Charles Malik demonstrates the idea of humans and their struggles. He claims that the struggle, or the fight for peace that each individual passes through begins on an individualistic level. Struggle rises from the values of man and the impressions we give through our own actions. Only when man finds peace, can he/she resolve his/her struggles.
In my opinion, it is very important for a person to find inner peace by understanding him/herself. A person’s actions reveal his/her true nature under any struggle or circumstance. Man is born pure, and is gradually introduced to the dark side of the world in which conditions are too hard to bear; and yet he/she learns how to deal with them. Of the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities that must be accepted and faced with equanimity. Others, however, are of our own making, created by misunderstanding, and can be corrected. One such problem arises from conflicts that are ideological, political, or religious in nature, where people fight each other over petty issues, and end up losing sight of the basic humanity that binds us all together as a single human family. We must remember that the different religions, ideologies, and political systems of the world were founded for their main purpose of helping human beings achieve happiness.
We must not lose sight of this fundamental goal and at no time should we place means above ends; the supremacy of our humanity over matter and ideology must always be maintained. When living in a society, we should share in the sufferings of our fellow citizens and practice compassion and tolerance not only towards our loved ones but also towards our enemies.
Our ability and willingness to be compassionate and tolerant is the test of our moral strength. We must set an example through our own actions, for we cannot hope to convince others of the value of religion by mere words. We must live up to the same high standards of integrity and sacrifice that we ask of others. The ultimate purpose of all religions is to better serve and benefit humanity. This is why it is so important that religion always be used to bring happiness and peace to all beings and to not solely be used for the conversion of others and the creation of dissent in society. In this regard, there are two important things to keep in mind: self-examination and self-correction. We should constantly check our attitude towards others, examine ourselves carefully, and correct ourselves immediately when we find that we are in the wrong.
By Majed Nouralla, Volunteer from the Lebanese American University