Living is the most complicated art of life and is based on the scientific application of the good principles of living to one’s life.
Life has different interpretations for different people for some, it could be an unfulfilled dream, and for some, pleasures while others may live to perform their duties. Some people live for enjoyment, they like to enjoy life and make merry without caring for tomorrow. For some life is a bed of roses while for others it is a bed of thorns, for some life is an adventure and they want to explore more in life. Nothing can deter them from their endeavors. But, it is a fact that in one’s lifetime, a person has to endure moments of agony, pain and perpetual uncertainty along with brief moments of happiness.
The life of the modern man has become highly complex. Ancient man lived life as it came each day. He had to fend for himself and for his community, and hence, hunting expeditions and agriculture were carried out by the whole community. There was an element of unity in primitive man and this helped him sustain through all the vagaries of life. With scientific and technological advancements, life became complicated, Natural flavor of life gave way to artificiality. The man became selfish and began shuttling from one place to another to fulfill his desires and that of his family. And towards this endeavor, he forgets to live his life in an orderly way.
Nowadays, life has become so complicated that even children do not have the opportunity to enjoy pure laughter. Right from infancy, the children are subjected to the ordeal of getting into the grind of the education system. They are unable to enjoy their childhood because of the pressure of studies. Parental and peer pressure takes its toll on the child. Accordingly to a study, because of lack of time in the morning to groom themselves and take proper care of personal health and hygiene. They suffer from various health issues, dental cavities, abdominal pain, severe headache, have a poor vision due to prolonged television viewing and experience bouts of depression. Breakfast and fruits are usually skipped, which adversely affect the performance of the child in school. Water and environment pollution, in addition, contribute to the woes of the child.
Once out of school and later, college, he embarks on an odyssey to secure a job. He degrees and certificates are not enough to fetch him a job. The educational system, being obsolete, has not equipped him with the nuances of any trade, and hence, he finds it difficult to apply his theoretical knowledge on the practical front. Nepotism and bribery enable less competent people to secure jobs. As a result, the competent person becomes frustrated, dejected and dissatisfied with life.
The art of living has become the science of living in modern life. Modern amenities of life have provided comfort and luxury to men. But, the competition among human being to avail these comforts, has snatched all taste and pleasures from natural life. None have time to ‘stand and stare’ at the birds and the flowers or to gaze at the stars or the moon at leisure. One prefers sitting comfortably in one’s living room and watch a place of historical interest on television rather than braving the odds and visiting the place in person.
An optimist puts up a brave front in the battle of life than a pessimist. The real art of living lies in looking at the bright side of things. Brave is the man, who is able to sail smoothly through the vicissitudes of life and take the shortcomings in his stride. In fact, that is the attitude of life, which can bring maximum happiness to man. One should always remember the basic tenet of the Gita. All great men have practiced this doctrine and achieved great success. If one does one’s duty regardless of rewards, even small successes can bring happiness, joy, and satisfaction. The best wisdom lies in living life thoroughly and intensely in the present, deriving lessons from the past and keeping high ideals for the future.
Many great leaders of our country, like Mahatma Gandhi, S. Radhakrishan, Rajendra Prasad to name a few, have followed the principle of ‘simple living and high thinking’. According to this principle, the art of living does not lie in acquiring wealth and struggling for the achievement of personal happiness in life, but in pondering over the different aspects of life and deciphering their true meaning. Mother Teresa, in modern times, believed in selfless service toward the underprivileged and downtrodden. She led a simple and frugal life, but she had noble ideas, which helped her to provide succour to the sick and the needy. Only by being noble and selfless, she was able to achieve her mission of compassion and charity.
Most men of the present age have become dependent on modern scientific amenities. There are many, who were able to achieve success not only for themselves but also for the community and the nation they live in as Jamshedji Tata worked for the upliftment of the community around his steel mill. In the present world, the mode of living has changed a great deal. The art of living thereby implies moving with time.
The art of living implies a healthy development of the body, mind, and intellect. Modern life provides all the facilities for maintaining a trimmed physique, well-groomed personality, and sharpened intellect. Besides education, modes of entertainment and information, like cinema, television, radio, the Internet among others, help people to keep themselves abreast with the times. To look presentable, one should groom oneself and acquire the etiquette of holding oneself decently in society.
Thus, we can say that the art of living, in modern times, has undergone a sea change. It has become materialistic, there is less appreciation for selfless service done in a silent way than for a less selfless work done with a lot of publicity and fanfare. It is the recognition that matters, not the real intent and content of achievement. Modern society demands a highly complicated way of living for the achievement of any sort by any means. Even religious and spiritual achievements require publicity for being recognized. The art of living, therefore demands that human being live up to the expectations of their community and do their best in every way. They should create an atmosphere of happiness, smiles, and laughter and encourage themselves and others to do better things.