Philosophy starts when one is gripped by a question about what is, or what can be, or what ought to be. This can be a question about our ability to know things, about the very fact that our world exists, about the existence of God, about what is right or wrong, what is beautiful or ugly.
Because philosophy starts with questions it carries with it a sense of amazement at the world, at language, at our own selves and at others. This is what I regard as extremely precious about philosophy: it demands but also cultivates an ability to wonder at things, even at those that seem too simple and obvious.
But this is only half the story.
Philosophy is not merely about being amazed and asking questions but more importantly about a commitment to thinking those questions through. To be committed to thinking means not only to try and serve reason (λόγος), but also to be receptive and responsive to the world.
In this sense, I believe that far from promoting an abstract, theoretical and disengaged understanding, philosophy is an activity that in fact presupposes a deep and active involvement with things and can thus allow us to lead a fuller life.
Who the deepest has thought, loves what is most alive.