What distinguishes man from animals is his ability to reason. Man has the ability to choose an action from a set of valid alternatives. The action that he chooses should be based on the values that he cherishes. Values can be anything as long as they are founded on true north principles of integrity, kindness and compassion.
How should man conduct himself in life? Are there valid goals that are worth pursuing? What should be basis for goals that we set for ourselves?
Any goal in life is good as long as it is the result of a rational choice that man makes based on his inner values in life.
For example one’s value could be acquisition of great wealth through legitimate means. The person may be keen on gaining riches through dint of hard work, judicious choices and opportunities that he is able to see.
On the other hand a person’s value could be attainment of power and the ability to drive things on attainment. Similarly others may yearn for fame.
All these are perfectly valid values and do give a person a purpose in life. What is wrong in wanting to be multi-millionaire, or to have the immense power or far flung glory? All these are perfectly reasonable goals in life. It is only necessary that achievement of these goals is done through legitimate means.
Wealth, if it is not just for one’s own selfish pleasure, can be put to great use for the uplifting of the underprivileged. Similarly, power, if it is not misused can drive a lot of good actions.
There is nothing wrong in wanting riches, power or fame as long as one is willing to put it to good use for oneself and for society. We do have a Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, who is using his fortune to eradicate diseases like malaria and polio from the face of the earth. We are all aware of Mahatma Gandhi who used his enormous moral power to win India’s freedom and to eliminate the evils of casteism and untouchability. Similarly we have a Michael Jordan or a Sachin Tendulkar who have achieved great fame and are role models for aspiring youngsters.
As long as our ambitions are grounded in good values of integrity, human kindness and compassion there is every reason to chase the dreams that we have.