Two historical & great personalities came to my mind – Jean Jacques Rousseau & Mahatma Gandhi. (Why? Because I am studying history & ethics for my exam)
From Rousseau’s memoirs –‘The Confessions’, I found him as an ardent follower of his personal maxims. Principals he formed through his reflection on the life & his learning. He stuck to his maxims so stubbornly that even in his bad times he will not accept help from people he unapproved of. He never accepted ill treatment of himself or any slandering from others. However, he was tolerant to the opposite views in case of ideas & thoughts. For him, the tolerance was limited only to the planes of thoughts, he was faithful to his maxims in there also. I find that he would not compromise on his faiths & beliefs and keep on tolerating. Further, there were rare cases where he would appreciate of other’s behavior.
J.J. Rousseau,” It must be allowed, that reckoning all these advantages, no hesitation was necessary in the choice; in fact, I was so content with mine, that I never once repented it; nor do I even now, when , free from the irrational motives that influenced me at that time, I weigh in the scale of reason every action of my life.”
Now about the man, which seems to be a manifestation from the myth for many.
( As I have still not read his autobiography, I will write on my general perception of him. And pardon me if my conception of Rousseau is immature. If it is,do help me on that.)
When I look at the words of this prompt – Faith, Tolerance & Mutual Appreciation. Gandhi’s philosophy amuses me. He was faithful to the tenet of tolerance. Though, I find there was not always mutual appreciation present. He never approved of the faith in violence by the revolutionaries. Nor he ever approved of the British practices. So, Tolerance was one of the keystone of his belief but mutual appreciation existed only for few cases.
Gandhi, ” A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble”
After looking at these two great men, when I observe myself, what do I find?
Chaos is the first site. On further meddling with the ideas I find – I am still not decided on my maxims. I am unfaithful to everyone & also to none. I am in a process of growth. The principals & beliefs have still not settled in. Adding to this is the constant challenges ,put everyday ,to every idea in this world. If I decide to be a communist – somebody will come & discuss capitalism with me & I will move to become a socialist. I will be set on rebelling & then read something on pacifism and will find myself picking Buddhist philosophy.
I don’t infer that I am a mercurial, fickle minded person, who is gullible & can be easily influenced. No. Some may consider me as an opportunist or utilitarian. But they are in themselves settled ideology & can’t be changed. Or perhaps they are my belief system.The point is that I am of the belief that – Everything created by a man in this world is questionable. Even the maxims. And one has to trust his own self to find the maxims for his salvation, as suited for his/her stage of life. One’s salvation lies within him/herself. And even this maxim is questionable.
With this world in constant flux, one has to be ‘tolerant’ and ‘appreciative’ to the ‘different’.
One may argue that then a person who want to satisfy his sexual desire can bypass his morals & rape a women/girl. He can change his faith from being a human to being a rapist. A mad person can place the social order in chaos & can destroy valuable assets & human life.
Well, all this is possible if one looks at my belief. But let me quote Gandhi on this,
” You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty”
Because if I wouldn’t have adhered to such a belief – You may have found me as an orthodox religious fanatic, a sexist,a dumb peg of the system. I moved to new maxims which I appreciated & approved of, while keeping my tolerance for different views. And I am still moving ahead – on my personal path to growth. And this path may be correct or may be incorrect, all I know at present is that, it is still incomplete.
P.S – this prompt was a heavy one. It made me come out in open about stuff I take seriously but ignore socially, about which I still can’t take a firm stand. These dungeon prompts actually rake your inside.