Date posted: September 16, 2012
Fethullah Gulen has always been hopeful about the future, even under extremely desperate conditions and he has always tried to instill hope into people’s hearts. Below is one of his messages full of hope.
Fethullah Gulen’s Message to the “Establishing & Sustaining the Culture of Coexistence and Mutual Understanding” Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
His Excellency Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Meles Zenawi -the Respected and Glorious person who honored “Establishing & Sustaining the Culture of Coexistence and Mutual Understanding” forum by sending a message-, the Respected Ministers, Advisors and Officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Federal Affairs who hosted this event, the officials, who contributed their valuable efforts for the organization of the forum, from the Political Affairs Department of African Union Commission, Turkish Ambassador to Ethiopia, Members of the Interreligious Council of Ethiopia and Nejashi Ethio – Turkish International Schools, Precious Members of the Organizational Committee, academicians who participate in this forum by delivering their valuable messages, respected scientists, and distinguished guests;
|In fact, a person of this kind is a vanguard of love. He is in connection with all existence and embraces everybody and everything with compassion… embraces his country and people with utmost fondness… fills the gaps between different groups in society with love and connects everybody with the bridges of empathy that he develops. While holding tightly onto his belief and philosophy in life, he seeks ways to live together with others in harmony and accept every individual in their unique positions and respect for all by seeing it as a reality that other understandings and philosophies exist. He never discriminates against anybody because of their ethnicity, religion, faith, sect or ideology.|
I would like to thank the organizational committee and all participants for their contributions to the “Establishing & Sustaining the Culture of Coexistence and Mutual Understanding” forum on behalf of knowledge, wisdom and humanity. Regardless of the theme, because it is organized to discuss world peace in general, and specifically of Africa, and most importantly because very important issues of Ethiopia will be discussed, such as interfaith harmony, education, dialog, and peace, I would like to offer my respect to the people who contributed their valuable efforts and to the distinguished participants. Being a key country in Africa because of its population and location, Ethiopia has a potential of becoming a unique example of dialog, peace and coexistence with its ethnic, cultural and religious mosaic. And, I would like to express my gratitude to the Turkish Schools and all our Ethiopian friends including the statesmen and academicians who contributed to the organization of this event.
Yes, some of my friends, traveling around the world with the love of serving humanity in their hearts and a desire to build bridges of dialog, became your guests in Ethiopia. They lived here as if they were in their own motherland… because they always found the spiritual support of respected people like you right beside them. A conference like this could only have been organized with such a warm welcoming spiritual support, spirit of friendship, and a vision of cooperation; and you succeeded it all together.
In fact, I cannot say that I have contributed much to the “service” activities carried out for the sake of humanity by the members of the “Movement of Volunteers“***, which is chosen as a research topic by many academicians in different countries and on which many presentations were made by organizing conferences around the World. I gladly and joyfully accept the title of being a serving member among them as an expression of their kindness.
I am all aware that those self-sacrificing, altruistic souls are working whole-heartedly to serve humanity without expecting any rewards. And, I am aware of their contributions to the global peace and their exemplary efforts as well. I think they should be applauded for their sincere intentions and efforts. On the other hand, I really hope that various cultures and ethnicities in the world will eventually come together and reach the horizons of mutual understanding and agreement with the efforts of precious people like you who work hand in hand to build a “Happy World” and establish “islands of peace” of the future, a World that being united around the universal values promises. Having the ingredients of goodness and beauty, unity and harmony, dialog and tolerance in its essence, I strongly believe and hope that humanity will find the path to the right track necessitated by this essence someday.
I believe that humanity, being tired of wars, clashes, blood and cruelty, is ready for dialog and global peace, and (at this historical junction I assure you that) circumstances are favorable and we stand exactly at the most fruitful point to succeed at this great purpose. Any constructive and cooperative effort to achieve this goal deserves respect. And this forum, which is organized at the center of African Union, would be remembered with appreciation not only by the peoples of Ethiopia and Turkey but also by the foresighted ones in other countries; and these efforts of establishing “islands of peace” and the culture of coexistence will have their most glorious place in the pages of history.
It is my belief that the rank of a person in front of the Almighty Creator is according to his altruistic intentions in his heart. And, the best sign of altruism is to sacrifice one’s carnal desires and pleasures for the happiness of others and strive for betterment in the society.
An individual with this spirit will use his time, potential, knowledge, wisdom, wealth, and his vision, in short, everything he is given by the Creator to the service of humanity up to the last drop. He will breathe tranquility into people everywhere with his written work, poems, paintings, music, and other branches of art, -but the best of all- by being a beautiful representative of universal humanitarian values. Whatever his color and race is, and wherever he lives, he will be treating everyone with mercy, giving a hand to others with a deep compassion, and breathing life into everything like water.
In fact, a person of this kind is a vanguard of love. He is in connection with all existence and embraces everybody and everything with compassion… embraces his country and people with utmost fondness… fills the gaps between different groups in society with love and connects everybody with the bridges of empathy that he develops. While holding tightly onto his belief and philosophy in life, he seeks ways to live together with others in harmony and accept every individual in their unique positions and respect for all by seeing it as a reality that other understandings and philosophies exist. He never discriminates against anybody because of their ethnicity, religion, faith, sect or ideology.
I believe wholeheartedly that all the “architects of thought”, whether they are present at this meeting or not, will be remembered in appreciation by the future generations and I wish for the continuation of promoting ‘the culture of coexistence’ with more forums like this in future. Because of my health problems, sudden increases in my blood pressure due to even minor excitements, and because I feel ashamed for not being active even in one percent of the organized activities, I am not able to attend such a unique forum in person for which I am deeply sorry, though I support it with my whole hearth.
Along with these feelings, I believe that this forum will contribute immensely to the construction of a better world, which will bring happiness to humanity in this life and after, and strengthen the culture of coexistence. I would like to thank all who have contributed to the organization of this event taking place at a time when we need a world filled with mercy, compassion, mutual understanding and peace more than ever, and I wish all participants a successful event and send my deepest respect and greetings of peace.
*** Mr. Gulen calls it Movement of Volunteers, however, scholars of social sciences call this movement either Hizmet Movement or Gulen Movement.