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20170206_214654“So, what’s your field of study?” I asked the first-year college student.

“I’m majoring in Philosophy,” he answered, “with a minor in Anthropology.”

“Wow,” I said and did my best not to betray my truest response. Those will keep you on your mom and dad’s insurance and living in their basement for a good long while, I thought to myself. “What do you intend to do after you graduate?”

“I dunno,” he answered. “I want to keep my options open. I’m just really interested in understanding the human race—where we’re going and why we’re here.”

I appreciate deep thinkers. I really do. And the list of impressives is long—Socrates, Descartes, Lewis, Tolkien, Shakespeare, Eliot, and the like. These are the ones who asked the deepest questions—the ones who spent time contemplating and then giving equal time toward expressing those contemplations for the rest of us to ponder. But unless I am mistaken, I believe only a handful of such minds actually held degrees in philosophy. I know Eliot earned a doctorate in the field. But still, most were philosophers by nature rather than pursuit. With that, I wonder if the folks who actually pursue professional degrees in fields such as philosophy—the ones who register to sit around in college classrooms and dormitories asking, “Where are we going? Why are we here? Will we ever arrive at humankind’s destination?”— I wonder if they are in some sort of arrested state of cognitive development. Quite honestly, these folks don’t sound all that different from a minivan filled with Thoma children.

Child: “Where are we going?”

Me: “I already told you five times where we’re going.”

Child: “Why are we here?”

Me: “Because this is where I told you we were going? Weren’t you listening?!”

Child: “Are we there yet?”

Me: “We’ll get there when we… You know what, never mind. How about I just pull over so you can hop out? Here you go. You’re there. Here’s my cell phone. Call your mother if you get scared or confused and need a ride to where we’re actually going.”

On second thought, while I appreciate deep thinkers, I appreciate even more a shallow thinker with a plan—someone who is mindful of his own bearings, pays close attention to the details, and employs every option reasonably available to understand in order that he would eventually discover success in his endeavors. With such folks, the word “shallow” is no longer a fitting descriptor. In fact, they begin to epitomize philosophy in action, which is “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.”

I have a quiet appreciation for such folks, and it’s one that will always stir me to share the best of my drams with them. Speaking of quiet…

The Quiet Man 8-year-old Single Malt Irish Whiskey is a quality dram for both the truest of philosophers—the folks with drive—as well as the post-graduate basement dwellers with philosophy and anthropology degrees.

When it comes to the true philosophers, this is an honest saying because this particular edition of The Quiet Man contains a trophy wafting of malt and meaty fruit darlings like pomegranates and kiwi. In the mouth, the malt is quite definitive, eventually leaning into the oaken Bourbon barrels mentioned on the label while drawing into the experience a fresh slice of warmly buttered pita. The whole thing finishes as pleasantly as it began, offering a shadow of the fruits and a tinge of the malt.

This is a dram due the go-getters.

As it relates to the insurance-sucking parasites living in the basement, this whiskey is within reach only because of its price. At about $45, it’s something they may be able to afford when they stop by the liquor store on their way home from a grueling day behind the register at the bowling alley.

You know, because they’re keeping their options open.