Inezgane, Morocco - Among his so many professional, intellectual and civic duties and occupations, Dr. Khan manages to find time to reflect on what can contribute to people’s comfort and well-being and reduce tensions and conflicts among them. This man with no apparent political inclination, coloring or ambition, is more renowned for being a successful child psychiatrist, a prolific poet and a fervent peace activist. He has served as a physician in some Asian countries before he settled in the US for over thirty six years now.
Inezgane, Morocco – Among his so many professional, intellectual and civic duties and occupations, Dr. Khan manages to find time to reflect on what can contribute to people’s comfort and well-being and reduce tensions and conflicts among them. This man with no apparent political inclination, coloring or ambition, is more renowned for being a successful child psychiatrist, a prolific poet and a fervent peace activist. He has served as a physician in some Asian countries before he settled in the US for over thirty six years now.
The man, I was told, got positively involved in all the communities he served in. He contributed on an ongoing basis to social, cultural and religious activities everywhere he practiced. He is, in my opinion, the example of a well-integrated Muslim in the American mosaic of cultures and races. He is above all a person who dives deep into his Islamic heritage and comes up with pearls to share with his fellow citizens and visitors alike.
The Khan family genealogical tree, he told me, goes back to Naqshabandi ancestry and extends beyond that to Salman Al Farissi, one of the Prophet Mohammad’s companions. Upon meeting the man, one is very much impressed by his knowledge, culture and openness. He is above all a man of peace. Peace to him starts in the people’s homes and extends to the whole world. The tolerance index he has devised can serve as an impetus to making, consolidating and safeguarding peace within households as well as among numerous nations of the world.
Dr. Khan believes that tolerance is a good thing when applied in many settings and circumstances, but alone, it may not be enough. There are other steps that add more value and meaning to make human lives and relationships more and more rewarding. Thus, a higher step than tolerance is acceptance, then up further comes liking, which upgrades into sympathy, which in turn, leads to the noble state of kindness. Each of the previously mentioned notions brings about positive affective contributions to cement healthy and positive relations among people and nations alike.
In this manner, tolerance brings about understanding, acceptance leads to closeness, liking translates into empathy, sympathy weaves bonds of love and kindness paves a smooth way to forgiveness. This is what Dr. Khan calls the constructive path within his tolerance index. Many conflicts and problems can be resolved in a constructive way, if this path is adopted in the day to day behaviors of people in dealing with others.
The opposite direction in the tolerance index is lack of tolerance and its different upgrades. It is what Dr. Khan calls the destructive path. It is a bloody decent to the abyss of violence through the following steps: Ignorance, Rejection, Anger, Hatred and finally Violence. Each of these steps leads to something worse and contributes to a self-re-generating vicious circle of violence. Thus, ignorance breeds distancing, rejection generates dislike, anger brings about hostility, hatred leads to destruction and ultimately the whole thing culminates in violence and counter violence dressed in the garment of revenge.
The constructive path is a gradual open way leading to growth, gratification, safety, love, harmony and hope for a better life and a better world for everyone. The destructive path, on the other hand, is a locked circle of mistrust, dislike, animosity and violence that is based on ignorance. The destructive path needs to be barred while the constructive one needs to be highlighted, strengthened and encouraged to smoothly channel human interactions and relations
What is required, in my opinion, is a true commitment worldwide to eradicate Ignorance and sow the seeds of hope, compassion, mutual understanding, cooperation, inter-aid and healthy complementarity of interests and roles.
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