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Love of status

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Pearls of Wisdom

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Each individual has the seeds of virtue as well as the potential for evil. Such undesirable characteristics as passion and the desire to show off exist alongside such good qualities as sincerity, altruism, and self-sufficiency. We should take all these qualities into account when considering human nature so that we will not be disappointed.

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It is natural for every person to entertain love of status and fame to some degree. If these desires are not satisfied in acceptable ways, those without self-control may harm both themselves and their community. The ambitions of such people may have to be diverted into harmless channels, otherwise their frustrated and unsatisfied desires will cause harm.

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It may be harmful for some unrefined souls to satisfy their desire for prominence by seeking status. Nevertheless their pursuit of this may be good , for it will prevent them from doing greater evil. For example, it is preferable for a singer who wishes to make use of his or her God-given ability to sing hymns rather than obscene songs.

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Sincerity or purity of intention determines the quality of the deed and of the one who performs it, and whether or not God will accept it. However, as it is not easy for everybody to serve the faith with complete sincerity, consideration should be given to whether the good in them exceeds the evil. Many deeds performed to serve faith or some sublime cause but contaminated with certain degree of show and personal interest, should not be judged as absolutely harmful. Furthermore, those who are engaged in such deeds may not always be seeking God’s approval and good pleasure and repenting of their mistakes. But, we have no right to claim that they are not on the side of the truth.

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If each individual in a group tries to impose himself or herself as the only authority in a certain field and some others imitate him or her to act in the same way in their field, discipline is destroyed, confusion in engendered, and the community is divided against itself. Ultimately, this destroys order due to the confusion over who is really in charge and the ensuing power struggle between the rulers and the ruled.

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If the successful members of a government or efficient executives of a state or institution demand the lion’s share of benefits in consideration of their abilities and accomplishments, the government is paralyzed, the state collapses, and the institution descends into chaos. A government subsists on discipline particular to itself, a state is maintained by its principles, and an army is founded upon structures of command and obedience. Anything contrary to this signifies neglect of those vital elements that traditionally have ensured the cohesion of human societies.

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If only people’s hearts were content with what the Sublime Creator bestows upon them! If only they would seek His Divine pleasure! Some self-seeking people turn their backs on the sun’s light and are content with the dim light of the lanterns in their hands. With these, however, they will never find the door to eternal light.