TEHRAN, Sept. 15 (MNA) -- Common sense, which consists of knowledge and understanding, has become a most uncommon commodity.

The quest for a fulfilled life is rooted in the understanding of one’s values. Understanding the basis of your beliefs defines the way you act and interact with others. Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. Living a good life by understanding it requires having a little control over our lives and future. Otherwise, without an understanding of life, we are no better than animals and behave worse. Nevertheless, knowledge without understanding can be a catastrophe.

A life without cause is a life without effect. The meaning of life is different for every person, but we can say that it is a concept that concerns the possible purpose and significance that may be attributed to human existence and one’s personal life. Our values, prejudices, beliefs, sciences, philosophies, religions, and other activities are based on meanings. We live our lives in terms of the personal meanings things have for us. The type of societies we create and support develop from the interpretations and meanings we give to our experiences.

Life being uncertain and precarious is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced. It is much more complicated than what human nature expects of us, and the lives we live here on Earth can seem awfully short, but that is not the end.

Values are determined by the beliefs we hold. They are something we qualify as good and are prepared to set as our goals in life. Besides, they also contribute directly to the quality of one’s life -- ends such as success, health, happiness, and legacy.

The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. The days go by and they are years, and the years finally become our whole life. Each daily portion can be wasted, or it can be a pleasure, before it is gone forever.

Perhaps we are putting off our enjoyment until we have more time, or money, or some other improved condition. The trouble with that is that it might never happen, or it may be too long in coming. It’s so important to accept this time, this very minute, as something of tremendous value that will very soon be gone forever.

There are many ways to ensure that we make the best of our time here on Earth. To acquire a healthy purpose in our lives, we need a good balance of our time for work, goals, recreation, and relaxation.

We must be good to feel good, and face our problems bravely and confidently. There are many common mental problems that can plague our everyday lives, making us unhappy and sick. Worry, stress, anger, fear, depression, insomnia, self-doubt, and nervousness are some of the worst. Most of us go through life always wanting more and better. Life is not enjoyable when you have taken the wrong path, but can be very pleasing if we make the correct use of it.

Learning new things gives us a feeling of achievement. We must focus our energies to be more productive and make good use of our time away from work to increase our knowledge of things and life. Too many of us are rushing through our daily lives to do more and to acquire more. We are becoming less interested in our fellow humans and regard material gain as success, hence missing out on the true values of life.

Money really is quite necessary in our lives, but its value should not be worshipped. The good things in life are free, such as life itself, friendship, and nature. Whatever we possess, in the end we must leave it all behind. The greatest loss in life is what dies inside us while we live, and the only thing in life achieved without effort is failure. Therefore, we should employ our passions in the service of life, not spend life in the service of our passions.

Our day should be free of other stresses and worries. An analysis of a bad event that has happened, or may happen, can be worthwhile in determining a course of action. Beyond that, to continue worrying about it is a completely useless waste of time and is harmful to our health. Worry does not help the future experience and could make it worse, and the past cannot be changed.
We should be hopeful, look and wonder at the trees, fields, and mountains, smell the flowers, hear the birds, and watch the clouds in the sky, and enjoy every moment of it.

The religion of Islam is basically a way of life in which a person worships and obeys the orders of God. Moreover, it is a religion which also takes the worldly affairs of people into consideration.

Imagining death reminds us about what is meaningful to us in life, what constitutes our lives. We should remind ourselves how to live by thinking about death, which is not the final end but a gateway to a different kind of life.

Islam views death as a natural threshold to the next stage of existence in the form of spiritual and physical resurrection. The awareness of death has its roots in our conscience and is in the heart of our lives. Faith in life after death urges us to do right and to stay away from sin, because it is a mirror in which the entire meaning of life is reflected. However, in this life we see the pious suffer and the impious enjoying themselves. But one day everything will be judged and justice will be served.

Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued. As Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has declared Iranian calendar year 1389 (began March 21, 2010) the Year of Redoubled Work and Redoubled Effort, thus it can be helpful, by considering the facts of life, if we choose the right path toward the reality of life and the realization of its values because the secret of a good life is to have the right loyalties and to weigh them on the correct scale of values.

(Sept. 15 Tehran Times Perspective Column, by Mohammad Javad Salimian)

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