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The Rights of Children

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in As a Teacher

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1. A child has the same meaning for humanity's continuation as a seed for a forest's continued growth and multiplication. People who neglect their children decay gradually, and those who abandon them to a foreign culture risk losing their identity.

2. Children form the most active and productive part of a community after every 30 or 40 years. Those who ignore their children should consider how important an element of their own community's life they are disregarding, and then shudder.

3. The vices observed in today's generation, the incompetence of some administrators, and other social problems are the direct result of the conditions prevailing 30 years ago, and of that time's ruling elite. Likewise, those entrusted with educating today's young people are responsible for the vices and virtues that will appear 30 years from now.

4. Those who want to secure their future should apply as much energy to raising their children as they devote to other problems. While the energy devoted to many other things may go in vain, whatever is spent for raising a young generation elevates them to the rank of humanity. Such people will be like inexhaustible sources of income.

5. Those people in our community who are miserable and lost, such as drug addicts, alcoholics, and other dissolute people, were once children. We failed to educate them properly. I wonder whether we are sufficiently aware of the kind of people we are preparing to walk our streets tomorrow.

6. Communities that pay close attention to the family institution and their young people's education, as opposed to those who are more advanced in sciences and technology, will have the upper hand in the future. Communities that neglect the family institution and the young people's education will be crushed by the pitiless wheels of time. [Criteria or Lights of the Way, vol.1, 9th edition, Izmir, 1996, pp.]