We must take care of our gardens. Those were the words of Voltaire through Candide. And those seven words do not simply mean to till the soil. It means that there is something better and this is not the best of all possibilities. For one need not till something that is already at its best.
In a way, it brings hope. For those who suffer, thinking that their state is already the best possible state, would lead to desperation and helplessness. If those in misery believe the contrary - that this is not the best of all possibilities, they would be hopeful. They could make their condition better.
In the first chapter, Voltaire presents the lavishness and abundance in life. We have a great and powerful baron, an admired philosopher and a desirable maiden. However, this is just the introduction to an irony. In Chapter 28, we find our great baron enslaved and beaten, the admired philosopher hanged, dissected and whipped. It would seem that the grandeur was not able to protect them from the worst that would later befall upon them. The glory and splendor did not last very long.
Candide had it right when he told Cacambo "You see, my dear friend, how perishable the riches of this world are". It is in the thought that riches perish do we find the reason why we have to work hard to take care of it.
We must take care of our gardens. It also means to me that we must work to survive. As Martin would put it: "Work then without disputing, is the only way to render life supportable."
Even if riches in the world may not last, that does not mean that we should submit to defeat and succumb to misery. We must fight and work our way to comfort. Candide was captured, flogged and nearly executed. But he never gave up on Cunegund, despite the fact that she was no longer desirable. And take for example the man who only had twenty hectares of land to till by his family. He was no king, he had no slaves and yet his household was filled with abundance.
In conclusion even if things go from better to worse and back again, one thing is constant: We must take care of our garden. I don't believe that in any point in time, we live in the best possible world we could live in. We must continue to take care of our garden. And with a lot of hard work, we can even make it better. Thus, I agree with Pangloss when he concluded that "For when man was put into the Garden of Eden, it was with an intent to dress it; and this proves that man was not born to be idle."
Voltaire. "Candide". Literature.Org The Online Literature Library. 20 Feb 2008.
"Gottfried Leibniz". Wikipedia,The Free Encyclopedia. 20 Feb 2008.