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The Real Harry Potter
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A Life - Philosophy for Dummies

18 June 2012, 14:12

My previous articles have been fun; most recently, toying with the over-sensitive arguments that seem to most upset the so-called “non-religious” readers… it was a good laugh. But this time I will clarify a life philosophy that could even work for a blonde (no, I can’t be called a racist for that!).  

There are times we feel confused and there is nowhere to turn. There are times we feel inspired and seem to be on a natural high. In life we are but pawns on a chess-board: we have little other choice than to move forward. Our choice is limited to how many opportunities we can (or decide to) take along the way.

Although winter is not a bright time for me, I am convinced after much thought on the matter, that we ourselves decide our advance through the chess-board of life on a daily basis. People that know me well will also realize that if they ask me an honest question they will get a logical answer. (Of course if it’s an illogical question then they can expect to experience a relentless attack of sarcastic, sick humor… but that is just me.)

I am an electronic engineer by trade. The electronic industry is full of logic systems, and fundamentally speaking, results are determined on a basic level of YES and NO. To illustrate my point here, we will convert this basic rule of logic to every-day life terms: Let us equate a YES to a green light and a NO to a red light, and turn out into the traffic. The traffic in this example would equate to a stunning lady that I see in the supermarket one day:

Me: “Hello there”

She smiles. (GREEN)

Me: “My name is Harry, what is yours?”

She answers: “My name is Betty.” (GREEN)

Me: “I think that is a pretty name; nice to meet you Betty.”

She answers: “Thank you, I’m married.” (RED)

She smiles. (GREEN)

Obviously the names and the places have been changed to protect the innocent, but let us look at the way this plays out. As logical beings, we look for positive signals in any situation and those positive signals are processed by our brain to give us an accelerated journey to the next traffic light. Our destination would be a perceived prize; in this case a nice cup of coffee with Betty?

BUT… what happens when we hit the RED light? Well here is the thing! The RED light in traffic could change to green at a later time: this is the nature of traffic lights after all. But do we really want to proceed past the red light? In this example we have the red light as a moral stop, although the very next response may be like a traffic officer that overrides the red signal. So we have a dilemma.

What do we accept as overwhelming RED lights? In this case I would accept that the lady is married, and no matter what her further responses were, that road would be closed. However noble this may seem, I am sure many people will have rather waited for the green, and I do have understanding of that state of mind. But what about the following example; a new contract is being awarded for the supply of goods to government:

Me: “Mr Brown, pleasure to meet you.”

Government rep: “Mr Potter, I trust you are well?” (GREEN)

Me: “Very well thank you… May I ask you how you decided to allocate the contract?

Government rep: “But of course. Our vetting processes have unfortunately disqualified your business on grounds of race: your business is too pink.” (RED)

Me: “That is unfortunate. What can be done to remedy the shortcomings and offer you the best products at the best pricing?

Government rep: “I am pretty sure that fifty thousand would get some people’s eyes to close.” (GREEN)

Once again the names and colors have been changed to protect the criminals… but here we again have clear-cut signals that let us advance through the meeting. It’s only our moral standing on the bribery question that may define a definite stop. And so the daily rush-hour continues.

Only by knowing who we are and what we stand for, can we learn to negotiate quickly through the traffic. Moral issues can hold certain people up for days or months, but with a fixed set of standards we can know where to draw the line, possibly taking us on a detour with regard to our chosen destination, but keeping us moving in the right direction. People that know their limits could make YES/NO decisions that could place them on a highway to success… granted some have very low morals.

The RED / GREEN traffic light philosophy can be applied to almost any situation in life, and being aware of how it works can also empower us to make quick decisions and stay in control of situations. It reduces every decision to a YES or a NO. For myself: Instead of looking at the stove and asking myself where the temperature dial should be set, I try to ask myself if it is set too hot.

Yes logic has its limitations, and yes there are many other life philosophies that may suit your lifestyle more than this; I even mix and match myself! I prefer, however, those that allow me to keep control of everything in my life…. With logic that seems almost possible?

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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