Kant’s Three Questions (In travel and life)
“Have courage to use your own understanding!”–that is the motto of enlightenment.” Immanuel Kant
The philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote that all our questions of human reason and speculation combine into three questions: Was kann ich wissen? What can I know? Was soll ich tun? What ought I to do? Was darf ich hoffen? What may I hope? (Critique of Pure Reason, 1787)
I thought about these questions in terms of what I have learned from traveling and from life. Weirdly, Kant never traveled more than 40 miles outside Königsburg, yet from reading he had an extremely detailed knowledge of other places around the world, to the point that he could fool people who had visited some place into thinking that he had visited there.
What can I know?
People are not all that different.
Bad things happen to good people.
Change is inevitable.
There are certain countries where you don’t drink the water because not everyone has clean water.
Worry doesn’t really work.
The sun rises and sets everyday at different times in different parts of the world.
This too shall pass.
Compared to many countries in the world, America is a great place to live.
No matter how much research I do, when I get to a country I see how little I know.
There are more people who are good in the world than bad.
What ought I to do?
The right thing with honor and integrity.
Reuse, recycle and conserve.
Smile and be kind.
Follow your passion. It may not take you where you want to go but you will end up in the right place.
Volunteer and be charitable.
Don’t take up anything that other people are trying to quit doing.
Don’t lie cheat or steal.
Drink water if you are lucky enough to have clean water.
Eat right, if you are lucky enough to have that choice.
What may I hope?
Things will always get better.
There will be peace and no more violence.
Third world countries will have the same advantages that we do in the United States.
All countries will have fair elections.
All children in the world will have the right to free education, proper medicine and enough food to eat.
Universal human rights.
There will be no prejudice against different ethnic and religious groups.
There will be equality for women in the world.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.
That everything and everyone I love will be ok.
Happy and Healthy New Year.