UPSC Ethics daily answer writing Practice 7th February
Topic:Lessons from the Lives and Teachings of Great Leaders, Reformers and Administrators;
Question: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” M K Gandhi. (Answer in 150 words)10
Most appropriate way to address quote based questions in ethics: first understand the overall essence of the quote, in this given question prima facie it seems the question is about happiness. And students start from defining happiness. However if you read it properly and explore its essence you will find out that this question is about achieving harmony in thought, speech and action.
When a person has positive thoughts about something, and if that get reflected in his speech and action, the person is more likely to have internal peace and harmony. And if a person has negative thoughts about something but his speech and actions are contradictory, then this will result into guilty conscience.
Example: a civil servant has certain stereotypes towards a particular community, he will always try to be politically correct in his speech however his action may reflect is biased approach. Therefore this double standard will bring shallowness in character and ultimately making life gloomier.
Conclusion: here you can mention the Gandhian philosophy of truth, which propagates truthfulness in behavior to attain real happiness.