When life seems the hardest, old wisdom tells you that you have no one else to rely on but yourself. Even good people change. Politicians can easily change their minds, but this actually reveals more about the character of modern-day politics than human personality. Indeed, you have to ask the right philosophical questions, but need not compel yourself to think the way philosophers do.
Hope is indispensable, but it is wrong to force it upon others. The human mind is capable of discerning past the limits of self-interest, but the usual state of human affairs remains antagonistic. Unless everyone benefits from the mode of political arrangement they choose, it is not in the nature of human subjects to cooperate. Indeed, achievement is not just about the effort you devote to your work. Rather, you have to find the appropriate environment for you to be able to exercise your independence and creativity.
You have been taught since childhood that your destiny is yours to make. Yet you also know that it is impossible to exist alone. Love is not an affliction. It is true that life is difficult, but nothing can be more beautiful than loving. In time, you will realize that there was really no road and that there was no one. Freedom means that you just have to choose well and do what is right. Hell is not only meant for the wicked; it is also for those cowardly souls who are too afraid to denounce the corruption of mind and body.
It is when you are in your hardest moments that you will know who your friends are. When others smile at you, you see nothing but a facade of the world. When the world appears to be a bit harsh, then you will recognize the truth. Still, a good relationship is destroyed not only by having too little trust in the other, but also by loving oneself too much. Saving your own soul means that you must never let the compulsion of others ruin your ideals or dictate the meaning of your life.
Love cannot take root in fantastic tales. Authentic commitment can only be found in those hands that are dirtied by the conviction of doing what is necessary because no one else would. It is a moral principle that children don’t perceive the sacrifices of their parents. But all those who know how to love will still persevere in doing something even if the whole world finds no reason to do so.
We are a victim of our own truths, Sartre would love to say. For while we have fallen prey to our freedom, we are still chastised by fate. In your pursuit of happiness, you can’t just fall in love. You have to suffer, too! Feelings are seldom wrong, but most of the time we express to and share with the wrong person how greatly we want something.
What gives human life real value are the things that we take for granted. Sometimes we can’t find meaning in experiences that are obvious. This is because the more things we own, the farthest we are from the profound truth. It is not really that complicated. You can only be hurt by the people you value. The others are just a distraction. You can only truly love one person. The rest are just a terrible mistake.
James Joyce reminds us that life “is that thing and that there is no other.” Choose to be your genuine self, and not the image you try to project. Someday, even the wicked will also need to pray. Since the beginning of time, men have invented stories and desired to die in them but they often refuse to live. You do not have to find perfection in this world. You just need to know that happiness does not really make life less virtuous.
People who seek to realize themselves will still end up in the same grave with those who simply threw themselves into the pitch called destiny. We often find it more convenient to blame others for the mistakes that we ourselves have no courage to admit. But we can’t just lose hope on the things we desire: “You hang around the barbershop long enough … sooner or later you’re gonna get a haircut.”
Christopher Ryan Maboloc, PhD, teaches philosophy at Ateneo de Davao University.
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