Philosophy isn't second nature for me. I've always been fascinated at the idea of being a philosopher. It seems so smart, so rare, and like you're entering a world of insight that you can't find in day-to-day life. When I saw this book on a display I thought, well this is a good way to jump into Philosophy. Yes, please, tell me how it can save my life and ten ideas that are great to consider.
My only experience with philosophy is the 200 level course I took during my freshman year of college. Why I thought I could handle any philosophical class that was greater then 'intro to philosophy' I don't know. But I do know I somehow passed that class with a decent grade and if it wasn't for a classmate of mine sitting with me for hours at a time putting everything into 'Erica terminology' I probably wouldn't have pulled that grade.
But this fascination with philosophy has continued and I was so pleased to take this book and begin to reading it. I had visuals of suddenly gobbling up all the philosophical books I could get my hands on and living a more philosophical life when I was finished. However, that didn't happen.
Now understand, the structure of this book is great. Each chapter is one key point and within the contents of each chapter McCarty discusses the philosophical definition or idea behind the title of the chapter then dives into two ideas by different philosophers on this topic. But what really threw me off... what really turned me against this book was what McCarty had at the end of each chapter.
About five pages of 'homework' to do about what you learned or ways to invoke these philosophical lessons into your daily life. She suggests that you do this in groups. I wasn't prepared for that and I ended up skipping about 5 pages per chapter because I wasn't doing these homework assignments. I didn't want to. I felt suddenly forced into the idea and very unwilling to partake in it.
At times, I found my thoughts not sticking to the words. I was reading each page, my eyes skimming from sentence to sentence, and that was all. There wasn't any emotional output. I wasn't having anything I was reading sinking in. Usually, this was during the portions of the book where she seemingly rambled about what different philosophers would say about common day issues. But the one thing I did enjoy, the one thing that makes me feel this book is worth it: the ten ideas were great ways that your life can improve.
Each idea that was listed I took a step back and thought, yes, yes that would make my life better. Yes, I would feel more open, more accepting, more enlightened if I embrace this.
Maybe this wasn't the right book for me to dive into the world of philosophy with. Maybe, I should have chosen something different (Philosophy for Dummies?) But I appreciate what Marietta McCarty is getting at. This book shows such an observance of how we all live and interact with one another and it presents a better way to go about this. If this is philosophy- following these ideas and living accordingly- I believe the title is more or less accurate. Yes, it can change your life.