By Marwa Mehboob.
Everyday is a new day. Sometimes we have to face tough decisions and sometimes we enjoy the blessings of liberty. This is how we react to our daily life routine. But important is that we shape our character in a way which carries strength to assist the external factors involved in our lives. There’s a great saying, to reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.
As a parent, and a working woman I encounter several circumstances each day which test my patience, my character and my peace of mind. And what i believe is that the most valuable asset in one’s life is the solid foundation of values that guides and shapes our priorities and reactions. They have a potential to serve as our markers to tell us if our life is heading in the right direction and if it is turning out the way we want it to.
Core to problems and emotional drama that we experience in our lives is based on a strong relationship between the values we set and the actions we do. Actions and words are aligned with our values, life is generally good and we feel content, confident and satisfied. But when our behaviors don’t match up with our values, we soon begin to sense an uneasiness that begins to swell and grow inside of us and the end result is a complete destruction of not only an individual character but the whole society.
When you are trying hard to polish your character and encounter such uncomfortable feeling which tells you that not all is good with the world right now. You feel isolated and come under the source of anxiety and unhappiness which slowly deteriorate the process of character building.
Under such circumstances what you need to do is to make a deliberate and conscious attempt to identify which values are the most important to keep the anxiety and happiness low and sense of personal worth and self-awareness high.
Nevertheless, if we concede values do naturally exist. Our lives can become less stressful and more productive and we will start honoring these values no matter what may come.
Before going into the details of my chosen subject I would shed light on those cardinal principles of Islam which are bestowed upon us for the success in this world and hereafter. When we speak of Islamic character we get to know that it carries high aspirations because of its faith and certainty and belief in the promise of Allah and because it realises the honour attained by being a Muslim and a follower of the Prophets. The aspirations attached with a Muslim will be proportional to his level of faith because here also the actions are connected to that which is settled in the heart of certainty, faith and belief with a strong resolve and sound religious commitment. This is something that holds the element of explicity for everyone and also with contemplation to any issue.
If we specifically highlight the significance of Islamic character, we see that it is based on belief in Allah and His Messengers and of course in accordance to Islamic conduct in a complete way, which includes truthfulness, honesty, chastity, modesty, good attitude, kindness to neighbors, hastening to do good, helping people to do what is right, refraining from harming others, and other aspects of Islamic conduct. If we look into the above mentioned aspects we can come up with an easy conclusion which relates these facets directly to the process of character building.
What’s more important to understand here is that Islam wants its followers to deal with the question of making friends too on the criterion of merit. Regardless of the religion he or she belongs to. A good Muslim can have friendship with all other good humans, whether Muslims or non-Muslims, so as long as they respect his beliefs and not be a cause of threat to his spiritual and moral life. He must avoid the company of those Muslims and non-Muslims who have dubious character and who make fun of his religion. This gives us quite an obvious understanding of how important the character is which is free from the element of biasness not only in Islam but it’s application beyond the Islamic boundaries have bear cherishable results for number of societies around the world. And its impact on the well-being of individuals and communities is equally essential so that the accurate image of true Islam and its impact on people’s life may be presented.
I just can’t conclude my writing without extending the pivotal role of a teacher in a society. The responsibility on a teacher’s shoulder is very important because the main aim of the teacher is the character building of the students through academics. Teachers have to activate the minds as well as the body of our students without restricting them to what is written in the textbook but should try to come up to the student’s expectations for which education should not be confined to merely delivering lectures. A teacher should teach the students to respect people, regardless of the social status .Teacher is not supposed to cram the student’s head with facts but to prepare them for a life of purity and sincerity and this total commitment to character building should be the highest goal of a teacher. If I sum up the role of educational institutions in character building it can be said it is a place where all national and social features are grown up and watered with professional approach and if not carried in the said manner the consequences could be disastrous. Has anyone of us ever thought how powerful this source of individual learning really is, just imagine when an individual learns to invest one’s surfeit strength, knowledge and power to serve other people in order to produce such more people having same qualities thus developing a new energy resource namely CHARACTER ENERGY which is equally significant like physical energy. That is when one feels himself out of this world. Don’t you like to be a part of this immensely exciting state of mind, woo, just amazing!!!
My very last but not the least point which is whole of the above parts, SOCIETY. It has a deep influence on families and other social institutions. Being a member of all these institutions man becomes their product and what comes as a result, his character attributes are sown in the fields of society and waters by its institutions and he’s tagged as an exclusive individual of a society. On the other hand the catastrophic situation of my society is being played right before my eyes. Unfortunately social , cultural , religious norms and values are disappearing from our society. The disastrous conversion from a nation to mob is taking place at very high speed.
What we all need to do is to focus all our attention in character building of our coming generation. The discussed values also resonate with me and these values are the most important for me to live by and the ones I want to pass along to my children and everyone in my life. But in order to reap the benefits we have to set the basis for nation building and nation building starts from individual building which is rooted with the character development of each and every citizen of this Green Nation.
Marwah Mehboob writes on social issues and is a media analyst. She can be reached at Twitter; @marwahmehboob