States have constitutions, political parties their manifestos and religions have sacred texts to guide their policies and action from time to time. Such instruments come in very handy when the institutions pass through difficult times. The elders and leaders have something to fall back when they come across unprecedented situations. By correct interpretation of the wording and spirit of these 'sacred' documents they can always guide the laymen. The chances of these important institutions getting hijacked by the street smart are also greatly reduced by having an authoritative document or policy to look upto. The convenience of having such a policy document about life itself cannot be over-emphasized. Developing dictums of life is thus a natural process in every one's life.
It is in a way inevitable that all of us end up formulating our own policies in life as we go along. Though apparently difficult, it is possible for each one of us to put down in simple words such dictums of life. In simple terms, the philosophic principles that keep us going are the dictums of our lives. I wish to share with you my own dictums as follows:
Different religious thoughts present different theories about life but the undisputed reality is that all of us (who read this) are alive as of now. Also it is a simple fact that almost all of us are unaware of the reasons and motives for being born as we are and living as we do. Every passing day in our life is nothing but a continuity of events, incidents and thoughts. Some of them are good, some of no consequence and some bad. It is true that the goodness and badness are highly subjective matters but when we analyze in depth it is pretty much black and white in most cases. For example, there are special people who enjoy physical pain and for them pain is something good. But such people or their state of mind can only considered as an aberration or exception by the society at large. The bottom line is that pain is bad and inflicting pain (mental or physical) on others is all the more bad. Living a good life and allowing others to do so is the good option available to each one of us. And that exactly is my own first dictum.
It is not uncommon that we lose the battle while fighting for what we believe to be right. Fighting need not be physical always, but it is part and parcel of our lives. If it is not for something that we consider as right, at least it is for earning our bread and butter. Shades of 'Kurushetra' are unavoidable in every moment and every deed of our lives. In such a scenario, it is very much necessary to have an underlying principle to rejoice (when we succeed) and take solace (when we fail). 'Satyameva Jayate' or 'Truth alone shall triumph' is the best option in front of us. Even when we repeatedly fail, it gives us the fire to burn on. Living a life, even if an ordinary one, is much more difficult than climbing Everest. Dictums like this one provide the oxygen to keep us going. Most of the great men in our times have stressed the importance and influence of this dictum in their lives. Strict adherence to this principle can transform even the ordinary into Mahatmas.
The next two dictums have helped me a lot in everyday life. I am sure it will be equally applicable for all in their personal, professional and public lives. For any incident or event affecting us, the dictum that it could have been worse is equally applicable. If it is a good incident, we can feel happy that it was not a bad one. On the other hand, for any bad incident it is all the more applicable. The very feeling that it could have been worse will give us some solace and even strengthen us to face the difficulty in hand. It generates a feeling that there is somebody defending us and working for us in these adverse times. The intensity of this feeling depends upon the faith we have. That is why we find different individuals reacting differently to similar adverse conditions in their lives. It is rightly said that necessity of faith (in God) is noticed more in poor than in rich. The reason being repeated mishaps and miseries in their lives. But for anyone, rich or poor, faith is something that can work wonders. It is something like a rope thrown from nowhere when we are sinking in the quicksand of events overtaking us.
Whatever happens in this world, time will pass on. Nobody can stop the rotation of earth and that is a great fact. Any good or bad state in our lives shall definitely pass with time. There is nothing permanent about anything positive or negative in our lives. We cannot always be happy; neither can we be unhappy at all times. At each and every moment in our life, we can apply the dictum that 'this too shall pass'. It makes us all the more comfortable when we are passing through difficult times. Amidst the dark clouds of sorrow that surround us we can always look forward to something better in the near future. We can lie low during bad times and look forward to doing better during good times in the offing. But always remember to keep our morale intact and conscience clear during those testing times. The real strength of anyone's character is tested more during his adverse times and not during the successful days.
Whatever be your dictums of life, it is absolutely necessary for them to pass the test of compatibility with that of the society we live in. Any dictum in conflict with well being of the society will only put him or her against the collective will of the society and it will ultimately fail. It is not only necessary to have dictums of life but also to keep them current and positive at all times. Formulating and following good dictums in life will definitely make life more meaningful.