Philosophy Monday (14)

Here, we take on two more “philosophy questions about human nature and human condition.

54. Why do we judge ourselves by our intentions but judge others by their actions?

Yes, it seems unfair to judge other people based on their actions, without regard to their motives. Though, we can’t always know the intentions of people. So, we are often left with their actions to go on. However, there is no excuse for hypocrisy, and we ought to show more restraint when judging others.

When the motives of people are difficult to make out, it is only proper that we employ caution in judgement. Nevertheless, when a person is known to do the same thing over and over again, then we may be right to judge them by that. Likewise, while judging ourselves, we need to be careful not to make a habit of excusing all our misdeeds. Even when we have good intentions, we can’t always use them to defend our bad actions.

Basing our self-justification solely on our intentions will leave us little room for correction. Also, it can lead to self-righteousness, so much that we never see any fault in our own actions. And, as poet John Mark Green puts it, “the self-righteous scream judgments against others to hide the noise of skeletons dancing in their own closets”.

55. What activities cause you to feel like you are living life to the fullest?

When you find your purpose in life, there’s a great chance you’re living life to the fullest by fulfilling it. Although, there are many uplifting activities you can do to add more joy to your life. Such activities may differ from person to person. For example, some people find fulfilment and motivation in regular exercising. Some prefer traveling, while others indulge in meditation. Whatever it is, it would only compliment your purpose.

Your purpose has to reflect on the world around you. Life is a full cycle when you find your gift and use it to help others. When you commit yourself to this purpose, you’ll be satisfied—not only in your daily affairs, but also at the end of your journey. To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The purpose of life is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well”. Ultimately, a life lived to the fullest would have positively impacted the lives of others, as much as it can.

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