IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 1st Jan

“Good things come to people who wait, but better things come to those who go out and get them.” —Anonymous

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020-21.

EDITORIAL HUNT #293 :“The Meaning and Purpose of Life | UPSC

The Meaning and Purpose of Life | UPSC

M. Venkaiah Naidu
The Meaning and Purpose of Life | UPSC

M. Venkaiah Naidu is the Vice-President of India

      HEADLINES:

Unmasked, reflections on the pandemic and life

      CENTRAL THEME:

People need to draw the right lessons from the experiences of the last several months, as individuals and a collective

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 4 : Philosophy

      MAINS QUESTION:

Is survival and doing some work for it the sole purpose of life? The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to live restricted lives for most part of the last year. Discuss -(GS 4 )

      LEARNING: 

  • On the purpose of Life
  • A journey as a challenge
  • Individual contribution is the key
  • Way forward

      INTRODUCTION: 

  • MEANING OF LIFE : Masked living for the last 10 months to stave off the novel coronavirus has raised questions: of the purpose and the meaning of life.
  • MOMENTS IN LIFE : Some of the most memorable moments of life flow from connection.But we covered our mouth and nose and kept a distance from others for most part of last year.

Reflection is more conscious during such confinement.Most of us underwent isolation and reflection.

      BODY: 

ON THE PURPOSE OF LIFE

  • NEW NORMALS : In our quest for life, besides wearing masks and maintaining a safe distance, working from home became an integral part of the universal COVID-19 culture that emerged last year.
  • UNDERSTANDING A SELF : Nothing gives a person a sense of purpose than a distinct understanding of what she does.
  • CONSTANTLY EVOLVING WITH WORK : If work is a means of survival, Are we so enlightened to pursue work without being conscious and concerned about the results and find meaning in it.

Life is a battle against uncertainties and challenges

  • MORE DISCRIMINATIONS : As the most evolved of living organisms and living in the most complex order of economic, scientific and technological interconnectedness, humanity has witnessed a heightened share of such battles during 2020.
  • BALANCE IN LIFE : The pandemic has unleashed an internal churning about the purpose and meaning of life as we all pressed a pause button.
  • PAST AND PRESENT : It dawned on us that life cannot be on the highway all the time.Philosophical reflection was forced on us.

Plato said philosophy is a process of constant questioning that takes the form of dialogue

  • SELF TALKS : While coping with modern life, we have stopped talking to ourselves. The pandemic forced us to think about the way we are living and ought to live.
  • REORIENTATION OF MINDSET : This is all about reorienting our mindsets as the pandemic taught us a few lessons of life.

A JOURNEY AS CHALLENGE

  • OBJECTIVE OF LIFE : There is no objective meaning of life written in the stars, in a holy book or in sequences of DNA.Birth and death are not subject to our volition.
  • WE ARE ALL CAPTAINS OF OUR SHIP : The principal challenge is to navigate the journey in between these two points, defining its purpose and finding a meaning.

The pandemic has shattered the arrogance of humans of being supreme and the master of all living and non-living forms around

  • LESSON LEARNT : The principal lesson learned is that we are only part of a larger design and have got to live that way, and not at the expense of others.
  • EMOTIONAL WELLBEING : The forgotten ideas of oneness, interconnectedness and the intelligent laws that govern the universe have come to the fore once again.
  • A MATTER OF COEXISTENCE : The wild is forced to have an eye on human habitation.Humans are only a part of the incredible scheme of coexistence that we call nature.
  • UNDERSTANDING NATURE : The issue is not about saving nature. It is more about aligning with it and understanding how we are one.

In the troubled order of uncertainties of various kinds, the major challenge for individuals is to correct confusion and puzzlements about oneself and the world 

  • A VISION IN LIFE : The philosophy of life is an overall vision and attitude towards life and the purpose of it. It helps one in building principles in fighting the adversities of life and living in happiness.
  • HAPPINESS DETOXES CHAOS IN LIFE : Happiness means different things to different people and it is an individual’s call. It strengthens one’s ability to remain steady in the chaos and rush of life.
  • A SPECIFIC PURPOSE : A specific purpose of life determines the choices one makes and influences behaviour toward the surroundings.

ONE’S CONTRIBUTION IS KEY

  • LIMITED TIME AND PRODUCTIVITY : We have an individual form for a limited time like a wave. We live only once and have to live in the best possible manner.
  • HAPPINESS , BLISS AND PEACE : Human nature to be happy leads us to search for peace both within and without.

Evolution from selfishness to self-realisation promotes common good 

  • SIMPLICITY IS THE KEY : Living in moderation is the best lesson of the experience of the pandemic.
  • CREATING EQUILIBRIUM : Living with equanimity and harmoniously with all beings, our surroundings and society is ideal living.
  • INDIVIDUAL CALL : We need to talk to ourselves and define the purpose and meaning of life based on the lessons of the last several months and individual predilections.
  • SERVICE TO MANKIND : The meaning of life lies in contributing to the flourishing of humanity and the nature around for common welfare.
  • ETHOS OF LIFE : Sharing and caring is the essence of our age old ethos.This confers a certain meaning to life.
  • ENDING UNCERTAINTIES : This warrants us to evolve to find equilibrium to face the unending uncertainties.

THE BHAGAVAD GITA SAYS OF LIFE

“Whatever happened, happened for the good;Whatever is happening, is happening for the good; and whatever will happen, will also happen for the good.”

      IASbhai Windup: 

THE SPIN-OFFS

  • The handling of the pandemic during the dark year, 2020, annus horribilis, has some positives.
  • With a vaccine, the scientific community has succeeded in finding some candidates for COVID-19 in less than a year, much to the relief of all.
  • The vaccine has begun to be administered already in some parts of the world. Vaccinating people all across the globe is the next big challenge.
  • India has risen admirably as a nation to fight the pandemic.

The need of the hour is to draw the right lessons from the experiences of the last several months as both individuals and a collective so as to usher in annus mirabilis

  • Constant vigil is needed till the fight is finally won decisively.
  • Learning to live with a purpose and meaning is the biggest takeaway of the year that has gone by.

The purpose of life is to be happy. – Dalai Lama.

SUGGESTED READING : HOW TO FIGHT DEPRESSION ? 
       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | The Meaning and Purpose of Life | UPSC

 

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