Respect leads to peace

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As a society and amongst our youth, we are moving towards social degradation instead of developing and improving our lives . I have noticed for the umpteenth time that we have no respect for other cultures or religions. Respect should be inculcated in our youth, not just towards our elders but towards other people, irrespective of how we may differ from each other. Being different is not a criteria for us to insult and taunt other people.

We fail to realise that we are all composed of the same matter. It is not our outside appearances that count, but what lies deeper down inside, our hearts. Have you ever noticed that a person with conventional beauty, but who has a cold personality is not at all attractive? While someone who may not be that beautiful, but who is warm hearted, generous and always pleasant to be around is so much more attractive. When we delve into the gist of it, we are all the same. The feelings that we experience are homogeneous, irrespective of whether we originate from the Africa, India or America, whether we are Muslims, Christians, Jews or Hindus.

We need to foster a culture of understanding and respect in all of humanity, not just the youth. At times the behaviour that people exhibit is a reflection of the kind of background that they come from and the type of people that they are surrounded by in their home environment.

We always question why the world is turning out to be so full of hatred and enmity. This is one of the reasons. Respect is fundamental to the structure of peace, and we fail to possess this quality. The emphasis on respect is important both from an Islamic as well as secular perspective.

I have touched upon this subject numerous times during my studies. Apart from the economic benefits of tourism, it also serves to unite people worldwide. Tourism involves the interaction of people from different backgrounds, lifestyles, religions and race etc and the importance is on developing relationships between one another in an attempt to promote peace worldwide. Never forget that wherever we may be in this world, the behaviour that we exhibit towards others is an indication of the type of people that we are. And at the same time, in an indirect way we represent our countries and religions.

It is important that we strive towards understanding people from an international point of view. We need to educate ourselves about other people. This can be done through higher education or even simpler, by doing research, reading a lot of literature about various cultures, lifestyles and religions and even interacting with people and showing an interest in them. A little knowledge goes a long way and a kind word or smile to someone can have a major impact on their lives. Lets try to make the world a happier place, even though it may be in a small way. There’s one common factor among the majority of us, and that is to live in peace. Let us make a concerted effort to work towards this.

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Education- a human right

I’ve just registered to study for this year and in the process got thinking about the education system in our country. Education is a basic human right which should be awarded to citizens of all financial backgrounds. It cannot only be limited to those who are financially well off and can afford it. There are options available for bursaries, but that doesn’t guarantee that all those who cannot afford to, but want to study will be allowed the opportunity.

As with other things in life, the irony is that in general those who are dedicated and hard workers cannot afford the exorbitant fees, while those who adopt a very relaxed and care-free attitude towards studying have easy access to it. Its another one of life’s challenges which we have to fight to get through. There are often narrations of very successful people in this world, who battled to get good education, and yet in the end they have risen above the rest. Life is not smooth sailing, we have to learn how to tackle the greatest of waves and come out alive (and smiling of course!).

Gratitude

Humanity has forgotten one of the greatest qualities that we should strive to possess, that of ‘gratitude’. Over the past few months I have witnessed firsthand that the ones who have been blessed with the most, are the least grateful. We forget to count our blessings, to analyse our lives and to find the goodness and positive aspects of it.

I have noticed often, that the ones who possess things of less materialistic value, who have been brought up in this way, and who work the hardest are the ones who appreciate even the minute blessings that they are given.

We are entangled in a world of materialism, greed and selfishness. Never content with what we are given. We need to awaken in ourselves the spirit of gratitude. Be thankful for what the Creator has given us. Look for happiness in our lives, not from material objects, but from the feeling of giving, in prayer, bringing happiness to other people and most importantly in making thanks for what we have for it will bring forth appreciation…