Can someone identify a how philosophy has helped them on a topic of concern - politics, religion, science, culture, or anything else?
This is an interesting question. There are many opinions and view that I hold that are rooted in the study of philosophy. In other words, philosophy has shaped my views in certain areas. Let me give you an example.
One of the philosopher that I have often read is Plato. I love, in particular, Plato's theory of forms. Plato believe that there are these eternal forms that are the basis of all reality. For example, Plato tries to get at what makes something good. In other words, he wants to get to the essence of goodness.
This framework has helped me to look beyond the surface. I tend to look at all things and try to discern what make something great, honorable, good, or beautiful. It is my attempt to grasp at the "forms."
Now I should say that in our post-modern world, this approach is not in favor, but I personally find it helpful.