Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.
Ambition is one of those human traits that separates us from animals. Ambition builds cities and lands on the moon; ambition is why we have science & engineering; ambition is the cornerstone of almost every accomplishment that makes life worth living. The thing about ambition is that it consists of more than the desire to achieve; it also includes the willingness to face effort, adversity & failure to do it. Because so many people are unwilling to make those sacrifices, ambition is viewed differently by different cultures, and can even be considered the determining factor between the ideologies of personal agency versus egalitarianism.
Though ambition is lauded as a precondition of success in the West, it's discouraged in Eastern traditions because it supposedly imposes on spirituality. However, a less charitable explanation is that the despot rulers of those countries saw ambition as a threat. Ambition is also held in poor regard among the incompetent & lazy, the petulance of losers. Influential philosophers, such as Plato & Aristotle, were suspect of ambition, presumably having little of their own. While ambitious people who succeed have more satisfaction with life, the danger is that those who failed are vexed with anxiety, anguish & despair. But whatever the outcome, ambitious people experience a far more interesting & meaningful existence than those without.
Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash
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