Model Question and Answers for APSC | All human beings aspire for happiness. Do you agree? What does happiness mean to you? Explain with examples.
All human beings aspire for happiness. Do you agree? What does happiness mean to you? Explain with examples.
Ans: Happiness is a complex and multifaceted concept that has been pondered by philosophers and scholars throughout history. While it may be challenging to provide a universally agreed-upon definition of happiness, I can explore various perspectives and draw upon the wisdom of philosophers and Indian philosophy to shed light on its meaning.
Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, viewed happiness as the ultimate goal of human life. He defined happiness as eudaimonia, which can be translated as "flourishing" or "living well." According to Aristotle, happiness is not merely a fleeting feeling of pleasure but a state of being that encompasses the fulfillment of one's potential and the realization of one's purpose. It involves leading a virtuous and meaningful life, cultivating personal excellence, and engaging in activities that bring about deep satisfaction and fulfillment.
Indian philosophy, rooted in ancient texts like the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, offers profound insights into happiness. The concept of Sukha, meaning happiness or well-being, is explored in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The Upanishads speak of Ananda, the bliss that arises from a transcendent and spiritual experience, going beyond temporary pleasures. Indian philosophy emphasizes that lasting happiness lies in the pursuit of self-realization, detachment from material possessions, and finding inner peace.
The Dalai Lama, a revered spiritual leader, defines happiness as follows: "Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions." This statement aligns with the idea that happiness is not solely dependent on external circumstances but can be cultivated through our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. It suggests that true happiness is an inside job, rooted in our mindset and the choices we make in our daily lives.
Moreover, the concept of happiness is often contrasted with that of pleasure. Philosopher John Stuart Mill distinguished between higher and lower pleasures, suggesting that higher pleasures, such as intellectual pursuits and moral actions, bring deeper and more lasting happiness compared to mere sensual pleasures.
Ultimately, happiness is a subjective experience, varying from person to person. It encompasses a sense of contentment, well-being, and fulfillment that goes beyond momentary joy. It involves finding meaning and purpose in life, nurturing relationships, and cultivating virtues. Happiness may arise from engaging in meaningful work, pursuing personal passions, contributing to the well-being of others, and connecting with something greater than oneself.
In conclusion, happiness is a complex and multifaceted concept that encompasses flourishing, self-realization, inner peace, and a sense of fulfillment. It is not merely dependent on external circumstances or momentary pleasures but can be cultivated through virtuous actions, meaningful pursuits, and a positive mindset. As philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer aptly stated, "Happiness consists in frequent repetition of pleasure." True happiness lies not in fleeting moments of pleasure but in the ongoing pursuit of a life well-lived.