Essay No. 81:
Would You Be Happy In A Fool’s Paradise: I would be happy to be in a fool’s paradise because it is unreal. A fool’s paradise is illusionary and only fools would love to live in it. A fool or a vain person like to dwell in an unreal world. It is an imaginary world segregated from the stark realities of life.
Life demands action, while a fool remains contented with lethargy and non-action. It a fatalistic attitude towards life. ‘Manna and Salva’ do not descend from heaven. Man has to struggle hard in life to earn bread. He has to toil hard to meet his basic needs of life. The struggle is the keynote of life.
Unrealistic persons dwelling in a world of fantasy are driven far away from the realities of life. They vainly expect miracles to happen, which in real life do not take place. Fools / vain persons beguile themselves. They amuse themselves with unreal thoughts. Ultimately they are frustrated when they come in close touch with the hard realities of life. Their false hopes, dreams are shattered into pieces. They then repent but then it is on no use.
Mere wishful thinking is of no avail in life. The tragedy is that desires are not life free horses within the reach of every Tom, Dick and Harry. A fool could desire to live in a palace, but in life may find it difficult to live in a poor humble cottage. The contrast between a wish and reality is quite evident in the life of a fool.
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A fool suffers from superstition and likes to go in for amulets, he believes in the miracle of an amulet, and as such ceases making struggle in life. He becomes like a drone, depending upon externalities. Life demands action to deal with its myriads problems. A practical man thus creates his own paradise based on hard work.
One should instead of hoping should land oneself in the arena of struggle to face practical realities of life. Day-dreaming has little relevance in a world of stark realities. Only an unrealistic person can afford the luxury of day-dreaming. Only a fool would expect divine help without making a struggle to earn bread. For earning bread one has to strive hard. Things do not happen on their own.
One is reminded of Tennyson’s poem “Lotus-eaters”. The latter eat the lotus and go to a half-conscious state. They shun struggle and resent against heavy odds of life. They are shorn of action. They are lost in a world of dream. They get away from the gruelling realities of life. What Tennyson wishes to convey to the reader is that the attitude of Lotus-eaters does not befit life, which demands action to deal with its problems. Those who vainly hope are let down at the hands of frustration and disappointment in life.