As a result of existential, ontological, teleological, and epistemological phenomena I can no longer ignore, I’m creating a new philosophy. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say I’m founding a new school of philosophical thought and action. It’ll be called, familiarly, LSA, which is an abbreviation for the more formal name by which it’s officially codified: Leave Shit Alone.

Here are its fundamental tenets:

  1. If something has nothing to do with you, leave it alone.
  2. If you’re unsure of something, leave it alone.
  3. If you know nothing about something, leave it alone.
  4. If something is working well, leave it alone.
  5. If something will be diminished, confused, or complicated by your interfering in it, leave it alone.
  6. If something will be rendered FUBAR by your messing with it, leave it alone.
  7. If something will cost more because of what you do to it, leave it alone.
  8. If something will do less good for fewer people because of what you do to it, leave it alone.
  9. If you think you’re the smartest person in any discussion about anything, leave it alone.
  10. If you’re a liberal, leave everything alone.

Now What? 

As of this writing, LSA hasn’t yet been added to any college curricula. I’m sad to say I don’t hold out much hope for that possibility. Since we live in an age in which ideologues, dogmatists, and pedagogues are mistaken for teachers, opinion-mongers are mistaken for journalists, hysterics are mistaken for scientists, community agitators are mistaken for statesmen, celebrities are mistaken for authorities, fiction writers are mistaken for historians — and none of them can leave shit alone — the prospects for the adoption of my philosophy are pretty bleak, indeed. 

Nor does it seem likely we’ll have a pandemic of sanity any time soon. We seem pretty deeply committed to taking sides, to decrying divisiveness as a means of remaining divisive, for espousing diversity, tolerance, and inclusion even as we crusade ever-more militantly against those who disagree with us. Besides, consensus, solidarity, unifying principles, common causes, acceptance, open-mindedness, and the empirical recognition of reality are so yesterday. 

For now, I guess I’ll just have to be the sole adherent to LSA, shake my head, and leave shit alone … for as long as I can.

Image by geralt, courtesy of