Each individual owes his or her success and happiness to the peace and the trustworthiness of their society. Conversely, each society owes its health and security to its altruistic and sincere members. Egotistic individuals, paralyzed by unhealthy obsessions, cannot form a healthy society. If a society is not healthy, it cannot provide shelter under its wings nor can it ensure felicity. It is the individuals that weave a society like a canvas; and in return the society looks after its members, supporting them and allowing them to attain the best of their celestial potential.
Only through such a social contract can a society be balanced and promising, and can its members live in dignity and respect. A society of this caliber can offer the most convenient opportunities for the young to learn, and for the learned to share with others their innermost inspirations. In this kind of society, libraries will be packed with knowledge-seekers and learning will be the nature of its individuals; thoughts will reflect on prayers and prayers. Then the land will be a land of virtue, and its residents will overflow with felicity.
An individual whose society is under siege by antagonism all around and in a constant state of decay cannot live with dignity and honor. In such a society, knowledge cannot be taught or learned; the faithful cannot fulfill their duties towards the Creator. Individuals cannot flourish in this society, especially if these individuals live side by side with enemies they are not even aware of. They grow in the same cradle with these enemies, and their heart beats in their rhythm, but they cannot detect the difference.
Yes, our biggest concern is that the adversaries are already streaming through the veins of society, as if they were cancer cells, deteriorating society day by day. We fear that the members of this society are so numbed that they are being devoured slowly and they don't feel anything. If a society's foresight is tied and blinded, and if its enemies are sneaky and relentless, then the Trojan Horse is already inside; the castle is in great danger.
The invaders market and sell banal and cheap old thoughts as diamonds; clowns impersonate celebrities; and some narrow minded, miserable creatures are respected, as if they were apostles. In the meantime, the altruistic national spirit erodes and is washed away by the floods of northern icebergs.
If you would investigate all segments of that society, and all the institutions of the country, you would not find any sign of that spirit which belongs to you. You would not see the hunger for knowledge, the love for truth; you would not find sincerity and pureness, nor morality and ethical values. The body of the nation is vermiculated; knowledge is the work of jugglers, and educational institutions are circuses. There are methods in which (as if they search for truth) unbelief and immorality are taught to the next generations. Hearts are merciless; emotions are vulgar and inhumane; and eyes are without foresight and substance. It's as if the crowds are suffering from depression, ignoring all the spiritual and moral foundations that could maintain a society; carnal pleasures are promoted.
In our day and age, the commodity (goods, love of goods) – which is a bulldozer that crushes the thoughts and emotions of the youth and obstructs them everywhere – has claimed to be the idol of the crowds. Technology which has not been tamed and aligned with the true essence of being human has become a plague. This plague has occupied our lives at the expense of selfless living for the community. It has obstructed lofty aims from flourishing.
For all these reasons, people need to pay more attention to their engulfed heart and ossified spirit, while the restoration of their physical body goes on.
Those whose vision is in the future, and who promise to raise that future on their shoulders, need to feel the responsibility of their work within their souls in every step they take. Only then will they show a real sincerity in their duties. The cause and thoughts of these sincere ones will not be tied up with circumstances and the reality of life; in contrast, circumstances will take form according to their convictions. They will prove their presence by revolting against a life that is spent for only worldly enjoyments, on the deprivation of real love and irresponsibility.
A society that evolves to this point with the guidance of masters and teachers is ready to renew itself and go into a renaissance. If we look hopeful, it is because this kind of new existence has shown its signs on our horizons, due only to our strong trust and confidence in the pure essence of being human and the grace of God.
A New Existence
- By M. Fethullah Gulen
- Category: Issue 106 (July - August 2015)
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