Are You Learning and Making Progress?
It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them. --- George Eliot
只要我们是真正生活着的人们，我们就不会放弃我们的希望与追求。 我们一定要不懈地去寻求那些美好的事物。 --- George Eliot
I have often raised the issue of human progress. Yet this progress has to be based on each and everyone of us, the individuals. Only when we, as a congregation of each and every distinct individual, believe in progress and make it happen each and every day in our lives, "human progress" is only a meaningless empty phrase.
To progress in one's own life, there are a few prerequisites one must adhere:
First, one must believe in progress in order to go forward, not going backward, not going stagnant, not going in circles by deceiving oneself that one is moving forward.
Secondly, one must know oneself well enough to set goals with a moral compass. In order to know what one wants, one cannot simply follow the crowd and majority. One must know his distinct individuality while never dismiss his humanity. Only with this healthy mentality, positive and vigorous competition among human beings can occur. Dragging others down will never be tolerated while pushing oneself up will always be encouraged.
Thirdly, one must constantly clarify his goals and thoughts in order to see the future clearly. Confusion will never be tolerated in one's own mind and vision. Thus personal responsibility will always in the backdrop of personal freedom. One must be willing to make an individual choice in one's daily life and willing to take whatever comes with that choice, be it credit or liability.
Finally, one must have the patience and tenacity to resist all temptations of going along with only the majority, and willing to take the risk of being out there on a limb. Sometimes even it is seemingly that one is left behind by others, as long as one adheres to one's principle, goal and moral compass, one is truly progressing, not regressing. When one joins a group or majority, one has to be very clear about one's decision, and not base his decision on fear but on free will and responsibility.
Progress comes often with incremental changes, even they are very small and undetectable changes. Yet as long as you adhere to the above principles, these changes are very significant and meaningful to your life. Every decision you make, every thought or idea you come up in your mind, every risk you take in initiating something, every temptation or fear you overcome, every irrational impulse you resist..., all add up to your personal growth and progress.
And when you are making the personal progress, the world, the entire humanity are making progress along with you.
Best. Kai Chen 陈凯