Moral Development and Noble Character Formation (Human Values and Principles)
The best form of learning is the one that happens automatically without us being conscious of any effort in understanding any theory or abstract concept. In this, what could be better than stories? No wonder stories have been used since time immemorial by masters and teachers to convey life's core values. The parables of Jesus (pbuh), Moses (pbuh) wisdom tales, the Sufi tales of the Middle East (Rumi - Tales from Masnavi), motivational stories from Noble Qur'an or moral stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, have all enthralled and enlightened people through the ages.
Unquestionably, teaching stories as a form of learning have no parallel. There are so many layers of meanings and interpretations that they never fail to take one to a different plane of existence. What is truly fascinating is the fact that the inferences one gets, as in many real life dilemmas and situations, is not a simple right or wrong, but a many layered contextual expression of life with all its complexities in place. Therefore some of the most valuable and memorable lessons in life come from moral stories.
A principle is a law or rule that has to be, or usually is to be followed, or can be desirably followed, or is an inevitable consequence of something, such as the laws observed in nature or the way that a system is constructed. The principles of such a system are understood by its users as the essential characteristics of the system, or reflecting system's designed purpose and the effective operation or use of which would be impossible if any one of the principles was to be ignored. Example of one of the best principle is, always try to put reason over emotion.
Human values are principles that are considered worthwhile and desirable in someone's character, like honesty or responsibility. Morals are concerned with the judgment of principles of right and wrong, or with values, in relation to human action and noble character. For example, honesty is a value. Therefore, it is morally wrong to lie. The two work hand in hand, but they are not the same.
Arthur S. Adams once wrote, "Good character is the quality which makes one dependable whether being watched or not." This helps you to be truthful when it is to your advantage to be a little less than truthful. Good character helps you to be courageous when faced with great obstacles and endows you with the firmness of wise self-discipline!
A compass provides a fixed point of reference, which can be used to set a course from anywhere in the world. When in a difficult situation, our character works in much the same way. You can determine the correct course by the standards of character you have established in your life. This enables us to do what's right by letting our noble character be our guide. It's as simple as that! So what are the principles or character traits that we must develop to have a character driven life?
So how do you begin developing the principles of noble character? Start today by recognizing one area of your life lacking in discipline and put a plan together for tomorrow. Remember, having it all doesn't mean having it all at once. It takes time, so concentrate on every day at a time!
Our website will help you gain conscious knowledge about moral development and understanding of noble character formation, to put principles into practice with the help of simple stories.
Remember, a noble character is the best tombstone. Those who love you and were helped by you, will remember you. Carve your name on hearts by your noble character and not just on marble as shown in the following story.
A person who was taken aback by the honour given to Luqman (Alaihis Salaam) once approached him and asked: "Are you the very same Luqman who was a slave of the Banu Has-haas tribe?"
Luqman (Alaihis Salaam) replied: "Yes!"
The man then asked: "Are you the very same person who used to herd sheep?"
Luqman (Alaihis Salaam) replied: "Yes!"
The person asked yet again: "Are you the very same person with a dark complexion?"
Luqman (Alaihis Salaam) replied: "My dark complexion is quite visible and clear to one and all, but what is it that really astonishes you regarding me?"
The man replied: "I am astonished that people flock to your gathering and eagerly accept your advice."
Luqman (Alaihis Salaam) then advised him saying: "Young man! You can also receive this very same rank and honour provided you adhere to the following human values and principles:
- Lower your gaze
- Control your tongue
- Eat that which is pure and halaal
- Guard your private parts
- Adhere to the truth
- Fulfill your trusts
- Honour your guests
- Take care of your neighbours
- Stay away from what does not concern you
These are the noble characters that elevated me to the position that you see me enjoying." (Tafseer Ibn Kathir, Vol 3 Pg 459)
The above incident highlights the fact that one does not become honourable and respectable on the basis of his lineage or skin colour. Instead it is the noble character in a human being that elevates him.