When I was a kid I took apart my toys, curious for what was inside and how it worked. I have never stopped doing that. I remember when I drove a car with a stick shift for the first time. Some people get it explained, try it for a while and succeed, or not. Others just drive away without thinking about it, but I studied the car, learned how the clutch works, what happens in the gear box, friction, movement, and I drove away without a problem. I understood the mechanism and its workings.
The technic of researching and thinking about tools and problems we have is not only useful, I restore wooden boats for a living, but also something I like to do. This capability has given me the chance to be responsible for a lot of the projects I have worked on what, coincidently, fits with some other, les favorable, character traits I have like…knowitallism.
But on a more serious note.
When I later in life was met with some hurdles, like depression, I used the same techniques as if it was a car and I wanted to know why and how it was not working. Some therapist say: “do this and avoid that”, but that doesn’t say anything about what the problem is. It might help but if we use the car as an analogy It’s like saying: “don’t turn the radio on to high and don’t go downhill”. So, I started reading books, I know…it’s all pre-google, and the biggest section in this particular bookstore where I went was the one with all the self-help books. Those books are not helpful at all, especially if you read a couple of them. They all claim to have the answers and cures for life’s problems, which is impossible of course because they cannot all be right. My opinion is that if there is a book with the answers for life’s problems we all would know about it, because it would work. There are not so many opinions on how to repair a car, if your solution for repairing a car doesn’t work you will not be taken serious in the repair business.
There is no book with answers was my conclusion after some more wandering around in the world of possible cures for depression and the closely related feeling of…why?
But, I went back to that bookstore for one more time and looked for other books, I asked for help, wondered around, aimlessly, bookshelf after bookshelf till I bumped in to this old lady. She was wearing a shirt of the book store, so she must have worked there. She looked at me, and saw something in my desperate eyes, something she hadn’t seen in a long time. She said:” I know what you are looking for, follow me”. We walked down the rows of books and books and finely, at the back of the store, when you closed the door of the man’s toilet you could see a tiny bookcase, with a broken off nameplate on top of it. It sad…philo
Philosophy, brought me a manual to life, and maybe I’m still at the register but one thing that it has taught me so far, is how to stand without ground under my feet, very useful if you ever been depressed.