Youth and Social Responsibility
- :Al-Balagh Foundation
As a youth, you are interrelated with the society around you by different chains of relationship: Relationship with parents, family and neighbors, relationships with brothers, friends and companions, and, likewise, the relationship with general people.
Regarding the relation with parents, family and other relatives…you are responsible for doing good to parents and respecting them (Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents) (Holy Qur'an: 17: 23). This is to say, you must refrain from saying 'a word of contempt' to them, or repelling them and nor hurting them with bad words or actions (accompany them in this world with justice and consideration) (Holy Qur'an: 31:15). And you should, also, work according to your ability to make them understand your great love towards them, and appreciating their favor on you and your needs toward them in difficult situations. This creates a fatherly atmosphere that will make them feel that however you get older and however they get older, having contact with them satisfies a psychological need of you and them, too.
Regardig the relation with the members of the family, you are responsible for respecting the elders and sympathizing with the smaller ones. This will create a spchological rest for all and increases love and affection among them. As you are responsible - in the field of distributing houseworks - for doing your work assigned to you based on your ability and time, an, here, we should not forget that the best deed is the one which is done voluntarily. However, being related to a respected family among people, makes you have the responsibility of safeguarding its good and pure reputation by not doing something which may destroy or hurts their reputation.
But the relation with brothers, friends and companions, you are responsible for building it on the basis of faith:: (The true believers are but a single brotherhood) (Holy Qur'an: 49:10), so that you may benefit from their companionship and, alos, they benefit from yours, both in this world and the hereafter. And, also, you are responsible for reforming the gap created between your close brothers (and keep straight the relations between yourself) (Holy Qur'an: 8:1). You should, also, be their mirror in which they see the beauty of their behaviour and its evilness. It is narrated in a hadith that a true brother, on whom you trusy, is the one who tells you your faults, and that "A believer is a mirror of his fellow believer." We can widen our understanding of the Prophetic saying "Ask for a companion before (asking for a) way", that it is not only at the time of traveling, rather even in day-to-day activities. This is because a friend is attached to his friend.
As you are responsible for your family and friends, you are, also, responsible for the people surrounding you in your behaviour with them, rendering them a service, reducing their suffering, cooperating with them in doing good that benefits the whole society "The close ones are worthier in goodness." The spirit of a youth may grow further based on his social activities and faith in helping others.
You can feel good and enjoyment while helping your close relatives, but the enjoyment will increase more when you help those who are not close to you. This is because you will feel that you are out of your limited circle in a more wider one discharging all goods. It is reported in one hadith: "The best of people is the one who benefits others."
Surely, the way of building a firm social relationship requires us, as a youth, to know the factors that strengthen such relationship, and, also, what are things that harm and weaken it? And what are its positive effects? Knowing others' rights and respecting them - whether he is a father, mother, friend, close relation and or others - make you a source of their respect, thanks and good will prayers…who knows whether your kindness to him will pour Allah's mercy on you "All creatures are Allah's household, and the best among them is the one who is good to his familys."
Adapted from the book: "Youth Aspiration Towards Responsibility" by: "Al Balagh Foundation"
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