Drill and Upbringing

The most striking and wonderful things that old books can offer us are the stories about conversion and moral revival. The worst sinners and tyrants turned overnight into humble martyrs and defenders of justice. It is always a spontaneous event; there is no process of reforming or influencing. The question is one of a move in the depths of the soul, of an experience existing together with an energy of a completely inward nature which by its own force completely changes a man. This transformation belongs to man and that is why there is no process, casualty, conditionality, causes, and consequences, or even a rational explanation. The essence of this drama is freedom and creativity.

Good and evil are within man. There are no drills, laws, forces, or any outside influences by which a man can be "improved." It is only his behavior that can be changed. Revival and conversion are spontaneous. They are a result of the soul's being moved. From the religious point of view, every outside influence to remove evil is fruitless.

Also, this is why drill has no influence on the moral attitude of man . You can drill a soldier to be tough, skillful, and strong, but you cannot drill him to be honest, dignified, enthusiastic, and brave. Those are spiritual qualities. It is impossible to impose a belief by means of decree, terror, pressure, violence, or force.

Every pedagogue can give a number of examples of how children resist persistent guidance in one direction and how they can consequently develop an interest in completely opposite behavior. This is due to the "human quality" of man. Man cannot be drilled like an animal. The inefficiency of drill and the uncertainty of education are the "palpable" proof that man is an animal endowed with a soul - that is, with freedom. This is why every true upbringing is essentially self-upbringing and a negation of drill. The aim of true upbringing is not to change a man directly (because, strictly speaking, that is not possible) but to incite an inner stream of experiences and to cause an inner decision to the benefit of good by means of example, advice, sight, or the like. Beyond that, man cannot be changed; only his behavior may be changed, and that could be feigned or temporary. Behavior which does not engage our deepest will is not an upbringing but rather a drill. Upbringing includes our participation, our effort. This is why the result of upbringing is always different and cannot be foreseen.

Compiled From:
"Islam Between East and West" - Alija Ali Izetbegovic, pp. 113-115

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Century Welfare Association

Let Our Deeds Speak For Us.

Founded January 1969