I wrote before about my deep interest in philosophy and reader el asked me to elaborate on the reasons why I'm so interested in it. I have to confess that my engagement with philosophy is purely utilitarian. As hard as I tried, I haven't been able to become interested in whether things exist outside of our consciousness of them, what apperception means to Leibniz as opposed to what it means to Kant, how the ontological concept of substance developed from Plato to Hume, and how Dasein is different from Existenz.
Of course, you need to be familiar with the boring basic concepts of philosophy before you can proceed to the really fun stuff. It's the same with all branches of knowledge. You need to spend hours memorizing Spanish conjugations and cases when the Subjunctive is used before you can start talking to people, watching movies and reading books in the language. Philosophy has a language of its own, and it needs to be mastered if you want to begin to approach the works of the leading philosophers of our times. The reason why I have put myself through the aggravation of deciphering Kant's and Heidegger's mind-numbing texts is that philosophy provides the best short-cut to a deeper understanding of how things work, how societies operate, and what motivates people than any other field of knowledge.
The kind of philosophy I'm most interested in is the one that lies in the crossroads between philosophy itself and other fields of knowledge. Philosophy and political science (Ernesto Laclau), philosophy and psychoanalysis (Julia Kristeva), philosophy and film studies (Slavoj Zizek), philosophy and social studies (Zygmunt Bauman) offer insights into subjects that are central to human existence. Trying to create one's own worldview without using the ideas that thinkers have developed over the entire course of our civilization's existence is similar to finding your way to the Americas without relying on the maps and the technology that we have today. Of course, you could find a couple of rusty caravels and just sail in an undefined direction hoping to arrive at the New World eventually. Or you can buy an airplane ticket and let the advances of humanity take you there much faster and easier. An airplane ticket is costly and so is the understanding of philosophical concepts. But both are worth the price.