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Life, human character, and virtue

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Pearls of Wisdom

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When an animal dies, it is forgotten and its burial place is lost. However, this is not the case with a human being. Are the people who do not preserve the memories and tombs of their ancestors aware that they reduce them to the rank of animals? Respect for the dead means granting security to the living concerning their future.

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One of the most important ways to conquer the hearts of people is that one always seeks an opportunity to do others good and once such an opportunity appears, makes use of it without delay. If only we could set our hearts on always doing good to others!

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Good morals and sound conscience, and good manners and virtues, are like a currency universally acceptable and which is not affected by changes in the values of other means of exchange. Those provided with such qualities are like merchants with the highest credit who can do business wherever they want.

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The more a person suffers in life and is conscious of the life he or she is living, the more profound his or her feelings become. Those who live unconsciously of the meaning of life and events and have experienced no suffering, can never develop their feelings and faculties. Nor can they feel themselves as parts of existence.

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Those with strong willpower and good, sound character will not lose anything of their virtuous essence, even if they are made to suffer thousands of kinds of pains and sorrows and forced to change their views and ways. What shall we say about those weak ones who change their thoughts and ways every day?

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Ignorance is like a veil drawn over the face of things. The unfortunate ones who cannot remove this veil, will never be able to penetrate into the truths of creation. The greatest ignorance is unawareness of God and if it is combined with arrogant selfishness, it becomes a kind of insanity impossible to cure.

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A sensible person is not one who claims infallibility and therefore is indifferent to others’ ideas. Rather, a truly sensible person is one who corrects his or her errors and makes use of others’ ideas in acknowledgement of the fact that human beings are prone to error.

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Life blossoms during childhood. During youth it grows through inward tension and spiritual struggle on the way of truth. During old age it holds its vital energy with the desire to reunite with the beloved ones who have already passed away. How wretched it is for the irreligious that they perceive life sometimes as comedy and sometimes as tragedy, and thereby stifle the innate urge toward ardent hope and gratitude in humanity.