I wonder how many of us ask ourselves higher order questions like “ why are we born in this world?”, “what is the purpose of human existence?”. For the majority ( including me of course), self actualization is self-gratification- personal happiness from family, career and accumulation of wealth. We may donate for charity as an easy way to smother our conscience and prevent it from asking inconvenient questions like “ why are you so selfish?”, “what have you done for souls and creatures that are suffering in may ways?”
At the same time, life is tolerable only because good people also exist like islands amidst a vast sea of brutality and selfishness. I salute those unsung heroes and kind souls who are doing selfless service in remote corners of the earth, whether it is to help the poor, looking after the welfare of animals, or protecting the environment. These kind souls radiate Universal Energy and mitigate the suffering of others and spread happiness around.
I salute great men and women who have contributed to the welfare of mankind like scientists who found vaccines to eradicate diseases. Jonas Salk discovered the vaccine for polio which used to cripple the lives of millions of children in the developing world. I quote this great man —
There is hope in dreams, imagination, and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality.
The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.
I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams.
I am not a misanthrope. But seeing so much of violence unleashed by man ( I mean humans) against man, man against animals and man against Nature, I have little faith in human progress. The notion of never ending progress is a myth.
Human life is, according the bard, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.
Nothing describes human existence better than the following lines from Shakespeare's play As You Like It
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything