Who are we? How do we define ourselves? Where do we place ourselves within the context of current events and tribulations we face? While pointing to the changing dynamics of the times, this issue’s lead article calls on us to discover who we are and what we, as human beings, are meant to be so that we are not crushed between the teeth of time. We are lost, and we do not know where we should go. And living within systems of racism, and moral and economic egoism, Mr. Gülen writes that it is not easy to be optimistic. Yet, however difficult it may sound, Gülen believes that a new spirit of responsibility and a new code of ethics must be introduced. He draws our attention to many achievements, none of which should be underestimated, and urges us to not lose faith. Changing the world for the better requires us to leave our comfort zones and choose eternal joy over the temporary pleasures of the world.

Fasting is a way to forego temporary pleasures. Muslims observed Ramadan a few months ago, while Yom Kippur will have been celebrated around the time you receive this issue. Fasting marks both of these holy events, and Rabbi Maller wonders, why do Muslims and Jews afflict themselves? Why do Islam and Judaism restrict their adherents from the simple pleasure of food? In his piece, Rabbi Maller explains the common practices of fasting in both traditions and how they contribute to the spiritual well-being of individuals and society.

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s epistles are a compelling source of inspiration, for those wondering about the mysteries of this life. The Eighth Word is among the most popular of his epistles, in which he portrays the drama of human life in this world. Dr. M. Fethullah Simsek digs deeper into the wisdom of this epistle’s story and explains how this wisdom is universally shared around the world through many ancient texts descending from Prophet Abraham, all the way down to Rumi, Tolstoy, and Nursi.

Nature is another major source of wisdom and inspiration. Despite its small stature, the honeybee is an exquisite example of splendors found in nature. Dr. Syed explains how this unique creature is praised in religious traditions and how its brain is skilled at studying, counting, understanding intangible designs, and conveying the location of flowers to other bees in the hive.

This year’s Essay Contest starts October 1 with the theme “Should We Be Grateful?” Go to The Fountain Essay Contest 2018 page and share with us your thoughts on the feeling of gratitude.

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