By Irfan Mahar*
The world is a very complex habitation and some parts of the world, particularly South Asian region, are more complex where most of the persons are caught in a very complex phenomenon, circumstances, environment, and situations which keep them in a dilemma. But there are very few people who try to understand the real philosophy of life, skillfully, artistically, rationally and in a best possible way, to face and handle such kind of complexities which are experienced by them throughout their lives in multiple forms.
The people, ignorant of learning, adapting and using the best possible way which bases must fulfil the requirements of rationality, are also influenced by multiple factors. Additionally, it is very difficult to judge the behaviour of the people therefore it is hard to differenciate that is it their fault and ignorance. There are multiple factors which influence and effect the thinking, understanding, decisions and actions of the people of South Asia region such as, the circumstance, environment, family circle, society’s traditions, customs, person’s ability of understanding and many other things. Most people think and lead their lives according to the nature of fields they choose and the structure around them but many of them even don’t bother to think over the real philosophy behind human life instead they are wrapped with the circumstances and experiences around them which do not allow them to think beyond the defined and established circles.
South Asian region is rich in keeping a massive amount of people who are satisfied and happy with the structure and system the way they are being run. Even at the level that they resist and oppose the people who raise questions over such kind of established things. They consider them the people who try to disturb the established rules of society through ideas and opposing traditional rules. In this war of perspectives, a majority in most of the cases dominates the minority resultantly the minority voice is suppressed for a time being but it is difficult to vanish or eliminate it. Therefore, it rises again by looking over the suitable, strategic, favourable and conducive environment and circumstances. Furthermore, every person in a population of seven billion all over the world is different from the other person when it comes to thinking, understanding, and subjectivity. Every person looks over the same things differently from others. There are various factors which contribute towards the thinking of every person such as the structure and environment of family, society, educational institutes, thinking of people with whom person interact and thinking power of a person that how he/she looks at the things happening around. Moreover, some people have the skills and abilities to think beyond the daily societal structure. They can ponder over the traditions, laws, customs, stereotypes and other such kinds of things they encounter in daily lives whether one likes them or not.
Similarly, some of those practices are established and practised for a long by many people of that particular society. South Asian society has been suffering from various problems because of the weak ability of people in rationalizing such kind of socially constructed and established customs according to the changing circumstances and environment. Moreover, mostly the process of rationalizing things by a person is influenced by such kind of socially constructed customs, rules, stereotypes and traditions resultantly it not only affects the decision-making process of a person but also left the severe effects over the society’s progress and development. Furthermore, such kind of behaviour also gives a boost to these stereotypes and traditions that need modifications and changes according to the changing national, regional and global conditions. One must have the art, patience, courage, skills and abilities to modify those established rules which prove harmful for society. The process of modifications and changes, through understanding and knowing the sensitivities, needs, requirements and demands of the people, is considered a rational process. Everything which gives benefits to the human being through making their lives more comfortable, better and easy should be done which is also in the betterment of the whole s0ciety.
The societies where humans are caught in such complex circumstances and face many difficulties concerning their daily lives’ conducts and happenings resultantly suffer from dilemma where they remain confused and doubtful between many options. In such conditions, an alternative force that works as the defence mechanism against the above-mentioned difficulties could be beneficial for people and that force can be in multiple forms such as understanding and defining a purpose in life which ultimately works as a defence mechanism against the evils present in society. In this regard, many writers have defined what life means to them such as Viktor E. Frankl. Victor wrote one of his most popular books named “Man’s Search for Meaning” and developed psychological therapy doctrine called “Logo (Meaning) Therapy”, in which he explained that the will to meaning derives the humanity. While other writers keep in disagreement with Victor because Freud believes in a will to pleasure and Adler believes in the will to power. So, there can be multiple meanings, purposes and understandings of the people about the philosophy of life.
Beyond all these things, every person should have a purpose in life and that purpose must be the betterment of mankind. Furthermore, the persons who keep responsibility according to their designation, such as the Prime Minister, President, Ministers, government officials and anyone whose actions left effects on other people, have many responsibilities on their shoulders. In this regard, every person who is the head of the state is responsible for its policies and actions because it affects the whole population of the country. As ahead of the state the betterment of its citizens must be the priority and as a human being betterment of mankind must be the priority instead of the betterment of a particular group, community or party etc. As once George Bernard Shaw said that “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
*The writer teaches at the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan