actually (for the first time in a long time) had fun. And was once again humbled.
I took delight in the fresh ideas of this French philosopher (Michel Foucault), especially because I have been too steeped in the ideas of the Marxists of critical theory. Reading Foucault makes me smell the staleness of my ideals about global justice. Don't get me wrong. I still hope for goodness in the world. It's just that sometimes I get too carried away by my pontificating, that I have to learn listen to myself sounding off like a noisy gong and clanging cymbal, raising claims that turn out to be weakly founded in the end. Reading this philosopher is like hearing him tell me: "Cool ka lang! You fight too much without asking if there's a battle to fight in the first place. "
I have also been humbled by the way the philosopher put so many strands together in order to support his conclusions. Many of us, (I am no exception) have the tendency to dismiss researchers and technical experts and their jargon as arrogant, to misjudge them as people who live too much within concepts and theory, to condemn them of not having or living a life.
What we don't understand is that these people who devote their lives to reading boring books and to writing articles that only 10% of the world's population will ever care to read, are people who love and enjoy life much more passionately than most of us do. These are people who refuse to live by hasty generalizations, and raise questions that come as ice cold showers to lazy minds like mine.
And today I was showered on. Thank God for philosophers.