Save Yourself

By : Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Many social reformers start their work with great hopes of trying to reform others, but when their final time arrives, they die a death of hopelessness. Why is this so? The reason for this is that such reformers make other people the target of their reform. And when these other people do not reform as they want them to, they fall prey to frustration. In this regard, the proper approach is that we should make our own self the target of the reform that we want to bring about. If we do that, we will definitely succeed. We will not fall into despair or get frustrated. In itself it is alright to seek the reform of others, but external reform never happens in the ideal manner. Hence, we must first of all make our own self the target of reform. Other people are not in our control, but our own self definitely is. We potentially have complete control over our own selves. Therefore, to make our own self the target of reform is to make something that is indeed achievable our target. And, the one who aims for something that is achievable never fails. If you cannot save others, then at least save yourself. Save yourself completely from negative thinking. Develop a positive character. If you succeed in reforming your own self, you will definitely succeed in reforming others. (Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is a noted Islamic scholar based in New Delhi. He is very active in promoting interfaith understanding. He heads the New Delhi-based Centre for Peace and Spirituality. For more details, see

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