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Knowledge is light PDF Print

Shireen Naqvi, Navitus
April, 2009

Knowledge is light as it gives vision. That is the truth we have grown up with. The age we live in today is known as the age of creativity, causing the world’s knowledge to double every 24 months. Knowledge is freely and easily available to anyone and everyone. Then why is there so much darkness – darkness that rises from fear and prejudices? Why have we become insecure; not being able to love our neighbor – including our neighboring countries; as now we live in a borderless world? Why isn’t there more wisdom, tolerance and fellowship?

On the one hand, our daily reality consists of fast-paced change created by rapid technological developments. On the other hand, humans are slow to accept change. We seek stability, as therein we find our identity. The fear of losing our identity causes us to cling to old ways, traditions and customs. Looking inside ourselves we find calm in the conventional way. Looking outside we see that we cannot survive without adapting to the demands and speed of advancement around us. No matter how much we deny the ‘new’ by taking refuge in the ‘old’; for civilizations to thrive the ‘new’ must be accepted or else become extinct. That in itself is a scary thought, causing further insecurity.

The solution is simple. Whether times change; old values become meaningless; new ones take their place; there are always universal principles to guide us. As long as we base our beliefs, values and practices on principles like trust, integrity, honesty, respect and love for all creation of God; differences in cultures, religions, cast, color and ethnicity will fade. Real advancement, human progress and intellectual and spiritual evolution happens when we design our life around these principles. This is the unifying force amidst apparent diversity; this is our universally common identity.

Only when societies tune in to a shared goal, it is then that their energies combine to provide the thrust needed to create momentum for growth. Without a shared vision, people become selfish and anarchy prevails. An ideology that encompasses the aspirations of a community is what brings people together. The level of diversity being what it is today in the world, for such an ideology to be conceived is itself a Herculean task; but not one that is difficult for the many beautiful minds of the 21st century to envision. Such minds and hearts, when put together, with a single intent of putting humanity on earth, can, over time, conjure up an inspiring picture of a future - valuable and practical enough for most to enroll into and act upon.

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