The optimistic philosophy of belief

Decrease text sizeIncrease text size
Article Date: 
Jan 03 2013, 1209

All of us know that there is a higher purpose of ‘doing’ in the midst of change. We owe it to ourselves — that something of equal or greater worth will always follow change, or transformation. This is also reason why philosophers suggest that we should experience as many constructive thoughts as possible, without getting ‘trapped’ in the shadows. All this is, of course, fundamental wisdom. It helps us to chart our voyage on planet earth with a purpose and value life to the full — not just in half-measure. It sounds simple, yes; yet, it is our greatest examination.
There are a plethora of reasons why we sometimes don’t do just as well as we ought to, or do too well when we don’t expect to. We are, likewise, as noted thinker Charles Handy observes, perplexed and starved for something other than the excitement offered by the quest for wealth and power ‘institutionalised’ by our society. It is this ‘hunger’ that helps us to re-examine the role of work in our lives; it also enables us to discover what we were truly meant to do, or be. This is the ‘big call’ that asks us to find purpose in the journey we take, rather than focusing on the monetary ‘buzz’ alone.
The responsibility, or obligation, to succeed is on us — not somebody else, a ‘godfather,’ or patron, no less. There are as many modes for us to ‘better’ ourselves and improve our work, while contributing our bit to the community — not just one’s family — in our own humble manner. This is not as easy, of course, as it pertains to be, because to achieve the right sense of poise in a world that has exasperatingly gone askew, you have to place less importance on job titles or career success and ‘augmented’ importance for the good of all. Remember, the more you allow yourself to be reduced to a robot, toiling away without a definitive focus, the more relegated you will be in the whole spectrum of things — big or small.
You can achieve what you wish for yourself and also others. To achieve this objective, you need to draw your inspiration through extended responsibility — call it the higher self, or what you may. It represents our true providence. It epitomises what you can become, when you don’t allow your social pressures to maroon your intent. Put simply, this is nothing but the inherent ability, or power, that we are all endowed with — to make the most of ‘oneself.’ In other words, it means that we can all ‘best’ satisfy ourselves when we look beyond ourselves. This holds the silver-lining to nurture our society, so that it becomes a place where we can all — so long as one is not a politician — fulfil our individual purpose and become a positive force for the good of all.
This is, of course, a challenging proposition, albeit not impossible. It relates to what is espoused as optimistic philosophy, founded on the belief that there is, within all of us, a deep, inner or resident voice that calls, or urges, us to work for a better world. To arouse it is certainly not as easy as it appears to be, because it is loaded with complexity. Well, the point also is — what is life without hope, more so when we don’t give ourselves a chance to surmount challenges? The best thing we’d all do is to trust ourselves and accept the fact that we all posses the potential for positive action. So, what are you waiting for? Just get going and, most importantly, do your bit.

(The writer is a physician and a doctorate in philosophical literature)