Schopenhauer – UPSC Ethics Thinkers

“Almost all of our sorrows spring out of our relations with other people.” – Schopenhauer Do you agree with this quote? Justify. (150 Words)

Aristotle said “Man is a social animal”- which means man loves to live in society. Those who live alone all by oneself are according to him either beasts or god. In this context we may argue that our feelings are dependent on others i.e. in relation to others.
According to Lord Buddha desires are the sources of our sorrows or grief. We desire what we do not possess. These external objects are material objects and if others possess them and we do not then we vie for attaining them. But the world is so full of such items which are desirable and in turn our woes keep on increasing with increasing lust for those objects.
On the other side we are happy when we are with our loved ones. Their presence make us happy- Friends, Family, etc. Subsequently we grieve their passing away. We are disturbed by their unease and disease. Human beings empathise and sympathise with their loved ones. We compete with others for the limited resources, are hurt by rude  behaviour towards us, in fact we are constantly interacting with others, influencing others and are influenced by others. As such almost all our sorrows emanate from our relation with other people in relation to others.
“Compassion is the basis of morality.” ― Arthur Schopenhauer
Examine the relevance of the meaning of this quote for a public servant. (200 Words)
Compassion, which relates to having a concern for other’s suffering with a desire to alleviate it has a bearing on moral behaviour of a person which is the sense of right and wrong.
It is all the more relevant for a public servant as in the course of public duty he has to face many situations when a decision between right and wrong has to be taken, and being compassionate helps in such decisions.
For instance, if a public servant say a doctor has to deal with a case of accident which is critical ,but his duty time is already over ,if the person is compassionate and can feel the pain of the injured or his family members he will not bother about time and take the correct decision of saving life.
Similarly if a case of rape of a poor tribal girl comes to a police officer who is a public servant in which a politician’s son is involved and there is pressure on the public servant to drop the charges, in this situation if the officer is compassionate to the trauma which the girl has undergone it will propel him to take a morally correct decision.
Thus compassion is an important trait for a public servant which guides him to take morally upright decision in pursuance of public duty.



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