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Progress

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Pearls of Wisdom

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A nation’s development and progress depends upon the intellectual and spiritual training given to its members. A nation whose members are lacking in intellectual and spiritual development should not be expected to develop and progress.

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Nations begin to move backward when they allow once-cultivated fields to be neglected, and turn vineyards and gardens into rubbish heaps. Fertilizing barren soil and then cultivating it so that it becomes a vineyard and a garden is progress. A developed country’s lands consist of gardens, its mountains have vineyards, and its places of worship are like magnificent palaces. In contrast, the cities of an underdeveloped country are ruins, its streets are rubbish heaps, and its places of worship are left to decay as moldy halls.

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When something has been improved, it becomes cleaner and brighter, better and more orderly than it formerly was. Accordingly, being content with the way things are indicates a lack of effort, while true progress is the realization of improvements.

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Each advance forward appears first as a concept. Then, the masses are persuaded to accept it. Finally, it is put into practice by those united in heart and mind. Any attempt to make progress that is not based on reason and science is futile.

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National development only occurs when a nation’s people have the same goal. It cannot develop and progress, although it shows great activity, if some of its members say “black” and others say “white” for the same thing.

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A community that has not educated its people in a shared tradition eventually splits into different groups based on their diverging knowledge and upbringing. These groups will be hostile to each other. It is impossibly difficult for such a fractured community to progress.

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Although education is undeniably important for a country’s development, the expected results will never be achieved if the young people are not educated according to the country’s traditional values.

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For true and beneficial progress, people must evaluate the present conditions and use the experience of former generations intelligently. If coming generations do not learn from the experience of their predecessors, and each generation follows its own way, the nation will begin to move backward instead of forward.