IN THE summer months before the holidays, many are busy revising for and taking exams. I often find myself asking exactly what the point of these exams is and what my goal is beyond getting the grades I need. Is the only reason I want to do well purely for my own gain so that in the future I can grow up to be a successful, high-earning individual?
As I considered this question I remembered a quote from the Bahá’í writings. We are told: “Make ye a mighty effort and choose for yourselves a noble goal.”
Some people might see academic excellence purely as a means through which they can acquire a good job and a comfortable lifestyle. However Bahá’u’lláh teaches us to use our skills not only for our own benefit but to serve others and contribute to the betterment of mankind. It is the skills and knowledge acquired through learning which should be used in the future and utilised to aid the progress of society.
The use of talent can have either a positive or negative impact and it is the correct application of knowledge that is vital. Science can be used to create explosives and instruments of warfare, whilst exactly the same scientific principles can be used to come up with cures and medicines.
The Bahá’í scriptures also tell us that: “God is the helper of those souls whose aim is to serve humanity and whose efforts and endeavours are devoted to the good and betterment of all mankind.”
Bahá’ís are encouraged to serve in whatever capacity they can and an emphasis is placed particularly on the youth because they have the energy, vigour and spontaneity to be able to make a difference Because the youth are the future so they must be the ones to make a change which will alter for the better the world they will inherit from their parents’ generation. We are taught that we must “show forth… such deeds and character that all mankind may profit there from.” Let us be the ones to use our education and accomplishments to do so.
Shabnam Golestani (aged 15)
Bahá’í Community of Solihull