"Philosophy: (noun) 1. the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline."
While most of us worry about college applications and not failing our next test, far graver circumstances await us in the real world. In the midst of a global pandemic, teens our age all across the world are questioning the very system on which our society is founded. Tumultuous and transformative events like the brutal murder of George Floyd and the migrant workers' crisis in India have elicited an uproar of outrage, ranging from instagram stories to passionate protests in the streets. We are angry and hurt and seek answers. We question a failing police system, propagating fear and violence instead of keeping peace and order like it should. We question implications of an extreme lockdown on the poor. We question the infringement of human rights, violated merely because of the colour of one's skin or caste. But how is it that we question the very philosophy of our society without even truly understanding it?
The dictionary definition states philosophy to be a study of the fundamental nature of knowledge. I, however, argue that it's much simpler than that. Instincts, intuition and empathy. That is the basis for a philosophy that is ingrained in all of us. Some may view philosophy as an intellectual study, a study for academics. I, however, see it as a deep rooted perception of morality that exists in every human from birth. The semantics exist, it’s just the study of philosophy that helps us discover and navigate our ideals in a heavily philosophised world. It’s these very morals that make us hurt when the words “I can’t breathe” are blatantly ignored. When families trudge hundreds of miles to reach their homes. When endangered species lose their natural habitat. When patients lay gasping for air in hospitals. We don’t need to be taught these emotions. We inherently feel compelled to speak up against these injustices. That is the essence of philosophy. Recognising our blacks and whites in a world of grey and ash.