Years ago a doctor made sure I agreed to walk at least a half hour every day. I am not alone. Many doctors want to be sure that their patients get at least a minimal amount of exercise each day. I did it religiously and still do. But now it has completely changed. I walk the same way, one foot forward, then the other. Nothing special. What is different is that I have a routine that I invented myself in response to some philosophy. The philosophy is called pragmaticism and it is, in my mind, a spiritual extension of pragmatism.

Everyday philosophy

Practical conclusions are what pragmatism is about. It doesn’t matter what the result is. My walk aims at a pragmaticist conclusion. And in the routine I invented that means I come up with what I want to consciously consider. It might be as simple as what my next article will be. I call the subject of consideration a sign. I submit it to an index which I call ethics. I let it interact with values that I regard as the universal drivers of human progress: tolerance, helpfulness, and democracy.

Art is everywhere

The next step is to think about the aesthetics involved, and about things like Truth And Beauty, freedom, love, and justice, and non-idolatry. I make aesthetics the third step because it has been ignored as the driver of all human action.

All we do ranges from ugliness to the heights of truth and beauty.

The cool thing is that now my walks are necessities. They are integrated with all I am doing. They ground me and empower me. Daily, they can focus me, pick me up and make sure I follow up with acts and expressions.

What you get

The pragmatic maxim says that the sum of things is the practical results. It’s a sort of WYSIWYG philosophy. I operate solo but if I was part of a workgroup or an organization I am confident that this discipline would be massively helpful. It would ensure that everything I did was a plus for tolerance, helpfulness, and democracy.

These are the key values which combine to produce actual progress, whether in an individual, a family, a community, a nation, or the whole world.

The smartphone folk

I know what the biggest objection may be. It will come from those who walk about with their heads down, looking at their phones. But that is a great reason to try this. I am on a computer all the time too, but, getting away from it is literally heavenly. There is more to my notion but the walking piece of it for me is key. As we move more and more into the unknown, consciousness will be more and more a treasure. Walking can help you get it and keep it. Maybe others will agree.