Assignment: Grand Strategy and Personal Business/Civic Engagement/Vocational Plan

A Plan for Living

Living an economically sustainable, civilly engaged and a meaningful life is not an abrupt decision, it is a lifelong commitment. It is a choice not some kind of compulsion. It requires us to accept a simple life where we can keep those thing that we really need and donate the rest to the underprivileged and needy. A meaningful life would be based around three global principles i.e. the impact that is made by what we do on others, the happiness of ourselves and other and physical and psychological health.  Different religions stress on the importance of self-respect and respect for other’s dignity. Here are a few sayings from different religions that try to ensure the above there global principles in a society.

“Treat others the way you would like them to treat you” Christianity (Mathew 1452)

“Do not do to your fellow man what hurts you” Judaism (Moses 6)

“Wish or reject for other what you wish or reject for yourself” Islam (Quran)

The reality of life is that it keeps on changing with time and changing circumstances. In the following discussion I would be outlining a life plan that would definitely need adjustments when it is implemented but the basic structure could remain as outlined.

Outline what you want from life

This looks to be an easy subject but in reality it is a very tough job to identify what a person wants. This keeps on changing with new circumstances. For an economically sustainable plan it is important to know about what you want and what you can afford. For example I may want to see a hospital in my neighborhood to help people in need but what do I do? The reality of the matter is that this is not in my power to influence the government to make a hospital. I also do not have sufficient financial basis to finance the hospital. But what I can do is start an online petition to get people sign it and then send it to the government authorities to do something about it.

Three areas of life should be considered in outlining the “wants”:

Financial standing: Are you happy with the amount of money that you earn? If not then how can you improve your position?

Social structure: Are you happy with the way things are in the society? What would you like to change? Do you want to have access to control and power? Are you happy with the class distribution in the society? How the society in which you live treats its women and underprivileged? What changes would you want?

Personal satisfaction: are you happy with the way your life and relations are going? What would you want to be different? How would you make your relations with others meaningful?

Identifying meaningful goals

Identifying and setting life goals is very important once you have a clear idea of what you want to change your life. These goals should be realistic and achievable. Goals should be set such that they can bring you happiness as well does not violate the rights of others in achieving these goals. You could set career goals like becoming a part of an origination and acquiring a leading role at the origination in the future. You could plan to be a politician if you love power. The question over here is that you should be aware of the dynamics of your chosen goals.

Creating a Plan to achieve these goals

At this point you have to think of practical steps to achieve your life goals. The path towards these goals must be economically sustainable, civilly engaged and meaningful. Over here we should be aware of the how the society treats its members. You should be able to identify the class distribution and its basis. Is the class distribution based on the economic status as described by Max Weber? Or is it in line with Marxian principles?

We have to look at our society and find a way forward that does not make us a tool in the hands of the corrupt, power hungry capitalist class who would do just anything to make exponentially increase their wealth and power. Power in itself is not a bad thing. But how we exercise our power to achieve our set goals is what makes it good or evil. Aristotle believed that it is the duty of the political class who possess power, to provide the citizens with an opportunity of a virtuous life. In my opinion this is how power should be exercised.

The other dimension of achieving one’s goals is to be conscious of the behavior of the society towards racial minorities and people from different gender groups. Our society and the organizations that we work within constitute of people from different ethnical and gender background. If we are faced with situations where I have to violate someone rights based on the gender or racial background, would I do it? What if that is very important to my progress? These are the ethical questions that can only be answered by one’s personal wisdom and clarity.

Keep updating the plan

As I suggested at the start of the discussion that life is not static. There are always changing circumstances. The best way to lead a peaceful life is when you are ready to make adjustment to your environment. If you realized that something is not working out for you because that is not in line with your ethical principles or it is not financially viable for you, you should update your plan and find new ways to achieve your goals.

Conclusion

I would like to conclude my discussion by referring to the struggle of Gandhi to win independence from the British Raj. Gandhi had discovered a new weapon named “Satyagraha” meaning holding onto truth. Gandhi had realized that Indian people we too weak to engage in violence with the British rule to win independence. Realizing the situation, Gandhi suggested that Indians should stay stick to the truth and remain non-violent in response to any violence exercised by the British rule. Who would have thought that non-violence could win over violence? As a result of Gandhi’s non-violent and civil resistance movement, British government had to accept their demands and grant Indian independence.  Wisdom had won over power.

What I can grasp from Gandhi’s strategy is that you don’t have to be powerful and rich to achieve your goals. If your goals are true and in the interest of the majority of the people and you have believe yourself and are wise enough to devise a strategy to achieve your goals, you would ultimately succeed in reaching your goals.