For a healthy and civilized society, we need our personal and
familial lives to actively influence our surrounding communities in a
positive manner. At the same time, we must continually address any
corruption that crops up at the community level. In order to secure
positive and healthy traditions and gradually dissolve unhealthy
traditions, the following is presented:
34. LIVING IN COMMUNITY
Encouraging this tradition means that we do not limit our emotional
selves to too small a circle. We should invest our emotions and our
affinities not just in the growth and happiness of our spouse and
children, but to our extended families. By living together and helping
each other in our extended families, we cultivate patience, tolerance,
and the spirit of compromise. Combining families is an excellent
way to further everyone on the path of self refinement. It is almost
impossible to convert selfish interests into selfless interests if we
do not start with our families. [ . . . ] This is the first step towards
enlightened society and must be re-established.
35. FAMILY MEETINGS
Every family community should gather regularly to discuss things
deeper than the day to day business. [ . . . ] Every house should
have a prayer and meditation area where each family member can
be encouraged to spend at least a few meditative minutes daily.
No home should be without a library. Reading and engaging with
literature about the art of living and the art of solving life’s inevitable
problems should be an integral part of growing up. Consistent
exposure to prayer, reading, and group discussion lays a foundation
for a healthy and happy family, which in turn paves the way for a
36. PRACTICING GOOD HABITS
Mutual cooperation, hard work, reuse and repair of old items,
cleanliness, orderliness, regular exercise, well-established methods
of resolving conflict, education, interest in learning, self-sufficiency
and charity are examples of good habits that should be inculcated in
the family environment. When this training is widespread, it alone
can lead to a healthy society.
37. GOOD PARENTING
Grooming the next generation is an essential and profound way
to serve society. The motive of having children should be to serve the country and to fulfill our national duties more than to serve
satisfy anyone’s self-interest. To this end, parents should start their
physical, emotional, and financial preparation early. Children will
inherit the tendencies of the parents. This is why the married couple
should continue to tirelessly elevate themselves and live in harmony,
as they prepare to have children. A relationship full of discontent,
jealousy, and a lack of mutual trust will not produce well-adjusted
During pregnancy, the emotional state of the mother is transferred to
the child. In this sense, the child’s education starts well before
conception, since the predominant parental personalities that have
a significant influence on the child to come are in development
throughout their lives. Therefore, the real preparation for grooming
a civilized generation of moral citizens should begin immediately
after marriage. Couples should practice celibacy when possible and
they should continually strive to infuse their lives with high ideals.
38. REWARDING AND CELEBRATING GOOD WORK
[. . . ] We must reward the honest, brave, and knowledgeable
members of society through the publication of newspaper articles,
short biographies and character sketches. It speaks well of these
individuals to not desire such honors, but the mechanism of public
rewards should be established to inspire others to follow in their
footsteps. We must also avoid rewarding people for frivolous
reasons, as that would generate nothing but competition and
jealousy. In short, to construct an ideal society, we must publicly give
more respect to moral character than we do to material wealth.
39. SUPPORTING GENEROSITY AND NOBLE-MINDEDNESS
For humanity to hold its head high, we must support the spirit of
generosity and decency. These values are at the risk of dying out
for lack of support and nourishment. As concerned citizens, it is
our civic duty both to actively support proper societal decorum and
to actively discourage indecent and improper societal elements. If
circumstances do not allow for an active opposition, we must, at least, refuse to support indecent behavior and refuse to be friendly
with those engaged in it. If we do not distance ourselves in this
way, we will discourage others who might also wish to oppose such
behavior. If it is possible, we should actively fight impropriety; but if
it is not, we must at least resist it passively.
40. FULFILLMENT OF MORAL AND CIVIC DUTIES
We must fulfill our civic duties, support healthy social traditions,
behave in a manner that is both civilized and in accordance with
religion and ethics, keep our promises, emulate generosity and
cooperation, be content with our honest earnings and hard work,
and live with honesty and simplicity.
We must not be lazy and we must not waste time. Hard work
and proper utilization of time are the two keys to success. It is
preferable to be honest and poor than to be rich by unethical
means such as gambling, corruption or theft. Hard work and
honesty is the way to lift up both the personal and the collective
41. COLLECTIVE SUPPORT AND COOPERATION
Mutual cooperation leads to progress in every aspect of our life.
Therefore, it is advisable to participate in and encourage activities
that are collective in nature. When collective and communal
activities decline, so too does society. [ . . . ]
We must encourage programs that are inclusive and that originate
from the collective support of the community. The financial
sector should form committees to promote collectivization in
business and manufacturing. Goods can be manufactured more
cheaply if the production is done on a large scale. This benefits
the manufacturer as well as the consumer. Collective efforts
also foster community mindedness and understanding, thus
cultivating a preference for the wellbeing of the community over
42. UNNECESSARY SAVINGS, INHERITANCE AND LUXURY
We must discourage exorbitant financial savings as well as the desire
to live more luxuriously than the average person. These tendencies
hurt us and lead to degraded social values. We must make money,
but a majority of our earnings should go toward the greater good
of our community. With so much suffering resulting from income
inequality, it is inhuman to hoard money for oneself. It is beneath
our human birth.
We should use our resources to ensure a proper education for our
children but it is not right to encourage our children to live off of the
interest of our hoardings. Such practices, in fact, do them a grave
disservice. [ . . . ] The narrow-minded practice of inheritance must
be ended. It is not in congruence with a prosperous society. In its
place, we must reinstate the pride and satisfaction that comes from
charitable giving. Generosity elevates the level of society as a whole.
[ . . . ]
43. DIGNITY OF LABOR
Those who do mental labor receive riches and respect, whereas [.
. .] those who clean toilets, wash clothes, tailor, and perform other
manual labors are viewed as lesser members of society. For this
reason, we instinctively refrain from doing our own manual work.
[ . . . ] A decline in the dignity of labor cultivates a disdain for labor.
This propagates laziness. Labor is essential to give shape to any idea.
We must encourage the respect for laborers and each of us must
hone the physical laborer within. Societal progress depends on the
dignity of labor.
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