March 15, 2014

“You Say You Want a Revolution.” ~ Jana Sharaf


As I harbor a Ukrainian refugee and friend in my house, I see our world struggle to maintain unity and peace.

It reminded me of myself, my friends and family in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and in the Middle East.

We started revolutions and participated in a noble cause calling for freedom, justice and equality.

I know of no human being that was not struck by awe at our courage. Everyone got absorbed into our noble cause and the calling pain behind the suffering. Everyone supported us, but somehow, again, the story turned on the young revolutionaries.

The call for freedom and justice is now a call of mercy on behalf of the innocent stuck in the cross fire. We the people that wanted to make this change happen, the people that wanted to build a better future, are now fighting endlessly amongst ourselves.

So why does this fight happen to all revolutionaries and freedom fighters, why is this happening to us?

The truth is because the noble young souls fall victim to an internal struggle.

People are now asking us, the revolutionaries, to fit the same structures we fought against. They are again asking us to fit within the same ideologies and abide by the same rules of society that caused so much pain and suffering in the first place.

What is happening to the noble calling? Why is the Middle East not free of dictatorship? Why are we reaching a worse place than the one we started at?

“Our affairs are attached to the destiny decreed by Allah, even our best plans may lead us to destruction.” ~ Ali Ibin Abi Talib

The reason why revolution or a noble cause turns into a bitter story and the individuals calling for freedom become barbaric terrorists, is due to their inability to handle destructive energy.

In order to bring down an idea, organization, or a government, we require an energy of destruction. The destructive energy is actually of service in these goals, but when the destructive energy runs its course, it turns into stagnant energy. The same type of energy that created the government that suppressed before, and the oppressing dictators that ruled before.

Unless we struggle internally, unless we fight our inner nature and our defects, we will not achieve peace and freedom.

“I am surprised at three things: 1) man runs from death while death is inevitable. 2) One sees minor faults in others, yet overlooks his own major faults. 3) When there is any defect to one’s cattle he tries to cure it, but does not cure his own defects.” ~ Umr Ibin Al Khatab

Many people will have us think that we are more spiritual or moral  if we are creating a better world by taking sides. The truth is we are looking externally to solve our problems, we are still blaming people or governments for our situation. We are asking someone else to give us justice and freedom.

“Humans should attain this quality which would allow them to give up their selfishness and devote themselves to loving each other for the sake of life’s purpose, as stated in the commandment ‘love thy neighbor as thyself.'” ~ Rav Yehuda Ashlag, from the teaching of the original oral Torah.

Justice and freedom are internal qualities or attributes that we reach only after an internal battle, in Arabic its called jihad. Jihad is the discipline that is required for us to rise above our nature and evolve into better human beings.

In Hebrew this is called Tikkun, in Christianity it’s the cross of Christ.

None of these concepts centers on killing externally. What you are killing is your ego, your selfish desire.

 “However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?” ~ Buddha

This is not an article to tell you what to believe or asking you to take sides.

It is an urging of every young person who went out in the streets, the person who wants to be truly free, the seeker of the ultimate truth and justice, the person who desires and talks about human rights, women rights, animal rights, to turn their attention inwardly and start striving to better themselves internally.

Before you change your internal nature, you will not see the change you want to manifest externally.

We must master the internal balance before we know how to master an external balance, and know what is right and what is wrong.

The only fight we can win is the fight to free our minds from our limitation of me, him, or her, so that we may realize that we are all one big us.


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Editorial Assistant: Sarah Qureshi/ Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo:  by Sarah Qureshi



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