Throughout term 1, stage 3 students learned about the importance of philosophy for truth seeking and decision making. Thinking deeply about sacred scripture and our faith tradition, they learned how to use discernment to seek what is right and true and good. Each student constructed a personal philosophy for decision making and being responsible for care of self and others. This example is by Mary in year 6.
My Personal Philosophy For Life
I trust that all humans were created with undeniable value and unceasing purpose. I also believe that all people were made in the image of God our Father, thus giving them the ultimate capability to do as they wish. In order to use this power to fulfil our life purposes, one must use discernment and wisdom to flourish as a person.
To flourish is to live a ‘good’ life to the point of being able to distinguish the difference between right and wrong without paying any thought. Flourishing leads to beatitude, to be in divine union with God, by living to be the person I was created to be. By using faith, love and hope, I am able to live virtuously according to God’s plan. I must train myself to acquire the ability to shift my paradigm so I can understand others’ words and actions, while avoiding them having any major impact on my life.
I know that I have the right to be treated with respect and human recognition, doubling as the responsibility to treat others likewise. I must practise equity and equality by giving everyone what they need and deserve, regardless of race, colour, religion, gender or identity.
I know that I and others are imperfect and human, and may choose and act unwisely or foolishly. Because of this, I must turn to scripture for guidance and revelation and encourage others to do so as well.
The Book of Wisdom found in the New Testament provides Catholics, as a community, ways to use, appreciate, seek and find wisdom. In one pericope, in particular, Understanding Wisdom (Proverbs 6), wisdom is personified as a woman. This passage instructs me to seek wisdom and directs me as to how to do so. I must 'wake early' to find her 'waiting at the gate'.
The Decalogue (AKA the 10 Commandments) is a list of rules guiding me to heaven. They list all mortal sins and other actions we should not do if our wish is to reach heaven. By turning to this scripture, I am enabling myself to flourish unconditionally.
This passage (found in Exodus) is repeated in the New Testament with the Beatitudes - a list of what one should do if they wish to reach heaven. It is apparent that these instructions were created to lead to beatitude. By following both the Decalogue and the Beatitudes, I am able to become the best version of myself.
What I deem as some of the most important instructions to follow are the Catholic Social Teachings. These are a set of principles for a decent, just, and peaceful society. Following these principles creates a more beneficial environment for myself and those around me. These principles act as a list of qualities necessary to flourish and reach the summit of a 'good' life. By following this list and reaching that peak I (and others) can become a better, more peaceful person.
The virtues are a vital source of notion for the everlasting blossom of growth. Virtues are a golden means between the excess and deficiency of a characteristic or trait. The virtues were introduced by Aristotle and further analysed by Saint Thomas Aquinas - two perfect models to assist me in my journey through life. Without the virtues, I am more likely to stumble when making decisions, and far more likely to find myself making the wrong one.
Finally, the last, and one of the most critical traits I must have to flourish, is to accept. I must accept my mistakes and those of others. I must accept myself for who I am and for the effort I put in for who I am going to be. I must accept others for what they cannot change and if I do so I will be happy.
And with that comes an enjoyable, close to perfect life. I must live by this philosophy and if I do so my life will continue to improve.