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Upbringing

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Education

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Upbringing

1. The future of every individual is closely related to the impressions and influences experienced during childhood and youth. If children and young people are brought up in a climate where their enthusiasm is stimulated with higher feelings, they will have vigorous minds and display good morals and virtues.

2. Our humanity is directly proportional to the purity of our emotions. Although those who are full of bad feelings and whose souls are influenced by egoism look like human beings, whether they really are human is doubtful. Almost everyone can train their bodies, but few people can educate their minds and feelings. The former training produces strong bodies, while the latter produces spiritual people.

3. Improving a community is possible only by elevating the young generations to the rank of humanity, not by obliterating the bad ones. Unless a seed composed of religion, tradition, and historical consciousness is germinated throughout the country, new evil elements will appear and grow in the place of each eradicated bad one.

4. Although it is fundamental that girls be brought up to be delicate like flowers and mild and affectionate educators of children, due attention must be given to making them inflexible defenders of truth. Otherwise, we shall have transformed them into poor, impotent beings for the sake of delicacy and mildness. We must not forget that female lions are still lions.

5. Good manners are a virtue and are greatly appreciated in whomever they are found. Those with good manners are liked, even if they are uneducated. Communities devoid of culture and education are like rude individuals, for one cannot find in them any loyalty in friendship or consistency in enmity. Those who trust such people are always disappointed, and those who depend upon them are left, sooner or later, without support. [Criteria or Lights of the Way, Izmir, 1998, Vol.2, (12th edition), pp.59-61]