How Is A Good Life Achieved?
Life is the most precious gift we have. Every individual gets only one chance to prove his worth yet many do not appreciate the true value of their limited time on earth. People should realize that while their lives may be temporary, they have the potential to create legacies that may last several generations and even centuries. As a result, people should value their lives as one should value his most precious possession, their mind. The best way to do that is to become his best version and be a force of good in the lives of other people.
Education is arguably the most important investment one makes in themselves. Education takes both formal and informal forms, and it can take place anywhere. In fact, anything and anyone can be a source of learning whether it is books, personal life experiences, experiences of other people, and past and present historical events. Education opens up one’s mind and expands his worldview. It helps him become more aware of biases and stereotypes that may be clouding his judgment. Education does not only make people better citizens but also more humble because education reminds them how little they know and how much more they have to learn. Education should be a lifelong commitment because change is a constant factor in history. The world is always changing and the boundaries of collective mankind knowledge are always expanding. As a result, there is always more to learn until the last breath of one’s mortal existence.
People are born with talents and capabilities even if those capabilities and talents are different from each other. Since life is given only one, people have a responsibility to realize their true potential so that they do not only live a fulfilling life but their existence also benefits the rest of the society. One’s potential is not always readily obvious so there is a period of self-discovery during which one gets to know himself better. As one develops a better understanding of self, he develops a better knowledge of his strengths as well as weaknesses. However, discovering one’s unique potential is only the first step because a potential requires constant investment for it to shine, and the best way to realize your true potential is through hard work and practice whether it requires physical labor, intellectual labor, or both. There is never a shortcut to success, and even the most capable and talented among us are not exempted from this rule. So one should not only discover his talent but also work hard at realizing his true potential.
People do not only have obligations to themselves but also to the world. If they are born in a world with high quality of living, it is simply because millions or probably billions of people have dedicated their lives to improving the world over the centuries. It is only fair to expect people to pay their due share by improving the world in any way their personal resources enable them to do so. There are almost infinite ways one can improve the world. Some may choose professions that allow us to improve the world, others may volunteer their time or economic resources to different social, political, economic, and cultural causes, and some may use their influence to bring attention to important issues. It does not matter whether one is rich or poor, famous or less-known, and powerful or weak; one can always find ways to make a positive difference in the society as long as one has the determination to do so. Sometimes even the simplest acts of kindness go a long way towards improving the world.
Life is not fair because people are born under various kinds of circumstances. Some are born under more fortunate circumstances while others are born under tough circumstances and do not have access to even basic necessities of life. As a result, those, who are more fortunate, have an obligation to minimize the effects of inequalities that emerge as a result of lucky few winning birth lotteries and given all the advantages in life through no accomplishment of their own. The best way to do so may be to create a fair and merit-based society where one’s actions have a greater impact on his future than his birth circumstances. The fortunate ones may never be able to eliminate the inequalities that result from different birth circumstances but it is, at least, possible to minimize those effects in the best interests of the society. Some ways to do so are to ensure equal access to high quality education, healthcare, and basic necessities for everyone irrespective of his social and economic background, and minimizing the impact of influence and money on events that can have significant influence on an individual’s future such as college admissions and career opportunities. A merit-based and fair society is not only more ethical but also more prosperous as the society does a better job of utilizing the talent and capabilities of its citizens, irrespective of their birth circumstances. Hence, those who are given more have an obligation by the virtue of their good fortune to do more to promote merit and fairness in the society, even if this may hurt their individual interests to some extent.
Everyone has an opportunity to speak for those who have no or weaker voice. It is not possible to overstate the fact that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. There is a tendency to speak up on issues only when it affects one or someone he knows. But this is not how things should be. One has an obligation to speak even if the issue does not affect one personally because injustice always spreads if it is not contained at its earliest stages. A particular injustice may not affect one but future is always unpredictable and there is no guarantee that one would not be subjected to the same injustice down the road. A good life is not lived for own sake only but also for others, and one has an option to give voice to those who don’t have it.
Laws are useful because they help create order and certainty. Laws also create just societies if the justice system treats everyone equally, irrespective of his social and economic status. However, it is also important to realize that just as it is important to follow laws, it is also important to stand against unfair laws. Laws are meant to improve the society and when they fail to do so, the right thing is not to obey but challenge them respectively.
While it is important to live a productive life, it is even more important to guide and mentor the young people so that they can surpass all previous generations. Even after one’s existence on earth comes to an end, mankind continues to move forward. The best way to make sure that the world for future generations is even better than it was for past generations is to pass the knowledge and wisdom to young people so that they further advance knowledge and social progress of previous generations.
One is given only one life so one should not only become his best version but also makes a positive difference in the society. This can be done in several ways such as lifelong commitment to education, discovering and polishing one’s potential, improving the world in anyway one can, promoting merit and fairness in the society, speaking for the weak, obeying laws while also speaking against unjust laws, and guiding the younger generations. One’s mortal life may come to an end but his legacy can last a long time, depending upon how one lived his life.
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