The Spirit of Struggle
Belief, with the will-power to struggle, is the first and foremost condition for success in life.
Those who have prospered in heart with belief and developed in mind to produce pure and lofty thought, find in each second of their life a different type of happiness and can sense something like the life in gardens of Paradise. As for the souls who are devoid of such belief and power of struggle, they are subject to despair and discouragement in the face of even the least difficulties.
Life requires striving and struggle if it is to be successful. This, in turn, requires equipping oneself with enough will-power and hope, and making sufficient preparations. Those who start without the proper equipment and due preparations will inevitably either be entangled in the confusing labyrinths of life or not be able to free themselves from imitating others blindly. They are, in either case, in a despised, miserable state and, even though they console themselves at times with types of false happiness, can never be saved from humiliation and wretchedness.
People such as those will not be freed from misery and contempt by possessing castles and palaces, and heaps of gold or money; for wealth ‘rules’ those unaware of their true being and drives them to indulgences, even if it may be a useful means for souls of integrity.
People mostly pursue easy aims and pleasures and therefore deprive themselves of great and true successes and lasting benefits obtained through efforts and sincerity and through enduring hardships and troubles.
Those whose will-power is paralysed and who are devoid of lofty ideals and altruism, hate striving and always seek an easy life. They would like to spend their time untroubled and expect their desires to be satisfied by magic. As they are faint-hearted and self-seeking, they are always carried along by the course of events and therefore are never constant in their views, feelings and choices. In such fickleness they can neither maintain their identity, nor find true peace and happiness in life. Like a quantity of still water in a small enclosed area, they will ultimately ‘dry up’, giving no sign of life.
However, any effort exerted to preserve one’s essential identity is, in fact, a source of true pleasure, as well as being a sacred attempt to securing happiness in the future. In order to experience this pleasure, one should remain faithful to one’s spiritual roots and cultivate belief and virtues. Those who cannot base their thoughts on these fundamental principles will never be able to feel that lofty pleasure.
One of the problems of the greatest urgency facing us today is to revive the young generations who, being devoid of any ideal, are carried away by every novel ideology, by implanting in them belief, patience, resolution, love of work, respect for the past and zeal to build a happy future. Every effort exerted in this cause will receive great acclaim as a sacred attempt to build up both ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’, and remain as a ‘beautiful memory’ among future generations.
By M. Fethullah Gulen