M. Fethullah Gulen
Those who have the power and technological means to satisfy their greed and feelings of hate and vengeance, can bring about as much destruction in a single day as would have taken a century in the past. They can demolish the most formidable-seeming systems at one go and exchange them for others. They can also bring to ruin the most established ideas, place restrictions on long-held beliefs and, supported by mass-media, can represent right as wrong and vice versa. In no period of human history have moral values such as personal honour, religion, family life and decency, been mocked and condemned as relentlessly as they are at present. In consequence, we live in an epoch of confusion and chaos: light and dark, purity and pollution, virtue and vice, hope and despair, exist side by side or one within the other. In no previous period of human history have collapse and reform happened on such a scale or at such speed. And those who would oppose this flood of chaos cannot find the opportunity to express or present their alternative standpoints.
Among the most visible characteristics of this age, we see that right is consistently sacrificed for the sake of might, selfish interests replace all other considerations, racial discrimination has a pre-eminent role in determining social attitudes and relations, and force (in one form or another) is resorted to as the single means to resolve national and international differences. Power must have its due place in the scheme of things, but if we see it as the single or most effective means of solving problems, we will have to explain why we, as human beings, are endowed with such faculties as reason and compassion. All the social revolutions and military movements of the past which were not based on belief, knowledge, moral values and sound reasoning failed to endure much beyond the lifetimes of their leaders.
When used to serve the cause of right and sound reasoning, power may do some good on the way to resolving problems. However, power has always been a means of destruction when subject to the rule of ambition and greed, of coarse feelings and coarse ideas. It is the madness of disposing and increasing power that drove Alexander to military ventures in Asia, which brought the genius of Napoleon to ruin, and most recently made Hitler the most accursed of the human race. Despite these lessons, right and intelligence remain under the dominion of power in the world.
Behind the chaotic whirl of damnable ideas and events in the world, there lies the abuse of power, the over-rating of its usefulness, so that human values, reasonableness and respect for right have been replaced by the resort to force. And it would seem that the chaos is set to continue until the few who dispose great power are submitted to the cause of right. Only then will the many, freed from the chaos and confusion, see the world and events taking place in it clearly without any bartier before them.
For oppressed peoples to survive in a world where only the mighty have the right to live, it is essential that they free themselves from the clutches of the minority who wield power, and bring that power under the dominion of right.
While learning lessons from the past, we should know how to prepare a desirable future for ourselves. In order to have hope for the future and not to sink deeper into a darker whirl of new, greater confusions, we need altruistic souls who live not for themselves but for others, who prefer others’ happiness to their own. Only those willing and able to sacrifice themselves for the well-being of humanity as a whole can save mankind from today’s chaos and confusions.
When the light-diffusing ideas, united with love and altruism, are shared by the majority of mankind, the ‘storms’ blowing world-wide will stop and the pains and sufferings come to an end. When the ideas of the heroes of love and altruism, combined with just discipline and balanced freedom, are a determining factor in the power balance of the world, world-wide social crises and massive problems arising from international relations will be solved one by one and the balance between joy and sorrow and happiness and misfortune reestablished.
Humanity expect from us - from the believers - great efforts to move mankind towards the realization of world peace and harmony. Every attempt, every effort, made to attain this goal, every movement to support right and truth, is a most blessed step taken toward God. Every step taken in that direction, however small it is, will play a part in the new, expected reform world-wide. Such steps may be thought of as drops, fallen into our present, from the blue ocean of the future. In that future, mankind will enjoy true happiness. We live now upon the dream of that blessed time to come.