My Philosophy of Life · 3 December 2022

A student of mine recently asked me what my philosophy of life is. I told him that I could tell him, but I might get fired. But then I thought about it more and decided that I really ought to dig deeper to see what my philosophy of life really is.

Philosophy means love of wisdom, but a philosophy of life is how you live your life. Or how you believe you live your life. And to my way of thinking, your philosophy of life ought to be fairly short and sweet. Like a mission statement of sorts. So while I may not have had a concrete philosophy of life when my student asked me, I have solidified it now.

My philosophy of life is threefold. I am a seeker of truth. I answer only to the King. I serve others (or at least I try to).

These are the three statements that encapsulate my philosophy of life. But since they are the guiding principles of my life, I must clarify them. At least a little bit.

Truth is out there whether you believe it or not. So there is not your truth and my truth. There is your perception of truth and my perception of truth, but there is real knowable objective truth. Those who say that there is no truth spout a logical contradiction. If there is no truth, then you cannot say that there is no truth because that is a truth. So the statement “There is no truth” is self-contradictory because it claims to be a truth, which it cannot be. At any rate, I am a seeker of truth. And when my perceptions of the truth turn out to be wrong, I make sure that I adjust my life accordingly. At least I hope that I do.

It might seem strange for a person to say that he or she answers only to the King, but it is how I live my life. I heard a great line in a TV show about how those in a royal family had to live not for their own happiness or satisfaction but for the crown. That is how I try to live my life. I do not live for the king of any country. I live for the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is only to the triune God of the Bible that I owe my allegiance. Sure, I pledge allegiance to the flag. I am loyal to my country. And I am loyal to my family. But if those allegiances should go against my highest allegiance, I know where I stand. My King gets everything. In fact, I am learning more and more that I am merely a steward of the King. And I am learning that I must answer only to the King. No matter what.

The last part of my philosophy is service. I am not always good at it, but I seek to serve other people. I want to be in tune with other people and what they need. Most of the time, people just need a kind word. Some of the time, they need a kick in the seat of the pants. I try to see and then do what is appropriate as I serve others.

Now, I know that nobody follows their own philosophy of life perfectly. Nobody is truly in sync with what they believe. But we ought to try and be introspective. We ought to try and figure out what makes us tick. I guess that is where the definition of philosophy comes in. When we love wisdom, we will seek it out. And the wisdom of our own lives is knowing who we are and what drives us. In the end, my statements may not truly be a philosophy of life, but they are the statements that guide me as I live my life.

I am glad that my student asked me about my philosophy of life. It gave me the opportunity to boil down my thoughts into simple statements. Statements that would surely not get me fired. I probably would not have gotten fired even if I had given my initial thoughts that day, but his question made me think, and I am always grateful for conversations that make me think. By the way, I answered my student with my three statement answer the next day.

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Thanksgiving 2022 · 24 November 2022

I just realized that I am thankful for the people in my life.

Okay. I did not just realize it, but I am truly thankful for the people in my life. Those who have been in my life in the past and those who continue to be in my life in the present. And although I did not just realize it, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to be introspective and really think about being thankful.

I am most thankful for my family. My wife and kids. My brothers and sisters. And their kids too. Oh I am thankful for my aunts and uncles and cousins and friends and colleagues and a whole lot of other people too, but it has really hit home recently that I am thankful for my parents and those in the family tree that they were responsible for.

Mom and Dad have gone to be with Jesus, so I will see them again. And on this Thanksgiving 2022, I am thankful to God for having given me such great parents. They helped shape me into the person I am today. And whether anybody else is grateful for that, I know that I am.

I really am thankful for my family. I am thankful for their support of each other in both good times and bad. I am thankful for our shared memories. I am thankful that we have spent lots of time together. I am just thankful for them. All of them. Brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews. And of course, my wife and my sons.

Now, I could probably go on and on and on about many more family members and friends and colleagues and many other people who have impacted my life in positive ways. Aunts and uncles and cousins have had a profound positive effect on my life. Friends and colleagues have had profound positive effects on my life too. And the one thing that I can say about them all is that I am thankful for their presence in my life.

Relationships are important. They are all that we carry with us when we leave this life. And so I am thankful this Thanksgiving 2022 for the many relationships that I have had with people throughout my life. I am thankful for the impact that people have had on making me who I am.

I may not have just realized it, but this Thanksgiving I am most thankful for all the people in my life. Especially, my family.

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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¡Gooooooooooooooool! · 19 November 2022

[It is the men’s World Cup time again, so I thought I would pull out an old piece of writing that had not yet seen the light of day.]

It might sound weird, but there are times when I wish I was watching the FIFA World Cup soccer matches on a channel where they did not speak English.

I remember watching World Cup soccer as a kid. We watched matches at Grandma and Grandpa’s on a black and white TV. It was all that we really needed to watch those great matches. Nobody really understood soccer in those days (even the commentators), but we understood that we were watching something incredible. Especially if Pelé was playing.

As I got older, I remember watching Soccer Made in Germany on PBS. We did not watch it all the time, but it was good stuff. But certainly not as exciting as watching the World Cup. (Which, now that I think about it, we may not have watched as kids.) Especially since the commentators really just seemed to be trying to educate us about the sport.

As an adult, I have not watched much soccer. Partly because I like to play rather than watch any sport. But part of it is also because much of the announcing is somewhat pedestrian. It is like listening to somebody comment on watching somebody else walking. (“Oh, he better watch out. There is a crack coming.”) Sure, they talk about the game and quote statistics about this player and that player. When it comes down to it though, it is not all that exciting to hear about this player passing to that player. Especially when some commentators sound so very ho hum about it all.

But then I watched a few matches on a Spanish-speaking channel. ¡Ay, caramba! It was like watching a different sport. The commentators were animated about every pass, every shot, every ¡Gooooooooooooooooooooooooool!

I was only watching the Spanish-speaking channel because there was not an English-speaking channel broadcasting the game I wanted to watch, but I was hooked. I was spoiled by those few games. Now, even though I understand little Spanish, I would rather watch a soccer match broadcast in Spanish. They are just so passionate about the sport, and it shows in their commentary. Commentary that I do not even understand, but certainly appreciate.

I thought it would be nice if any of those Spanish-speaking broadcasters would broadcast over the airwaves, especially soccer matches. Not that the current broadcasters are not doing a fine job. They are. The different World Cup commentators are much more passionate about the sport and each particular game than they have been before. Certainly more animated than those back in the late seventies and early eighties calling Soccer Made in Germany. And much more knowledgeable than those commentators we heard on those old black and white broadcasts in the early seventies. But there is just something about the passion of those Spanish-speaking commentators. During a World Cup or any match.

I was thinking about those passionate commentators and about watching the 2018 World Cup matches on a Spanish-speaking channel, when lo and behold, I watched a match with a normally Spanish-speaking pair. Jorge Pérez-Navarro and Mariano Trujillo were calling the Panama vs. Tunisia game in English.

If you were to look at the match objectively, there should have been no passion. There was nothing at stake in the game. Neither team had qualified for the knock-out stage of the tournament. The announcers kept saying that they were playing for pride and for their countries and for the love of the game. But the two called the game like it was the final. They were animated. They were passionate. I loved their accents. Mariano Trujillo played for the Mexican national team and offered insights about playing against some of the players from Panama. He and Jorge Pérez-Navarro were great together as they sparred about which goalie is the greatest in Central America. It was entertaining to listen to the pair.

And then I heard it.

It was the thirty-third minute of the match. Jorge Pérez-Navarro shouted, “¡Gooooooooooooooooooooooooool!” I could not believe my ears. It was what had been missing from my 2018 World Cup watching experience. It had been what I had been missing most of my soccer watching life. And I got to hear it two more times during the game. I was ecstatic watching what many called a meaningless game. It was not meaningless to the players, their fans, and certainly not to the game’s commentators.

I know it sounds weird, but I would like to hear a little more life in the commentators’ voices during the World Cup matches. Spanish-speaking or not. I wish they would all have the passion of Jorge Pérez-Navarro, Mariano Trujillo, and others. But when it comes right down to it, I really just wish they would all have some signature call of a single word. A word seemingly said until the commentator runs out of breath. A word said after every score by every single player.


© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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