Today we're covering the 5 biggest* philosophical questions the thoughtful human being confronts on their journey through life.
And Zoe's answers.
(Some are direct, but others I've inferred through observation.)
1. Why are we here? (What shall I do today?)
We're here to turn the lights on and off.
And then on and off again.
To open and close doors.
Receive offerings of juice.
Stay up late.
Get up early.
Yell when there's no earthly reason to yell and yet when asked a direct question, respond in whispers, in another language, a made-up one.
Inform others of our existential crises by throwing ourselves on the floor and screaming for at least five minutes---preferably in public, during a trip to the supermarket, when Mommy has gotten enough of the items on her list to make aborting the trip painful, but not enough so that she can check out yet. (Note: middle-of-the night tantrums are good too. If Mommy's also in pain she will have empathy. At least, she ought to.)
What was that big bang? Said God
to toddler Jesus from the other room.
2. How shall I live? (Is there a right or wrong way?)
Depends on who's looking and how tired they are.
Moral relativism means that Grandma will let you get away with more because Grandmas have no immunity to a grandchild's cuteness. (Source: science.)
And, hey, how about freedom vs. belonging? The tension between wanting to do things that you can't, i.e., the freedom that comes with putting your own shoes on, and not wanting to do things that you can, i.e., taking your shoes off. (Boring! Mommy can do it.) While watching you in the throes of this debate, Mommy will often get a distant look on her face, as if she's struggling with a similar dilemma, perhaps recalling a decision to sacrifice her own freedom made almost a year before you were born. (You're on the hook for at least fifteen more years, Mom. I can now count higher than that, by the way, and yes, that's a threat.)
3. What does it mean to be present?
Present? For me? Where?
Paradox: I love philosophy, but
it gives me the moody blues.
4. Why is there suffering?
Because you didn't share.
That whole story of Genesis is about God giving humanity a big time-out, and we've been sitting in the corners we were sent to for millennia and we'll continue to sit there until we learn to play well with others.
It doesn't look good, people. If we don't stop whining and hitting and generally acting out, we're never going to get dessert.
And it's the best dessert ever, made of hugs, immortality, and chocolate, the good kind that comes in the gold box.
5. Where does all the poop go?
This may be the most important question for it touches on our mortality as well as the destruction and/or disappearance of that which we create. It's why potty training is so damn hard. A simple press of a lever and this piece of art you used your whole body (let that sink in---your whole body) to produce and it's gone in a swirl of noise and madness. It's just not right. You'd rather keep it, close to your body, where no one will know your secret, unless they have a nose. You've asked Mommy and Daddy this philosophical question but they muttered something about it "rolling downhill."
I poop, therefore I am.
Asking Mommy or Daddy any questions, big or small, you find to be all but useless. You're not sure if they're keeping secrets, think you can't understand, or don't actually know themselves. No worries. You'll break them eventually by asking the same question over and over and not letting them sleep. Like the Viet Cong.
Who's in charge? Mommy can answer that one definitively: Zoe.
Zoe: 39; Universe: 0
*Biggest as determined by a scientific poll based on what came to my mind first.