Purposeless questions and bad-case scenarios

2020-01-03 @Blog

I’m sometimes asked mighty strange questions. For example, how would I fare with living under a bridge? This may follow one of my philosophical yet misunderstood dialogues about having all the necessary elements for a fully content life, provided certain minimal necessities.

The implicit latter point, the one I probably fail to adequately communicate, is usually the responsible for raising certain confusion. And yet I find such questions a bit whimsical.

What is the purpose behind the inquiry? What are the circumstances that led me to find abode under a bridge?

Is this a temporary calamity due to a hardship? Am I there by choice as part of an experiment? If I hadn’t found another place to sleep, how long do I remain under the said bridge? Am I to take action to improve the situation? If not, why do I purposely compromise my existence? Am I indentured to pass a fixed, or an indefinite period here?

How are the conditions for sleep and nutrition? What tools are at my disposal? Am I able to exercise and move around?

How are the noise levels? Are the parameters fixed or am I at liberty to improve them? Is hostility or other physical threat an issue? What is my prior training?

In this realm, has my consciousness been conditioned for the eventuality?

Essentially, am I at liberty to make rational decisions and influence my well-being and environment? Or am I hopelessly bound to an arbitrarily fixed state under pessimal conditions for both physical and mental health?

It follows, why should I address such an odd question? Is the interlocutor interested in a philosophical exploration? Or is this a product of pure whim, with no purpose or foresight?

Similarly occurring questions I’ve sometimes heard:

These are not necessarily poor questions, provided that asked with purpose. If that be a philosophical debate, I have few qualms. I take pleasure in the philosophical.

If it be on a whim, to merely fill a conversational void, lacking any desire to further pursue the topic, to be asked follow-up questions, to retort, why waste time with mindless interchange?

To generalize the bridge inquiry, how is a person emotionally equipped to handle a series of bad case scenarios? Examples:

Much of the above hardly represents the really devastating scenarios. Much of it is a mere frustration that concerns you alone. And yet, I bet most of us do not feel apt for even that.

Is it beneficial to contemplate bad-case scenarios? According to the stoics, yes, and I largely agree.

The habit hardly molds you into a cynical personality, as you need not invest too much energy to the deed. Rather, maintain a largely optimistic attitude, but with a small portion directed towards bad-case scenario anticipation.

Really visualize how you would receive the situation. How would a role model, or an internal guide of yours handle it? With time, you become more impervious, better equipped psychologically to deal with unexpected hardships.

Questions, comments? Connect.