In The Fountainhead, the protagonist Howard Roark says, “the last thing I expect for my work is appreciation”. Why can’t we be like that? This “we” surely includes yours truly. Though many of us bark as though we are Roarks, most of us are not. I have not seen a single Roark in my life. After all, The Fountainhead is a work of fiction.
Why do we expect others to evaluate us? Why do we want our works to be recognized by others? Why do we want others to hold us in high esteem? Why we, sometimes, become charlatans? Why do we do things just to impress others, while we ourselves do not like to do them? Why are we not ready to accept others’ superiority over us in some fields? Why we try to ape the ones we consider superior to us? Why many of us do not know what we want out of life?
Questions abound. Answers to each of these questions are available. Some of them told by the Krishnas, some by the Buddhas, some by the Ayn Rands, some in religious scriptures and some even in movies. But the whole issue is why are we not having a lucid understanding of these questions though we have a lot of answers.
Of course, man is a social animal. So he should give due diligence to gregarious commitments. But is it advisable to let those affect or determine his individual character? Yes, societal onus on an individual makes him not to indulge in unlawful/unethical/unhealthy practices “when others are around”. But if such falsity prevails within our self, what benefit we derive from the society’s applause.
Of the above questions, I consider the last one to be the most basic and most important which is being ignored high time by us. Not many of us can visualize our lives ten years down the line – of how we want our lives to be, what(or who) would make us happy. If we know what we want out of life, we can act towards that target – take tiny little steps in that journey, every dawn we move closer to that target...I understand, I am sounding Utopian.
I recently came across an article in wikipedia which discussed about the Seven Cardinal Sins. Though a bit far-fetched, I relate the questions raised above to these seven sins. The seven sins are Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Jealousy, Anger and Pride. Please do not ask me, how we could relate each one of these sins to the questions raised. After all, I do not commit any of these seven sins (Sin number 7: Pride)