Doubt – or rather doubters – get a bad reputation, but all great leaders were also great doubters. Doubt is not the opposite of good faith but rather its partner. Without it, we become blind to conviction and oppress ourselves and others. The lack of conviction opens the doors of life to exploration; it dispels all illusions of epiphanies and leaves only the disillusioned epiphany of reality, a possible truth. It is only then that we can come to terms with ourselves in the world. Doubt happens: It happened when Jacob wrestled with the angel in the dead of night; when Moses discovered that he was the son of a slave woman; when Gautama sat beneath the Bodhi tree; when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. It is doubt that opens up the world to an abode of endless possibilities, while closing the door on the impossible.Anthony Catanese, Student at University at Buffalo
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When I restrict myself to the beliefs and routine of my own life, I find that I in fact I lose out in life. I miss opportunities and become blinded by what something appears to be instead of what it can be. It does not mean I do not have faith in my beliefs or self, but rather I am receptive to the world like a plant receiving sun; those plants that grow in shade often become stunted in growth. An awareness is cultivated that acknowledges that I am not all-knowing and that I may be wrong, which is ok; just as it was ok for Gautama and Jesus. In the end, there is peace.
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How would you like to inspire others?
Having doubt about our prejudices can allow people to come together and unite humanity. It dispels the evils of intolerance and discrimination and allows people to receive one another as humans. That is why I am inspired by the Charter of Compassion, a document that has been received by nations and religions for the principle of compassion. Compassion can only occur when we doubt our prejudices and discover virtue. The Quran states that ‘whoever saves a life, it will be as if they saved all of humanity;’ when we realize that Compassion is what makes us human, then perhaps we will save all of humanity.
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