By: Maged Taman
Islam acknowledges very well from its early days the importance of the government. Though Islam believes in many of the American values like the free market, human rights and freedom of speech, it uses the morality of the religion to build the structure of the government. It believes well that a lot of things that cause people to be happy have to be provided by the government. To understand that we have to go through the things that cause people to be happy:
1- A sense of freedom: the list goes on which include freedom to worship, to speak to chose the political system and the leaders,...
2- Absence of fear: this goes with freedom you should be able to do the above things with no fear.
3- Material fulfillment as food, marriage and having a family. Poverty is the most famous enemy to happiness. Above the level of poverty money does not add much as per statistics to affect most people happiness.
4- Health: it is hard to be happy if you are sick or you do not have money to pay for a costly illness.
5- Long term security: as you get older you feel the anxiety of supporting yourself as you get older. These 5 points are the job of the government. Unfortunately many politicians seek self-interest and their own happiness and forget their job of how to make their people feel happy. Happiness stems from other causes as well that mostly depends on us:
6- Spirituality: if you have everything and you lack spirituality you feel emptiness. You still enjoy the material things but you feel boredom and lack of purpose. Living with God all the time gives happiness and fullness to your life.
7- Humor: the best medicine for the soul particularly in these days of world distress.
8- Purpose: this discussed best by Rick Warren in his book Purpose Driven Life. The highest purpose is when you feel you are doing God's work in earth.
9- Altruism: there is happiness in giving that selfish people deprive themselves of.
10- Confidence and high self esteem: These are usually internal job and are achieved best by lack of fear and being proactive to go for the things that feel you with happiness.
11- Feeling important by appreciating others and being appreciated and when you live for a purpose.
12- Love: humanism is the greatest expansion of love, however most people are still trapped in self-love, family-love, nation-love or religion-love. The power struggle and the desire of every one to exert his superiority cause this kind of love to be an illusion. If people feels that justice is the law of the land they can forgive and even love each other after years of hate. Cooperation rather than competition between governments is important to spread love beyond the artificial borders.
Thus what makes us happy is universal and if we are sincere in changing the world we have to understand the importance of governments in doing their role in improving the conditions of their people. I may sound idealistic but the cost of misery and hate is quite high to all of us.