Self-improvement and preparations for the future success

Self-improvement and

preparations

for the future success

 

Where there is hatred, let me sow Love.

Where there is doubt, let me sow Faith.

Where there is darkness, let me sow Light.

Where there is despair, let me sow Hope.

Where there is injury, let me sow Pardon.

For it is in Giving that we receive.

It is in Pardoning that we are pardoned.

It is in dying that we are born to Eternal life.

(St. Prancis.)

The best revenge is forgiveness.

  • We must try to forgive and forget.

  • Yes, our anger, hatred and grievance would definitely burn our own heart.

  • Animosity burns and destroys not only the enemy and the innocent surroundings and the immediate neighbours but also one’s own-self.

  • Animosity and the desire of revenge blind a person and may even unintentionally leads to a self-destructive course.

  • Hatred incites and grows reciprocal hatred from the opposite side.

  • Only if we discard and stop our hatred – the reciprocal hatred will diminish and disappear.

  • Viscous circle of the hatred, revenge, animosity could be stopped by forgiveness followed by love.

  • We must not even secretly or quietly keep hatred and desire for revenge even in our heart. We should not just pretend to be magnanimous from outside appearances only.

  • Forgiveness is more effective and sweet when we are winning or when we are in a position to revenge. That is the best time to forgive, forget the bitter feelings, start a new friendship, do something your enemy never expected by just try to be nice, gentle and good on him.

  • This is the best way to cut the vicious circle of revenge. In this way, we can change our enemy in to one of our best friends. Redemption resulted to transform him in to your saviour. He could be changed totallty and will be even possible to sacrifice his life for us if really necessary.

  • It is very easy to push your small minor enemy in to a life long fore by a simple, stupid revenge.

  • There is a saying that even if we have a thousand of friends, it is not enough. But even if we have one enemy, it is too much.

It’s all too easy to play the victim and complain about institutionalised racism and discrimination when one is not bothered to help oneself and one’s family to deal with and overcome the vicissitudes of life that is never fair on us as Muslims.

Very few of us are born with a silver or golden spoon in our mouths. But for most of us, a good education is key to social mobility and increased earning power.

Simply put, we play with the cards that we were dealt with instead of bemoaning our fate and demonstrating noisily about the unfairness of it all although it is true that we are unfairly discriminated. But just look at the realty, who will help us? Our Muslim brothers around the world? They are all selfish, greedy and totally useless. Christians or others? We need to help ourselves! That’s the truth.

  We must cultivate mutual respect, trust and understanding among all the religions.

  • We must search, point out, and promote the common virtues and good points from our various religions.

  • We must ignore the controversial, potential igniting differences in various religions.

  • Actually, non of us can easily prove that the other religions are totally wrong and our religion is absolutely true and right. Religion depends on our faiths.

  • All of the religions some times need blind faith without any question.

  • We are not arguing here that any religion or all the religions are not true. Actually I am a practising Muslim and absolutely believe in Islam.

  • But I would never say or try to prove that other religions are wrong.

  • According to Islam, Allah had send more than 124,000 prophets to our world.

  • There is a strong possibility that the various religions are just the various forms of a common faith with different approaches.

  • There may be gradual degradation or slow changes because of prolonged time factor but we should not blindly accuse that other old religions are wrong.

In spite of serious instances of abuse of various religions by some of their claimed followers so as to justify or instigate acts of brutality and bloodshed, there are positive and helpful common themes in these religions. Therefore, peaceful and candid intra-faith and inter-faith dialogues are important tools in working for such goals. (Read more)

Dear Buddhist brothers, please don’t take it as an insult. Even if you could not accept my following idea, please forgive and forget about this. I am not degrading your Lord Buddha in to a Prophet.

  • Lord Buddha had revealed that there are a lot of Buddhas as much as the number of the sands on the Ganges River. And all of them could not avoid the ‘nature’ of Kama (Kan) and must at last die or end at Parinivarna or Nivarna (of nothing or free from all the sufferings of life i.e. the circle of Sansara- birth, old age, disease and death.)

  • I do not think that it is just a coincidence in the enormous numbers of Buddhas and our prophets.

  • I deeply believed that all of them are the same honourable great Holy personalities, whether we accepted as God or Prophets.

  • I hope God would definitely forgive me for telling this fact that even if you or I could get some superpower of God, we would definitely send our representative (Prophet) or go ourself (e.g. forgive me God) to the strategic place, Nepal, which is located between the two early great civilizations, China and India.

  • Accoprding to Islamic the prophets were sent by God to every nation.

  • In Islam, only Muhammad was sent to convey God’s message for the whole of mankind, whereas other prophets were sent to convey a message to a specific group of people or nation.

    • “And certainly We sent messengers (rasul) before you: there are some of them that We have mentioned to you and there are others whom We have not mentioned to you…” [Qur’an 40:78]
    • “For We assuredly sent amongst every People a messenger…”[Qur’an 16:36]
  • Muslims believe in other prophets other than those mentioned by name in the Quran as ther are many verses in the Quran that speak about this:

Additional numerous historical religious figures may have been prophets, but this is a source of debate and contention, among them: Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha and Rama. The Islamic Hadith and Qur’an support such claims that say that a messenger was sent to every people.

Allow me to quote the venerable Thubten Chondron’s Home page. Here the article by Dr. Alexander Berzin was really wonderful. It is titled, Islamic-Buddhist Dialogue.

“… Historically, Islamic law has accepted Buddhism as a “religion of the Book.” Because “Dharma” was translated as “law,” and “law” referred to “book,” Buddhists as “people of the Dharma” were understood to be “people of the Book” throughout medieval Central Asia. Islam tolerates all “people of the Book.”

Indonesian Buddhists posit Adibuddha, the primordial Buddha of the Kalachakra Tantra, as the “creator.” I had several interesting discussions with Buddhist monks in Indonesia about the issue of God in Buddhism. Since Adibuddha can be interpreted as the clear light primordial consciousness, and since all appearances of samsara and nirvana are the play or “creation” of that mind, we concluded that it could be said that Buddhism accepts a “creator God.” The fact that Buddhism asserts Adibuddha not to be an individual, separate being who created the universe, but something present in each sentient being, can be seen as a theological difference concerning the nature of God. That is, Buddhism does accept a “creator God” but with its own unique interpretation. As the Muslims say, “Allah has many names,” and many Christian, Islamic, Hindu, and Jewish thinkers assert that God is abstract and present in all beings. Taken from_

Dear Buddhist brothers, don’t angry with me, I hereby apologize all of you from the bottom of my heart for copying and publishing the above paragraph. I just wish to show that we are not far apart. Not totally different.

I am not telling that you and your religion is wrong. I just want to highlight the similarities. If we look at the virtues or goodness of teachings of all the religions, all are same, advising to do good and to avoid the evil or bad.

modern Islamic scholars have asserted that the Prophet Dh’ul Kifl–the “man from Kifl”–mentioned twice in the Qur’an, refers to the Buddha, with Kifl being the Arabic rendering of the name of Buddha’s native kingdom, Kapilavastu. The Qur’an stated that the followers of Dh’ul Kifl are righteous people. Secondly, al-Biruni and Sehristan, two eleventh century Islamic scholars who visited India and wrote about its religions, called Buddha a “Prophet …”

“Dispute not with the People of the Book save in the fairer manner, except for those of them that do wrong; and say, ‘We believe in what has been sent down to us, and what has been sent down to you: Our God and your God is One, and to Him we have surrendered’.” (XXIX: The Spider: 45)

In other places the Qur’an says:

Not all of them are alike; a party of the people of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the Verses of God during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer. They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin Al-Ma’rûf and forbid Al-Munkar ; and they hasten in (all) good works; and they are among the righteous. And whatever good they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for God knows well those who are Al-Muttaqûn .(3:113-115)

Muhammad (pbuh) in Buddhist Scriptures: 1. Buddha prophesised the advent of a Maitreya:   

A. Almost all Buddhist books contain this prophecy. It is in Chakkavatti Sinhnad Suttanta D. III, 76:

“There will arise in the world a Buddha named Maitreya (the benevolent one) a holy one, a supreme one, an enlightened one, endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious, knowing the universe:”

What he has realized by his own supernatural knowledge he will publish to this universe. He will preach his religion, glorious in its origin, glorious at its climax, glorious at the goal, in the spirit and the letter. He will proclaim a religious life, wholly perfect and thoroughly pure; even as I now preach my religion and a like life do proclaim. He will keep up the society of monks numbering many thousands, even as now I keep up a society of monks numbering many hundreds”.        

B. According to Sacred Books of the East volume 35 pg. 225:

“It is said that I am not an only Buddha upon whom the leadership and order is dependent. After me another Buddha maitreya of such and such virtues will come. I am now the leader of hundreds, he will be the leader of thousands.”     

C. According to the Gospel of Buddha by Carus pg. 217 and 218 (From Ceylon sources):

“Ananda said to the Blessed One, ‘Who shall teach us when thou art gone?’

And the Blessed one replied, ‘I am not the first Buddha who came upon the earth nor shall I be the last. In due time another Buddha will arise in the world, a holy one, a supremely enlightened one, endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious, knowing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a master of angels and mortals. He will reveal to you the same eternal truths, which I have taught you. He will preach his religion, glorious in its origin, glorious at the climax and glorious at the goal. He will proclaim a religious life, wholly perfect and pure such as I now proclaim. His disciples will number many thousands while mine number many hundreds.’

Ananda said, ‘How shall we know him?’

The Blessed one replied, ‘He will be known as Maitreya’.

i. The Sanskrit word ‘Maitreya’ or its equivalent in Pali ‘Metteyya’ means loving, compassionate, merciful and benevolent. It also means kindness and friendliness, sympathy, etc.

One Arabic word which is equivalent to all these words is ‘Rahmat’.

In Surah Al-Anbiya:

“We sent thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures.”
[Al-Qur’an 21:107]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was called the merciful, which is ‘Maitri’. 

ii. The words Mercy and Merciful are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an no less than 409 times.

iii. Every chapter of the Glorious Qur’an, except Chapter 9, i.e. Surah Taubah begins with the beautiful formula, ‘Bismillah Hir-Rahman Nir-Rahim’, which means ‘In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful’.

iv. The Word Muhammad is also spelt as ‘Mahamet’ or ‘Mahomet’ and in various other ways in different languages. The word ‘Maho’ or ‘Maha’ in Pali and Sanskrit mean Great and Illustrious and ‘Metta’ means mercy. Therefore ‘Mahomet’ means ‘Great Mercy’.Here are some other links regarding Gautama Buddha’s Prophecy about Muhammad being another Buddha (Maitreya Buddha):

http://www.irf.net/irf/comparativereligion/middle/buddhism/dawahtobudhhists.htm

Comparative analysis:
http://www.irf.net/irf/comparativereligion/index.htm

Dear Buddhist brothers, after reading the above, if I were in your place, I would think that this Muslim is trying to put our God, Buddha under his Islamic Prophet and trying to put his Prophet as next Buddha.

No, no, no. I am just trying to rationalize that we all are the same. All the religions are same. We cannot or should try to run down, looked down as false on other religions. 

Not only the Muslims, but other religious persons could say or prove that the following teachings of Buddha are wrong. I personally could accept the following teachings of Buddha  as the absolute truth! 

But I am born in a Muslim family. So I decided to stay as a Muslim but would never look down on Buddhism as a wrong religion. I had learnt a lot of Buddhist teachings and also Scripture of Christians in the mission school.  And later read about other religions, Hindu, Jews etc.

But we understand that Buddhism does not explicitly recognize a God, or the concept of prophethood. However, there is no official Buddhist view of God, and Buddhism does not specifically oppose monotheism.

Buddhism is usually regarded as a religion (or a spiritual philosophy) without an Absolute Creator God (who created the universe ex nihilo and to whom worship and adoration are due). Even though an Absolute Creator God is absent in most forms of Buddhism, veneration and worship of Gautama Buddha (and other Buddhas) do play a major role in both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. In Mahayana Buddhism there is the notion of the Buddha as the omnipresent, omniscient, liberative essence of Reality, and the idea of the Buddhas as generators of vast “Buddha lands” or Buddha Paradises, in which beings will unfailingly attain Nirvana. (Wikipedia)

In Buddhism, there is no Supreme Being named that is the creator of all. However Gautama Buddha does state that our thoughts make the world. The Buddha considers thought as the creator of the world.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.

Dhammapada, 1.1-3

All the religions’ virtues or values or the essence of are good, same and we differ in practice only. I think the covering outside form and the way we practice are the things dividing all of us. The Essence of all the religions  are  the same. 

Even we, humans used to like new models of cars and chased the new fashions. I believe that God Himself purposely avoid the creation of assembly line product HUMAN ROBOTS. 

In every religion we believe in Angels. God create Humans different from Angels. If all the humans are same it may be boring. God given us the choice, we could choose Good or EVIL. And God had given promise that the good persons will be rewarded and the bad would be punished. 

Buddha never taught that all other good persons from other religions would be punished or are going to HELL.

Jesus also never preached that.

And Allah also clearly said that those GOOD Non-Muslims could enter HEAVEN. 

The Five Precepts 

The Five Precepts constitute the basic Buddhist code of ethics, undertaken by lay followers of the Buddha Gautama in the Theravada and Mahayana traditions.

The Five Precepts are commitments to_

  1. abstain from killing,

  2. stealing,

  3. sexual misconduct,

  4. lying and

  5. intoxication.

The laity undertake to follow these training rules at the same time as they become Buddhists, taking refuge in the Triple Gem: In the Buddha (teacher), in the Dharma (teaching) and thirdly in the Sangha (community of monks and nuns).

The following are the five precepts rendered in English and then Pali:

  1. I undertake the precept to refrain from taking the life (killing) of living beings.
    Pānātipātā veramani sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi

  2. I undertake the precept to refrain from stealing. (lit. “taking what is not offered”)
    Adinnādānā veramani sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi

  3. I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct (adultery, rape, exploitation, etc).
    Kāmesu micchācāra veramani sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi

  4. I undertake the precept to refrain from false speech (lying).
    Musāvāda veramani sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi

  5. I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicants which lead to heedlessness. (Can include intoxicating ideas)
    Surā meraya majja pamādatthānā veramani sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi

  Noble Eightfold Path 

Noble Eightfold Path is, in the teachings of the Buddha, declared to be the way that leads to the end of dukkha, or suffering. Essentially a practical guide of bringing about ethical and meditative discipline, the Noble Eightfold Path forms the fourth part of the Four Noble Truths, which have informed and driven much of the Buddhist tradition

These are divided into three basic categories as follows:

A.Wisdom (Sanskrit: prajñā, Pāli: paññā)

1. Right view

2. Right intention

B.Ethical conduct (Sanskrit: śīla, Pāli: sīla)

3. Right speech

4. Right action

5. Right livelihood

C.Mental discipline (Sanskrit and Pāli: samādhi)

6. Right effort

7. Right mindfulness

8. Right concentration

In all of the elements of the Noble Eightfold Path, the word “right” is a translation of the word samyañc (Sanskrit) or sammā (Pāli), which denotes completion, togetherness, and coherence, and which can also carry the sense of “perfect” or “ideal”. 

And if we look at the HINDU religion, we all could be surprized as starting from the basic concepts of life, sansara, nivarna, kamma to the vocabulary, glossary, terminology and jargon, all are almost the same.

Just look at the Christian Tritiny. God, Father and the Son. I am ashamed when some non-Christians mocked this vague or different concept as I believed in the GREATNESS of JESUS. Yes, whether we believed that he was a Prophet as Islam taught us or one of the Trinity or all, it is beyound our human’s knowledge. Why should we argue uselessly?

In Islam, we have to believe those facts which are beyond our common sense or knowledge. We must believe in all the prophets send by Allah.

It is clear that although we believe in Jesus and Moses, we cannot accept all the teachings of present Christianity and Judaism. But I also never believe that it is right to tell that they are wrong. This is not my point or idea to argue the different concepts and beliefs of the religions.

  • I here by want to promote mutual understanding and respect of all the religions.

  • Let us not provoke each other.

  • Let us promote mutual understanding, mutual love and mutual respect for each other.

  • All the religions have common good virtues and teachings.

  • Let us highlight the common and similar teachings and leave the differences to practice personally in our own homes and in the premise of the religious worshipping places. We must fulfil our religious rituals and prayers in our own houses and in worshipping places.

  • We should avoid argues, debates, quarrels and discussions on religious differences. These must be avoided in the public but it should be strictly done  in the confines of our own religious community.

  • We should have a communication hot line open always to discuss any social and religious problems among the different faiths as we are staying together and the potential problems will crop up any time.

Engaged Islam is the path we, Muslims in Myanmar should choose, in this modern world of multiethnic society.

  • As we are staying in a non-Islamic country, it is more important for us not to isolate our-selves.

  • But we must communicate, relate, discuss and have a dialogue with or Buddhist Burmese friends.

  • No man is an island. We should not just stay in our own religious atmosphere.

  • We have a lot of things to do in unity despite of our differences in religions.

  • We have to build our beloved country.

  • We have to work together to eradicate hard core poor. Many social and welfare works. World peace and more important than that, peace, stability and progress of Myanmar etc.

We should cooperage extensively in various social and welfare works.

  • We all should look after and work together for the less privileged of our country.

  • The poor, the aged, ill patients, orphans and people out of job, drug addicts, ex-addicts, ex-criminals, socially out cast people like beggars, prostitutes, HIV positives, school drop outs, delinquent children, domestic violent victims are few of the people we want to mention here.

  • Works of merits like building schools, extension of schools, opening free or subsidised clinics and hospitals, rehabilitation centres, rest-houses and resting places for the travellers, digging wells, building ponds, cleaning the streets and city etc could be co-ordinated and done together by the various social and welfare groups regardless of the difference of religion.

  • Those voluntary works should become the regular meeting centres of co-operation for the people of different religions.

  • By working closely together, we can build mutual trust and understanding.

Don’t let our-selves become religious fanatic.

  • Extremism is always bad. Islam teaches us to practice moderation.Buddha also advised the followers to choose the moderate, middle path.

  • Acting extremely is always bad, especially in religious matters.

  • Siddhartha(563-483 BC) followed the extreme path for many years in meditating but could not get enlightenment until he changed to the moderate path.

Mutual trust is important.

  • We must try to understand the other faiths.

  • If we have no interest, we cannot know others’ feelings.

  • Only if we know and understand the others, we will have a faith and trust.

  • From that we could sow and grow tolerance.

  • Stop pointing fingers, finding faults regarding the past mistakes.

  • Whether right or wrong, forget the past. Try to forgive others.

Try to change our-selves to be more effective, efficient and faultless.

  • Try to avoid committing the same mistakes.

  • Look for the future.

  • We must be considerate. Think and feel from the opposite side. We must reduce the confrontations and increase the dialogues base on common good virtues and teachings. We must cooperate extensively on social and welfare works.

  • We must be sensitive with the feelings of our Buddhist brothers. We must never insult their beliefs.

  • Jealousy and hatred are interrelated.

  • There follows the fear of loosing out.

  • Hatred is associated with fear.

  • Love drive out fear.

There are two forms of love in Myanmar concept.

  • 1500 is the hot love between the two lovers and among the husband and wife.

  • 528 love is cool and it is a universal love between – brothers and sisters, friends, parents and children etc.

In long term marriage, the couple develops both loves, extended from hot love into cool love of mutual friendship.

Loving-kindness is difficult to understand by non-Myanmars, who may have this but if I am not wrong, never categorised into a separate word.

This we called, Myitta, is the tender love and kindness for all the creatures even extended to the animals and to our enemy.

  • Actually all kind of loves drives out fear.

  • Love or more correctly loving-kindness leads to trust, content and peace of mind.

  • Truth is not only necessary but also essential.

  • We cannot achieve trust by deceiving others.

  • If there is mistrust, the fear grows and leads to unwanted, undesirable preparations for the possible aggression.

  • If we are truthful and reliable only, the others will trust us.

  • Truth promotes confidence from both sides. Yes not only from the other side but our self-confidence also grows.

  • Mutual confidence and trust break down our unnecessary shields. And friendships will prevail.

  • I trust and strongly believe that with the good will and strong friendship, our Burmese Buddhists will even protect us or save us from the danger.

  • Lack of trust, fear and insecurity by any side leads to mutual suspicion.

  • The fear of loosing and suspicion of the other side might strike a surprised attack may lead to the plan of the early strike by one of the opposing party.

  • That mutual preparation for a possible fight, attack may lead to unnecessary tensions, misunderstanding or even an eruption of accidentally starting a fight leading to a fullfledged war.

Let our Burmese-Buddhist friends that we love and trust them.

We must prove to them that we are trustworthy and reliable.

“The best defence is attack”. That was a very popular saying in football.

But the better defence than the attack is peace, mutual trust, love and friendship.

No war is good or desirable.

Victory is the illusion of the philosophers and the fools. In a battle or a war, no one wins. Both sides lost because both sides suffer.

So try to avoid all violence – fights, arguments and wars.

Do not provoke others.

It is better to keep in silence. We should use our two ears given by God twice than the single mouth. Ears are solely meant for the hearing. Please kindly note that the mouth has other functions of eating, chewing, swallowing and breathings also.

It is better to stand up and talk, argue or present our views later after careful thinking.

Please always give some cooling off time. Give some amount of time for both sides to re-examine, re-evaluate. re-assess and re think. Try to avoid emotional immediate rebuttals.

  • Even if we are right, some of the things are trivial and not worthy of pursuit further. Most of the time, the results we can achieve by remaining calm and stoic are better.

  • In another way, we should never allow our-selves to be provoked.

  • If we are provoked, we lost control of our-selves. We could not distinguish between the right and wrong response. We are at a disadvantage in an argument, negotiation, quarrel or fight.

  • Anger blinds us and not only the enemy but also the neutral surroundings lost respect on us. We loose face also. We lost our composure and open up our weakness, the opposite side can easily take advantage. Some of the clever people will intentionally provoke us intentionally to exploit us and knock down us off balance. We must be clever and our mind must be strong enough not to become victim of provocation.

We are not promoting to abandon the preparing for the self-improvement to have all round strength and power.

  • Non-poisonous snakes are not even respected by the children.

  • If we are weak, we are always exposed to the exploitations of the bullies and thuds.

  • We have to prepare and strengthen our-selves physically, intellectually, economically, socially, mentally, spiritually etc.

  • We have to promote our health by living in a healthy way.

  • Eating nutritious foods, avoid cigarettes, liquor and drugs. Avoid dangerous sexual behaviours.

  • Do regular exercise, plays sports.

  • Learn Martial arts for self defence and if get a chance try to learn by participating in civil defence and military training.

Learn and study hard

Malcom X told us that the education is the passport of the future.

  • Islam promotes education.

  • Islam encourages us to learn from the cradle to the graveyard.

  • Islam advises us to even go to China (from Arabia) to learn.

  • Actually Muslim town Bukhara, the famous for Islamic teachings, is in China and the most famous Islamic Scholar Imam Bukhari was educated there.

We have to work hard

  • But it is more important to work smart.

  • To be able to work smart, we need education, skills, modern technology and know how.

  • Even after the schooling period of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Education and had already entered the employment period, we always need to polish up or brush up our knowledge and skills.

  • On job training, further studies, evening classes and R&D (Research and Development) are always needed to improve our-selves and to value added our products.

  • Paper qualification is important in the advancement of the carrier ladder.

  • Acquiring the relevant experience and skills are also very important for the promotion but lack of paper qualification may stop us at certain crucial step of promoting into the specialist, consultant or expert level. The status, parks, salary scales etc. are totally different at that top professional and management level from the simple oridinary workers.

  • Other essential living skills like learning – driving motor-bike and motor car, computer and Information Technology, swimming, at least one foreign language etc. is also very important.

We must maintain the high moral values

  • Bad moral will destroy all of our achievements.

  • Sex, corruption liquor and drugs have cause the downfall of many great personalities in the history.

  • Reading habit is also very important value.

  • Motivation books are the vitamins for the mind. These books could improve our communication skills. We want to recommend the book written by Dale Carnegie “ How to win friends and influence people” and translated by our late democratically elected Prime Minister U Nu.

  • Actually nowadays there are a lot of books on these subjects and many have been translated in to Burmese.

  • I want to recommend the “Chicken soup for the mind” series also.

  • We need to improve our mental power and communication skills as well as physical health and muscular power.

We must be thrifty and have the habit of saving for the rainy day.

Our Myanmar Muslims’ traditional believe in hard work to survive and to gain status in life may be simply because our ancestors were immigrants and they always had to thrive very hard in the foreign hostile land.

  • If they did not work hard, there was no one to rely or depend upon. Just do or die only.

  • It is more important for us to work harder as we all had already cut off our umbilical cords from our ancient migrant ancestors’ mother lands. Most of us even could not trace or even know our roots or from where they come from.

  • We had burnt the bridges.

  • Abandoned or destroyed the rafts or boats our ancestors had used to cross the oceans and rivers.

  • There is no question of return or retreat. We must stay on forever.

  • Myanmar or Burma is our new home-land.

We Myanmar Muslims’ inherent character and habit of _ 

  • placing importance on hard work,

  • education,

  • thrift,

  • family relationships,

  • respect for elders are the precious assets for us to maintain.

Those individual skills and powers will be more effective and strengthened by the unity among the fellow Muslims and preferably extended to our Buddhist brothers.

We must always hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

If something went wrong and we failed –

  • don’t blame others.

  • Accept it gracefully.

  • There is a saying – the success has a lot of fathers and the failure is an orphan.

  • Almost all the people will deny their responsibility.

  • We have to accept the failure with the open mind.

  • No need to made a witch hunt or search for the scapegoat.

  • After accepting the failure, we have to search for the real cause, without bias.

  • What, where, when, why and how it fails.

  • Who is responsible is not important.

  • Even if some-one accidentally or intentionally triggered our downfall or failure, it is very difficult to blame or change that person. Don’t be a paranoid.

  • It is our struggle. It is our interest to make sure that, that person could not damage our struggle, in any way. We have to make sure that, that won’t happen again. It is our responsibility to smooth out all because it is our own struggle for our success.

From all the failures and disasters, we must learn the lessons.

  • These are blessings in disguise.

  • Make those failures pillars for our success.

  • Try! Try! Try! Again and again.

  • Never give up the hope.

  • Thomas Eddison had failed about five hundred thousand times before he successfully invented an electric bulb.

  • Don’t stop trying. Think and analyse what went wrong. Correct it. Improve it. Prepare your-self.

  • Try again. Victory is for those dare to try again and again.

  • Perseverance is the key-word for success.

  • Easy success is actually not very sweet nor precious.

  • Victory gained after a lot of struggles are really sweat and gratifying.

  • Easy to get Iron and Copper are cheap.

  • Gold, Diamond and Ruby are precious because it is rare and difficult to get.

Actually power comes from within.

If we, Myanmar Muslims have_

  • confidence,

  • self respect,

  • proud being a Muslim and

  • if strongly believe that we are not a simple person,

  • but one day will surely progress,

  • there is definitely a very bright future of crowning with the success.

  • Inner spiritual strength is more important and always guides the outer physical power.

  • Even if we are weak physically, inner spiritual and mental strength and power will guide, train and convert it to become powerful.

And we must be ready to give a helping hand, to others, any time.

  • If we have a chance, we should try to help any one we encounter at any time irrespective of race and religion.

  • Mutual help promotes the friendship. One important thing is that we should not help just to get back immediate rewards or favour.

  • Even if that person never thanks or betrayed us, we should never doubt about our helping spirit.

  • It is our duty to help.

  • It is a charity.

  • That good will be never forgotten.

  • We have to reap what we sow.

  • We will reap the rewards of all the good that we have done.

We must not forget that we will have to pay for all the bad things that we have done.

Self-discipline is very important for us.

  • We have to commit our-selves to improve the living standard of our-selves, our family, our relatives, our friends, our neighbours, our town, our country and our nation.

  • Ultimate goodwill of brotherhood among the different races is very important.

  • Muslims are ordered by Islam to be loyal to the nation and country they lived in even if the government is a non-Muslim ruler.

But if the ruler is very cruel, discriminate and commit tyranny and atrocities on Muslims, we are allowed to fight back a Holy war.

  • If we are weak we must migrate from that place.

  • We are ordered not to just die under the atrocities.

  • God will condemn those died without doing any thing.

  • God promised the paradise for those die during the religious struggle.

  • And God also promised to fulfil the prayers of those suffering the un-justice.

It is very difficult to change the other people, whether they are right or wrong.

  • It is easy to change our-selves.

  • Yes, it is better, easier and more effective if we try to change our-selves.

  • It is easier than fighting, quarrelling or arguing with others. Once you started to blame others, they will deny and start defending them-selves.

  • The stone wall will be built, they will give all the excuses and will even point the finger back to us and start to blame us.

  • We would not get the desired result but will make a new enemy.

We have to change our-selves to win over the hearts and minds of our Burmese Buddhists brothers and sisters.

If they believe that we are sincere, trustworthy, reliable and good they will definitely change their hearts and corporate and even help us.

In Islam, our most important duty as the citizens of the non-Islamic State is to obey the government and abide by the rules, regulations and the laws of the land. 

But if the government discriminate unjustly on us, we have some options to choose. 

The first and easiest thing is to perform special prayers to Allah.  And Allah had already promised to answer the prayers of victims of injustice.

Second choice is to resist or protest in a peaceful manner, if possible within the law.  At least we must have some courage for that protest.

Another step should be borrowed from the Mahattma Ghandi’s civil disobedience.

We could take a more peaceful and milder form by avoiding direct confrontation with the law or the authorities.  Even Ghandi’s “Salt Protest” is direct confrontation.

That type of direct confrontation may be a little bit difficult in Burma’s political, social and economical life, because the APC dominance is still omnipresent and omnipotent.  Army, ex-army, SPCD, Swan Arrshinn and the USDA  or ‘Kyant Phot’ or the thuds of SPDC still dominate and influence our every-day’s life.  If we refuse to cooperate with them we, will suffer first. 

  • So we should secretly try to avoid them, avoid cooperation with them secretly.  We should secretly always try to sabotage each and every activity of those tyrants.

  • We can do in many forms, although APCs have all the permits to buy from the government, they still need to buy from the people. 

  • If we refuse to sell we will get a very big revenge, so we have to sell them but with a little bit higher price. 

  • If they forced us to work or donate, give low quality goods and service.  Try to delay, destroy their aims and objects.

  • Socially, try to avoid them or treat as outcasts. 

  • Refuse to make friend or marry them. 

  • Try to sabotage all of their activities.

Another better way is to migrate to a better place. 

Some of the people only have a chance to do this because most of the host countries are not willing to accept us. 

  • Although they claim to be Muslims, they created a lot of lame excuses to justify their hostile activities to us. 

  • We are poor distant cousin brothers in Islam, in contrast to Bosnian and Indonesian real brothers in Islam for them. 

  • Even non-Muslims from other Asean countries, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Arabs got more favourable treatment by Immigration and Home Ministries because of policies and laws which clearly discriminate on the citizens of Burma (Myanmar) irrespective of religion. 

The last option is to take armed rebellion. 

  • It is not an easy option for each and every Muslims in Myanmar. 

  • We have to sacrifice all. 

  • And just look at the Rohingya rebels and other rebels including some Muslims.  Who is willing to support financially, politically, militarily and etc? 

  • And after all we do not want outside influence. 

  • Power must come from inside the country only. 

  • Even if Muslims could topple the present government, who could guarantee that the next government will stop all the discriminations and give us all the rights including the right of representation in the government. 

  • Almost all of the prtsent opposition leaders from NLD, ABSDF, government in exile to the armed rebels have almost the same racial policy with the present military government. 

So what is the use of the Muslims’ sacrifices. 

So I hereby want to advocate or promote the other alternative means of struggles for us. 

Power of the powerless. 

Muslims in Myanmar(Burma) must struggle to get the ‘Power of the powerless instead of armed struggle. 

All kinds of violence, means more risks and less chance of success. 

As we are a minority only, we have to sacrifice a lot without any hope at all.

Instead of aiming to get the top executive administrative Power, we should aim to get the power to influence those in power!

To become a power broker, king maker, king breaker, or have the power to pull the strings from behind the curtain should be the target of Muslims in Myanmar. 

  • Power of friendship,

  • power of wisdom,

  • power of intelligence,

  • power of knowledge,

  • power of wealth,

  • power of good connections,

  • power of goodwill,

  • power of good tract record,

  • power of trustworthiness,

  • power of good moral and manners,

  • power of unity and

  • power of cooperation for mutual benefits and prosperity

are the main pillars of the POWER OF THE POWERLESS.      

All of us know that power leads to corruption. 

And the absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Any one in power will corrupt. 

Even if we, Muslims have power, there is no way to guarantee that we would be able to avoid this totally.

And those corrupt leaders or rulers could not escape Sansara, or they may have to pay back later on the judgement day.

According to Buddhism, even Lord Buddha, was scared of becoming king, and tried many times to avoid or abdicate.

Actually if we look at the condition in our country, it is a blessing, in disguise for the Muslims.  Instead of wasting time and grooming ourselves to become a politi­cian, we could use, our time mainly on education, economy and of course on religious and social works. 

It is better, less controversy and is sure of good results.

If we become highly educated professionals, wealthy, good moral characters, no one could ignore us. 

Definitely we would be able to influence any politician in power. 

  • So it is no need, for the Muslims in Burma to be jealous of our Burmese Buddhist friends in power.

  • No need to fight them or sabotage them but we must slowly and steadily try to expend our influence and contacts with them.

  • We must build a good relationship for the mutual benefit.

  • We must aim at the win win situation.

  • No need to make them poor or suffer.

We must increase the economic pie instead.

  1. No need to rob or reduce their share. In Burmese, we have a well known saying: “The water from the ocean could not dry up because of drinking by one person.”

  2. Yes! If the economic pie is big enough or if we could magnify it to accommodate all of us, there is no need to fight for a bigger share.

  3. So we all must work hard to improve our living standards,

  4. reduced the poverty rates,

  5. to improve our infrastructures,

  6. to increase our literacy rates,

  7. to promote peace and stability,

  8. to reduce hatred and suspicions,

  9. to catch up the economy and living standards of Asean tigers and Asia dragons.

  10. Our country is poor and needs a lot of constructions and development.  If we continue to fight, we will suffer.

If we have no political power to abuse_

  • we will have less sin,
  • less enemy and
  • will get more time to spend on more productive and useful things.
  • We could use that valuable time for our-selves, our family, our religion and for our country. 
  • Even if we use that time on recreation and health it will indirectly increase our productivity.

Please do not hate the Burmese Buddhists, ever if they happened to be monks or nuns. 

  • Hate or not we are already ‘trapped’ in this one country, to stay, struggle, work and survive together. 
  • Whether we like or not, we have to see and communicate every day.
  • Hatred will only made our lives miserable.
  • It will destroy our heart and body.
  • Buddha had already said:“Hatred and anger will destroy or burn our own body and soul.”
  • Mutual loving kindness will usher in the peace, development and prosperity.

When we speak we should avoid falsehood and lies, non-beneficial words and those words not easily acceptable to others.

  • We should always tell the truth, if it is beneficial and if acceptable to the recipient.
  • And for backbiting, Islam prohibited us to from telling the bad things about others at their back, even if those were the truths.

We should not give up hope. 

I would like to quote a poem of Rabindranath Tagore, (1861-1941) translated in to Burmese.  Because we, most of the Burmese knew him and his poems, I hereby like to translate in to English from the Burmese.

“If you miss the moon and waste the time with the sorrow and crying, you will miss the stars also.”

  • I even want to add, that after the dark stormy night, the clear dawn will definitely follow.

  • If we waste the time crying for the missed moon, we could also miss the beauty of the dawn.

  • Please stop crying for the spilt milk.

  • Nothing is really lost or priceless to be missed.

  • The fish we failed to catch always seemed to be big. 

  • Please, just accept the real fact or pretend that the forbidden grapes are sour. 

  • Be content with the local fruits we got. 

  • There are much more precious things on earth to achieve. 

  • Don’t waste time on lost opportunities or things we could not get.

As Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had rightly pointed out, FEAR is the worst enemy in all of us, including Burmese Buddhists, other minorities, other races, other religions and Muslims in Burma. 

  • Fear of extinction,

  • fear of dominance,

  • fear of total assimilation and

  • disappearance of race and religions pushed us apart. 

  • Like fear of unknown sounds and shadows in the dark.  If we just close our eyes, stay or hide under the blanket, the fear would never go off.

  • We would never be able to overcome that fear.  If we switch on the lights, search with a torch light, we may find out the cause, leaking or dribbling water taps, moving tree branches scratching the window, a cat or a rat etc.

Because of the western propaganda’s bias reporting and illustration of Muslims as terrorists and extremists, many people have preformed bad images on us followed by fear. 

  • This is our duty to try to change our image in them with our friendship, goodwill, generosity, loving kindness, co-operation and help etc. 

  • Sports and social welfare are the easiest routes to approach others.

  • Especially Muslims must establish a good relations with not only the civilian Burmese Buddhists but also even with the monks. 

  • We should learn how to communicate properly, respectfully and to behave correctly with the Buddhist Monks. We have to use some special words and phrases with respect.  Once we manage to ‘talk’ to them in a proper way or religious protocol, all of the difficulties will be over.  You will be surprised how helpful the monks  are on us. 

  • If there is no propaganda warfare or incitement and direct parti­cipation of the Military Intelligent spies, Swan Arrshins and USDA thugs, no one will ever harm us.

  • Even during the Military government sponsored anti-Muslim riots, true monks protected the Muslims.

  • The very good relation of Buddhists and Burmese Muslims and especially the merchants of Mandalay Zeygyo (Zeycho)  Myanmar Muslims’ skill to communicate with the Buddhist monks was mentioned and praised by one of the most famous lady journalist ‘Ludu Daw Ah Mar’ in one of the most famous Myanmar Magazine, ‘Shwe Amu Tae” in 1998.

  • So we need to grow and also show the loving kindness for all the citizens of Burma (Myanmar). They would definitely appreciate and return an appropriate reciprocal response.

  • We need to use our mosques to base and expend our social and welfare works.

  • Myanmar Muslims have enough manpower and Finance to start a health care works, education assis­tance works and legal aid works.

  • We should extend our free or partially subsided clinics and hospitals.

  • We should open and extend public libraries, tuition classes, religious classes, motivation and moral workshops, IT training, business and legal- aid bureaus, homes for the handicapped, orphanages, domestic violence victims and aged.  We could work toge­ther with our Burmese friends.

  • Vocational training, sports activities and training, teaching English speaking and other foreign languages are also helpful for the youths. 

  • Zakat funds and other funds also must be set up and use with transparency to aid the poor, for the education and to help to start small business.

  • For the disaster and tragedy aids there should he donations without strings but for the education and business aid, we should strictly consider non-interest loans only

  • Once graduated and get jobs or if business thrive and progress, they should be made to pay back the dues so that other needy persons could benefit from this scheme. Most of the successful people stay away from those organizations after they graduated or success because they are shy to  disclose their past.  That is the wrong idea.  They should be even proud of their success achieved from that pooer start.

  • We should not only aid money to start a business but should advice and give training for that.

  • And we should form a net work to help their business running. We should encourage to franchise our Muslim business. 

  • We must organize business seminars and workshops and act as match makers for the Muslim would be investors, Muslim skilled and unskilled workers and professionals. 

  • This could be extended to the foreign Muslim investors.

  • We should set up Psychological and other professional consultants like, social and voluntary workers to assist the people with various problems, marriage counselors, drug and alcohol addicts, delinquent children and women etc.

  • We should even consider a match making for Muslims.

  • Job searching, job training aid for the retrenched workers must be considered.

  • We should give advice when there is any dispute.

  • We should even consider assistance between the various activities between landlords and the tenants, property buyers and sellers.

  • We should even consider opening business of retail shops, restaurants etc, for on-job training for the Muslims.

  • Printing press, motor car and motorcycle workshops are also good to provide on-job training.These should be open to the non-Muslims also. 

  • By these activities we could build mutual understandind, mutual trust and it will lead to religious tolerance. 

  • There should be noboundry. Not only inter racial and inter religious tolerance and understanding but we need intra racial and intra religious unity and co-ope­ration. So called pure Myanmar (Burmese) Muslims must work together with thoseMyanmar Muslims preserving or leaning towards Indian subcontinent. 

  • The ‘Council’ or Burmannized, assimilated must co-operate with Tabligh side under the Mufti and Maulavis.  It is not the time to fight among our-selves.  I wish to point out one thing, even if we point the other side as Kalas or Indian Muslims, the Burmese government would never consider us as Burmese. Even if someone eat pork or enter the monkshood, they will call them ‘pork eating Kala and Kala.  Phongyi.

  • We should avoid extremism from both sides.  There must be a compromise. The other side must also shed the extremist views. Should avoid differences by restraining from patty fatwas. Islam is actually a social and family oriented religion. Even not like the Buddhism, which advocate the monkshood and ignore all the worldly things.

  • I myself like Tabligh activities because it really cause the Islamic revival and but always feel uneasy when they forced us to follow them for days or weeks.  They are forcing Muslims to ignore the real world of our business and families. Some of us even hate this and pointed to the ignored families leftbehind. Why should not we compromise. Islam never teaches us to ignore ourlove-ones, families and business. 

  • Tabligh-Muslim groups go around the countries to call, invite, preach, teach and train Muslims.  Founded in 1927 by Maulana Mohd.  Ilyas (1886-1944), a Sufi from Delhi.  In 1934, he started a revivalist campaign, reminisce of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).  Invited to come and pray at mosques and participate in various religious activities.  Tabligh teaches that worldly affairs are subordinate to the religious duties.  Although no one could deny that Tabligh activities are good, these are little bit at one end of extremism. 

  • If the Tabligh leaders could compromise, it will become a very good platform for Muslims in Myanmar. We all should change for the benefit of all the Muslims in Myanmar.

  • Buddhism advocate the middle path, “Myit Zima Padi Pada”. Confusious advised to take a moderate stand and to avoid the extremism, “Zhong Yong”.  In Islam, Al Baihaqui Hadith relates:”The best way to conduct your affairs is to choose the middle path.” 

  • Muslims in Burma must stop nursing bitterness about all those past and present injustices. 

  • Resentment and hatred must not allow to colour our heart to turn black. We must be magnanimous from now onwards for our future progress.We all must control our extreme emotions and desire for revenge. We must promote moderation, loving kindness and care . 

I have actually no right to demand all these from the people who were and are suffering under the successive Myanmar Military extremists. 

We must_

  • recognize,

  • sympathized

  • and help the victims of oppression,

  • discrimination,

  • aggression,

  • pers­ecution

  • and prosecution. 

But forgiveness and loving-kindness must replace the revenge and hatred. 

  • Our wisdom of the brain must overrule the feelings of our heart. 

  • In other words, “Our heads must rule and control our Hearts”

  • The hatred and revenge will ultimately leads to the endless circle of mutual violence and destruction of both parties.

  • Let us stop the circle of hatred and revenge.

Those pure Myanmar Muslims pretend and even believe that they are real Myanmars. 

  • They even discriminate and look down on the Muslims who have beard, wear long shirts and with scalp caps. 
  • They labeled them as Indian Muslims and even call with insulting names and comments. 
  • Some of them wear pure Burmese Gaung Baung, Tike Pon and Longyi and even insist on praying in Burmese language. 
  • Wearing those during prayer times  is not wrong as long as it covers the ‘Aurat’ or shameful parts according to Islam. 
  • It is nothing wrong if we refused or choose not to keep beard but insulting others with beard is out of question. 
  • If anyone could translate exactly and precisely all the Arabic words and use in daily compulsory ritual prayers,  no problem but all of us knew that it is impossible.
  • Myanmar language in Doa prayers or asking from Allah forgiveness, repenting or wish for the things we want to be granted would be more appropriate or correct and natural.

Myanmar Muslims or more correctly all the Muslims in Burma are systematically marginalised in present Myanmar history, politics and government.

And we, Muslims in Myanmar are also subject to the divide and rule policy of thegovernment. 

Ulamars are also busy with minor patty issues. Discussion, research and issuing Fatwas on all the questions raised are good for the practice, and progress of the religion and Islam encourages that. 

But arguing, quarrelling, fighting and division of Muslims or minor patty issue is not a very good thing.  We must avoid the minor issues, which may possibly cause the disunity.

We must have a second look on those Islamic Jurisprudence.

Mosque trustees or Mutawalis are also fighting and struggling for their power. It is funny they are competing for that minor authority.

We must aim at the establishing of a caring Muslim community in Burma.

We must become a society that cares. 

  • We must suppress our greed, selfishness and ‘Kai Su’ spirit.
  • We must care for the poor, ill, aged, and the underprivileged.
  • In this on ongoing process we must not forget our family. 
  • It must start from our own home, extended to the neighbours, friends and relatives. 
  • We must open our door to people of other races and religions.
  • If possible it must be extended to the whole world.
  • Once that caring attitude transgress the geopolitical, racial and religious boundaries our world will become a better place to live in.
  • Islam already guided us to this caring path. 

  • We, Muslims are to blamed for the lack of enthusiasm for this noble deed.

We have inhereted some very valuable cultural elements from our ancestors.

Cultural and religious festivals will give us a unique identity and some solidity.

Edds, Prophet birth day, weddings and other special prayer ceremonies should unite us.

Muslims in Myanmar have inherited the accumulation of customs and cultures from Pakistan, Northern India, Afaganistan, Bangladesh, Turks, Arabs, Persians and the last but not the least from our Burmese Buddhist friends.

And our Myanmar Chinese Muslims or Panthays also have a very unique culture and customs derived from Yunnan.

In this article we have tried to present the various religious virtues or goodprinciples and values with the internationally accepted norms or standard modern political views and principles.

We all should work together to reduce the social illness, juvenile delinquency, drug addition, incest, prostitution, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases.

To get a Myanmar Muslim Renaissance_

  • we must appreciate our roots,

  • ancestors,

  • religion,

  • our unity

  • and our co-operation. 

If we have unity and correct aims and objectives, there is nothing we could not achieve.

We have to reverse our inferiority complexes,

  • wrong concepts,

  • thought of failures and behaviours.

We have to draw a proper strategy and implementation.

  • We must aim both for the spiritual and material goals.

  • Peace and prosperity must come together.

  • We must know and proud of our roots. 

  • No need to cover up or hide in the cocoon of denial.

  • We have a very rich heritage to be proud of. 

  • We also have very big, great genetic pool.

  • We are not the descendents of an inferior -race or shameful religion. 

  • We must know accept and appreciate our own values. 

  • No need to be shy to reveal or to be seen as Muslims. 

  • Do not care or shy or worry to be called a Kala.  No one can deny that ancient Myanmars especially the Sakian or Thaki Wun Mins or “pure Burmese Kings’ blood relatives” were all pure Indians and were fully qualified to be called Kalas.  When those Indians were mixed with the new migrants from China, all the present ethnic Myanmar groups and races were formed.  No need to call them back Kalas (Indians) or Kala Pyet or Kala Dain or Pauk Phaws (Chinese) because there is no profit inciting and making them angry. 

  • So no need to be shy or fight back with them. 

  • Just keep in our heart that we are not inferior race or religious group, but historically and morally same as all other ethnic groups in Burma (Myanmar).

  • If possible, please try to avoid mentioning these issues.  Burmese Buddhists and other ethnic minority groups are not able to accept or handle this truth. 

  • The most racist of all in Myanmar is our some of the Rakhine Buddhist brothers. We have to understand them and should try to get their trust and friendship.

  • It is a very sensitive issue.  Be careful.

  • Actually we must co-operate and coordinate with them in all the fields. 

  • We need friendship not enemies. 

  • There must be inter-religious dialogues, discussions and seminars to increase mutual understanding and to reduce the misunderstandings.

  • We must built a mutual trust on each other.

Self improvement

  • All of us in Burma, Burmese as well as Muslims have a respect for education. 
  • Educated persons, teachers, graduates, doctors and engineers are respected by the rich and the poor. 
  • This respect transects the boundary of race and religion. 
  • So the education is not only a passport of our future, as Malcom X had stated, but a short cut to gain respect for a downtrodden and discriminated Muslims in Myanmar. 
  • We must also have self-confidence. 
  • In other way, this is a strong mental power. 
  • We must have a good destination, a vision, believe that we could achieve it if we try hard. 
  • We have to believe in our ability and capability. 
  • We must not only work hard but must work smartly also. 
  • Even if we fail, should not give up, must try again after re–examining where we went wrong.
  • We must make the failures pillars of our success.  Perseverance, hard work, improving the skills while working, continuous reassessments of the products or results or quality control, always searching to improve or on going research and development will definitely crown us with success. 
  • We must appreciate our own culture and religion.
  • We have to preserve the good virtues and discard our bad die-hard habits if we want to improve ourselves. 
  • We must always search for the new progressive ideas and methods and must continuously try and aim for the improvement in the future.

Self-criticism is good. 

  • It is better if we have the service of good friends or relatives who are willing to give fair and constructive criticism.
  • We must take all the criticisms, whether we like it or not. 

  • Even if it came from our enemies or from the opposition. 

  • We must never dismiss those summarily as just the voice of dissent, mischievous persons finding faults, or just criticized with bad intentions or lies, but must listen and review all of them thoroughly.

  • These criticisms must be compare with our self-evaluation of our achievements and failures. 

There is almost always room for improvement. 

We must be considerate to the others and the effects of our activities and decisions affecting others. 

We must sometimes or if possible always try to  look and think from their side.

If we, Muslims in Myanmar have a facility of the think tanks and brain storming sections, it will be very beneficial for us.  

At least we should set up this kind of facility for the Muslims in Burma, it will be very good for us.

We must not forget a very popular saying:

“The wise are sometimes wrong, but the fools are always right.”

  • The wise are intelligent enough to admit their mistakes and are willing to change.
  • Fools are so stupid to even know that they are wrong. 
  • They would never admit their mistakes or willing to change.

We must always be ready, to accept the responsibility of our mistakes.

  • And must be willing to rectify, apologize and face the consequence willingly. 

  • We must come out with the analysis: What?  Where?  How?  Why? When? it, went wrong?

  • Denial and blaming others will never chance the results or improve our positions.

  • We must always be mentally and morally mature and strong enough to avoid the persuasions of the devil to derail our course. 

  • We have to control and avoid our bad habits.

  • We must always have an open mind and heart and always ready to accept if someone proves or convince that we are wrong. 

One Response

  1. Remarks of Bill Gates
    Harvard Commencement, June 7, 2007
    (Text as prepared for delivery)
    President Bok, former President Rudenstine, incoming President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, parents, and especially, the graduates:
    I’ve been waiting more than 30 years to say this: “Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree.”
    I want to thank Harvard for this timely honor. I’ll be changing my job next year … and it will be nice to finally have a college degree on my resume.
    I applaud the graduates today for taking a much more direct route to your degrees. For my part, I’m just happy that the Crimson has called me “Harvard’s most successful dropout.” I guess that makes me valedictorian of my own special class … I did the best of everyone who failed.
    But I also want to be recognized as the guy who got Steve Ballmer to drop out of business school. I’m a bad influence. That’s why I was invited to speak at your graduation. If I had spoken at your orientation, fewer of you might be here today.
    Harvard was just a phenomenal experience for me. Academic life was fascinating. I used to sit in on lots of classes I hadn’t even signed up for. And dorm life was terrific. I lived up at Radcliffe, in Currier House. There were always lots of people in my dorm room late at night discussing things, because everyone knew I didn’t worry about getting up in the morning. That’s how I came to be the leader of the anti-social group. We clung to each other as a way of validating our rejection of all those social people.
    Radcliffe was a great place to live. There were more women up there, and most of the guys were science-math types. That combination offered me the best odds, if you know what I mean. This is where I learned the sad lesson that improving your odds doesn’t guarantee success.
    One of my biggest memories of Harvard came in January 1975, when I made a call from Currier House to a company in Albuquerque that had begun making the world’s first personal computers. I offered to sell them software.
    I worried that they would realize I was just a student in a dorm and hang up on me. Instead they said: “We’re not quite ready, come see us in a month,” which was a good thing, because we hadn’t written the software yet. From that moment, I worked day and night on this little extra credit project that marked the end of my college education and the beginning of a remarkable journey with Microsoft.
    What I remember above all about Harvard was being in the midst of so much energy and intelligence. It could be exhilarating, intimidating, sometimes even discouraging, but always challenging. It was an amazing privilege – and though I left early, I was transformed by my years at Harvard, the friendships I made, and the ideas I worked on.
    But taking a serious look back … I do have one big regret.
    I left Harvard with no real awareness of the awful inequities in the world – the appalling disparities of health, and wealth, and opportunity that condemn millions of people to lives of despair.
    I learned a lot here at Harvard about new ideas in economics and politics. I got great exposure to the advances being made in the sciences.
    But humanity’s greatest advances are not in its discoveries – but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity. Whether through democracy, strong public education, quality health care, or broad economic opportunity – reducing inequity is the highest human achievement.
    I left campus knowing little about the millions of young people cheated out of educational opportunities here in this country. And I knew nothing about the millions of people living in unspeakable poverty and disease in developing countries.
    It took me decades to find out.
    You graduates came to Harvard at a different time. You know more about the world’s inequities than the classes that came before. In your years here, I hope you’ve had a chance to think about how – in this age of accelerating technology – we can finally take on these inequities, and we can solve them.
    Imagine, just for the sake of discussion, that you had a few hours a week and a few dollars a month to donate to a cause – and you wanted to spend that time and money where it would have the greatest impact in saving and improving lives. Where would you spend it?
    For Melinda and for me, the challenge is the same: how can we do the most good for the greatest number with the resources we have.
    During our discussions on this question, Melinda and I read an article about the millions of children who were dying every year in poor countries from diseases that we had long ago made harmless in this country. Measles, malaria, pneumonia, hepatitis B, yellow fever. One disease I had never even heard of, rotavirus, was killing half a million kids each year – none of them in the United States.
    We were shocked. We had just assumed that if millions of children were dying and they could be saved, the world would make it a priority to discover and deliver the medicines to save them. But it did not. For under a dollar, there were interventions that could save lives that just weren’t being delivered.
    If you believe that every life has equal value, it’s revolting to learn that some lives are seen as worth saving and others are not. We said to ourselves: “This can’t be true. But if it is true, it deserves to be the priority of our giving.”
    So we began our work in the same way anyone here would begin it. We asked: “How could the world let these children die?”
    The answer is simple, and harsh. The market did not reward saving the lives of these children, and governments did not subsidize it. So the children died because their mothers and their fathers had no power in the market and no voice in the system.
    But you and I have both.
    We can make market forces work better for the poor if we can develop a more creative capitalism – if we can stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or at least make a living, serving people who are suffering from the worst inequities. We also can press governments around the world to spend taxpayer money in ways that better reflect the values of the people who pay the taxes.
    If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world. This task is open-ended. It can never be finished. But a conscious effort to answer this challenge will change the world.
    I am optimistic that we can do this, but I talk to skeptics who claim there is no hope. They say: “Inequity has been with us since the beginning, and will be with us till the end – because people just … don’t … care.” I completely disagree.
    I believe we have more caring than we know what to do with.
    All of us here in this Yard, at one time or another, have seen human tragedies that broke our hearts, and yet we did nothing – not because we didn’t care, but because we didn’t know what to do. If we had known how to help, we would have acted.
    The barrier to change is not too little caring; it is too much complexity.
    To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, see a solution, and see the impact. But complexity blocks all three steps.
    Even with the advent of the Internet and 24-hour news, it is still a complex enterprise to get people to truly see the problems. When an airplane crashes, officials immediately call a press conference. They promise to investigate, determine the cause, and prevent similar crashes in the future.
    But if the officials were brutally honest, they would say: “Of all the people in the world who died today from preventable causes, one half of one percent of them were on this plane. We’re determined to do everything possible to solve the problem that took the lives of the one half of one percent.”
    The bigger problem is not the plane crash, but the millions of preventable deaths.
    We don’t read much about these deaths. The media covers what’s new – and millions of people dying is nothing new. So it stays in the background, where it’s easier to ignore. But even when we do see it or read about it, it’s difficult to keep our eyes on the problem. It’s hard to look at suffering if the situation is so complex that we don’t know how to help. And so we look away.
    If we can really see a problem, which is the first step, we come to the second step: cutting through the complexity to find a solution.
    Finding solutions is essential if we want to make the most of our caring. If we have clear and proven answers anytime an organization or individual asks “How can I help?,” then we can get action – and we can make sure that none of the caring in the world is wasted. But complexity makes it hard to mark a path of action for everyone who cares — and that makes it hard for their caring to matter.
    Cutting through complexity to find a solution runs through four predictable stages: determine a goal, find the highest-leverage approach, discover the ideal technology for that approach, and in the meantime, make the smartest application of the technology that you already have — whether it’s something sophisticated, like a drug, or something simpler, like a bednet.
    The AIDS epidemic offers an example. The broad goal, of course, is to end the disease. The highest-leverage approach is prevention. The ideal technology would be a vaccine that gives lifetime immunity with a single dose. So governments, drug companies, and foundations fund vaccine research. But their work is likely to take more than a decade, so in the meantime, we have to work with what we have in hand – and the best prevention approach we have now is getting people to avoid risky behavior.
    Pursuing that goal starts the four-step cycle again. This is the pattern. The crucial thing is to never stop thinking and working – and never do what we did with malaria and tuberculosis in the 20th century – which is to surrender to complexity and quit.
    The final step – after seeing the problem and finding an approach – is to measure the impact of your work and share your successes and failures so that others learn from your efforts.
    You have to have the statistics, of course. You have to be able to show that a program is vaccinating millions more children. You have to be able to show a decline in the number of children dying from these diseases. This is essential not just to improve the program, but also to help draw more investment from business and government.
    But if you want to inspire people to participate, you have to show more than numbers; you have to convey the human impact of the work – so people can feel what saving a life means to the families affected.
    I remember going to Davos some years back and sitting on a global health panel that was discussing ways to save millions of lives. Millions! Think of the thrill of saving just one person’s life – then multiply that by millions. … Yet this was the most boring panel I’ve ever been on – ever. So boring even I couldn’t bear it.
    What made that experience especially striking was that I had just come from an event where we were introducing version 13 of some piece of software, and we had people jumping and shouting with excitement. I love getting people excited about software – but why can’t we generate even more excitement for saving lives?
    You can’t get people excited unless you can help them see and feel the impact. And how you do that – is a complex question.
    Still, I’m optimistic. Yes, inequity has been with us forever, but the new tools we have to cut through complexity have not been with us forever. They are new – they can help us make the most of our caring – and that’s why the future can be different from the past.
    The defining and ongoing innovations of this age – biotechnology, the computer, the Internet – give us a chance we’ve never had before to end extreme poverty and end death from preventable disease.
    Sixty years ago, George Marshall came to this commencement and announced a plan to assist the nations of post-war Europe. He said: “I think one difficulty is that the problem is one of such enormous complexity that the very mass of facts presented to the public by press and radio make it exceedingly difficult for the man in the street to reach a clear appraisement of the situation. It is virtually impossible at this distance to grasp at all the real significance of the situation.”
    Thirty years after Marshall made his address, as my class graduated without me, technology was emerging that would make the world smaller, more open, more visible, less distant.
    The emergence of low-cost personal computers gave rise to a powerful network that has transformed opportunities for learning and communicating.
    The magical thing about this network is not just that it collapses distance and makes everyone your neighbor. It also dramatically increases the number of brilliant minds we can have working together on the same problem – and that scales up the rate of innovation to a staggering degree.
    At the same time, for every person in the world who has access to this technology, five people don’t. That means many creative minds are left out of this discussion — smart people with practical intelligence and relevant experience who don’t have the technology to hone their talents or contribute their ideas to the world.
    We need as many people as possible to have access to this technology, because these advances are triggering a revolution in what human beings can do for one another. They are making it possible not just for national governments, but for universities, corporations, smaller organizations, and even individuals to see problems, see approaches, and measure the impact of their efforts to address the hunger, poverty, and desperation George Marshall spoke of 60 years ago.
    Members of the Harvard Family: Here in the Yard is one of the great collections of intellectual talent in the world.
    What for?
    There is no question that the faculty, the alumni, the students, and the benefactors of Harvard have used their power to improve the lives of people here and around the world. But can we do more? Can Harvard dedicate its intellect to improving the lives of people who will never even hear its name?
    Let me make a request of the deans and the professors – the intellectual leaders here at Harvard: As you hire new faculty, award tenure, review curriculum, and determine degree requirements, please ask yourselves:
    Should our best minds be dedicated to solving our biggest problems?
    Should Harvard encourage its faculty to take on the world’s worst inequities? Should Harvard students learn about the depth of global poverty … the prevalence of world hunger … the scarcity of clean water …the girls kept out of school … the children who die from diseases we can cure?
    Should the world’s most privileged people learn about the lives of the world’s least privileged?
    These are not rhetorical questions – you will answer with your policies.
    My mother, who was filled with pride the day I was admitted here – never stopped pressing me to do more for others. A few days before my wedding, she hosted a bridal event, at which she read aloud a letter about marriage that she had written to Melinda. My mother was very ill with cancer at the time, but she saw one more opportunity to deliver her message, and at the close of the letter she said: “From those to whom much is given, much is expected.”
    When you consider what those of us here in this Yard have been given – in talent, privilege, and opportunity – there is almost no limit to what the world has a right to expect from us.
    In line with the promise of this age, I want to exhort each of the graduates here to take on an issue – a complex problem, a deep inequity, and become a specialist on it. If you make it the focus of your career, that would be phenomenal. But you don’t have to do that to make an impact. For a few hours every week, you can use the growing power of the Internet to get informed, find others with the same interests, see the barriers, and find ways to cut through them.
    Don’t let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on the big inequities. It will be one of the great experiences of your lives.
    You graduates are coming of age in an amazing time. As you leave Harvard, you have technology that members of my class never had. You have awareness of global inequity, which we did not have. And with that awareness, you likely also have an informed conscience that will torment you if you abandon these people whose lives you could change with very little effort. You have more than we had; you must start sooner, and carry on longer.
    Knowing what you know, how could you not?
    And I hope you will come back here to Harvard 30 years from now and reflect on what you have done with your talent and your energy. I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the world’s deepest inequities … on how well you treated people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity.
    Good luck.

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