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“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

7. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Quotes Wednesdays’ in Mission-2024 Secure.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote and highlighting its core meaning about selflessness.

Body:

Write about people looking beyond their own happiness and consider how they can positively affect the lives of others. It aligns with the idea that a meaningful and purposeful life involves giving back, showing compassion, and leaving a positive mark on the world, even if it means sacrificing some personal desires in the process. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the quote in the present day.