Thursday, 28 November 2019

Natural to help

Are we human beings, by nature, selfish or altruistic?  Naturally do we tend towards being individualistic or communitarian?  Philosophy and sociology offer enough reasons, theories and arguments for both sides. 

In my opinion, one of the basic deciding factors in answering that question lies in answering the preliminary question: What is the purpose of human life?  If we begin by answering that question, that sets the tenor and direction of the answer to the initial question.  No doubt, we have both these tendencies: towards good and evil.  But we, by our very nature, are essentially good and therefore tend towards wellbeing of all, rather than be consistent on a purely egoistic track.  And my answer to the main question, about the purpose of human life, is 'to be happy'.  And for me happiness is more than mere joy or cheerfulness - they are only offshoots of the former.  It is a basically a deep sense of contentment and serenity.  A sort of balance and equanimity that one feels, even if one is plagued by a hundred challenges and failures.  And this cannot be achieved in isolation.  In line with this, I agree with Pope Francis' words:
Rivers do not drink their own water; the trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine to itself and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves.  Living for others is a rule of nature.  We are all born to help each other.  No matter how difficult it is... Life is good when you are happy; but much better when others are happy because of you.

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