The Waves of Change Created by Outstanding Personalities
In times of utmost darkness in the history of mankind there have appeared certain geniuses whose names shine on the forehead of the proud pages of history. With their outstanding spiritual qualities, these historic men could bring about great changes on the stage of human life. They dazzled the world with their actions as if their very being were like a brilliant torch whose light would endure for ever.
At times the waves of change created by outstanding personalities who enter the social arena are so wide and extensive that they encompass all human societies and they make an intense and far-reaching impact on the ideas of mankind. In fact it is these brilliant figures who change the countenance of the world and they even conquer weak and feeble temperaments with their powerful influence and draw them after themselves, giving them morale and the light of hope.
On the contrary, there are many people whose arena of activity in life is very limited and confined. The book of their life draws to a close with feeble movements and their lives terminate in oblivion. The flickering and slim candle of their existence is at last extinguished in total darkness.
The difference between these kind of personalities is to be sought in their ethos, because the variance in the levels of persons depends on the extent and scope of their spirits and the amount of their inner power.
What is the relation between personalities and social change? Are persons a product of the world's events or is it that the events are brought about by outstanding individuals? Scientific studies show that the individual and society reciprocally influence each other, and while man is influenced by environment, he also brings about changes in the environment. It is not possible to study the individual by placing him outside the environment of social life. However, at the same time, it is individuals who can change the conditions of their environment with their spiritual power and transform the face of society.
The basic factor in social changes and relations is the power of will, whether it belongs to an individual or to a community. But the significance and value of the individual is greater, because it is the leaders who guide the national potentials towards desirable goals and lead the destiny of society towards a shining and glorious future.
In order that we may be able to carry out the judgements of reason, our being grants us a faculty called will. The human will is the resultant of two forces that act upon it. On the one hand is the force of instinct that acts upon it. On the other it is influenced by the intellect and reason.
The inability arising from the weakness of will is the result of the opposite forces within man. Inability does not mean that one is totally devoid of the power of decision making. Rather, he is capable of carrying out any act that he wants. But he has no power to translate his intentions from the stage of the mind to that of external reality.
There are many individuals who suffer with the inadequacy of an inner light. They might possess extensive means in life. However, despite their capabilities and the special and valuable opportunities that may arise for them, they are not very effectual, although they have fixed their gaze on a higher plane of life. They lack the power and determination to climb the ladder of progress and expect others to perform hard and taxing tasks for them, tasks which are themselves the means to growth and development. If they do not themselves take an initiative to realise their goals and endeavour for their sake, what else can help them in materialising their hopes?
Often they make beneficial and profound plans, but they fail to obtain any kind of results. They draw up great practical plans which never reach the point of implementation.
Adapted from: "Ethics and Spiritual Growth" by: "Sayyid Mujtaba Musawi Lari"
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