Philosophers Never Retire

Dentists do. Shop Assistants do. Wedding photographers do. I know this to be true.

I also know that retirement doesn’t stop employment – it just changes the things at which you work. Your reward for effort is often different from the paid years. Less money comes your way from direct activity – but you gain far more satisfaction from what you start to do; you start to think.

If you’re lucky, you may retain your faculties to a ripe age. Look to your ancestors and see if they were able to do this – this’ll be your guide to the chances of success. Disregard the knees and backs – these can bend and hurt at any age – it’s the brains that you want to keep on going.

If you are wise, you will seek some fresh ideas to work with. Television is unlikely to supply this want – the internet is little better. Books and conversations are your best sources of new material for thought. Some people use the cinema as a basis but remember that this is someone else’s ideas blasted at you with no chance to pause and consider.

When you have new thoughts to consider, write them down and study them slowly. They may prove to be true or false – you have years of experience to help you determine which. If you can use the ideas, incorporate them into your own thoughts and re-write them in your own style. Don’t claim originality unless you can add some real piece of wit to them – give the original authors their due.

If you can get an audience, tell your thoughts; if you can get a readership, write to them. You do no less than Cicero and Voltaire did and they are good exemplars. And they have good advice to those people who would consider lying to make their political points…

Don’t.

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