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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014
Change or perish
PP Wangchuk, Hindustan Times
February 19, 2013
First Published: 00:08 IST(19/2/2013)
Last Updated: 00:10 IST(19/2/2013)

One is no better than an animal if one does not try to be on the path of self-improvement. As human beings with high intelligence, we need to do constant thinking on ways and means to be better every day.

Having gone through again an old book,  Hints for Self-Culture, by Lala Har Dayal, that I had read as a student decades ago, it reminds one of one’s youthful days when one thought a beautiful world awaited to be explored and all that was needed was hard work and the zeal to realise it.

The crux of the author’s message is, “Everybody must be either a philosopher or a fool”. That means without a thinking mind, one gets reduced to be a dead wood, and progress in all spheres comes to an end. Philosophy trains one in the art of self-improvement; and one who makes a conscious effort in being philosophical is fully in tune with  nature and thus constantly on the “move”.

Philosophy essentially means “Love of wisdom”. One who acquires philosophical wisdom gets to enjoy life in its noblest form and the pursuit of the “absolute,” the “immutable, the “everlasting” does not remain a wild-goose chase but quite “at hand”.

Milton wrote, one who refuses to think is quite like his fallen angels “who have found no end in wondering mazes lost.” Life has no meaning in such cases as the very purpose of life’s endevour to probe the mysteries of the unseen spiritual realm has come to an end.

Thinking helps one share the limitations of one’s mind. It is thinking that opens up new ways and directions in the pursuit of the “absolute truth”. There could be no end to one’s search for a better life, a better world. And hence the need to change and evolve is a constant need.

As Albert Einstein said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It can’t be changed without changing our thought.” Therefore, let our life mantra be ‘Change or perish’.


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