Light of love

Light of love

Cleverness without character is a destructive force.
By

Some time ago, the students of the University of Cordova went through the streets in a procession, and the words written on their banners were the famous words of Goethe, “Light, more light.” The youth of India, too, ask for “light, more light.”

Schools are multiplying; the power of the press is growing; young men want to know more about modern life and modern movements. “Light, more light!” But the question is—what light!

A young man in fashionable dress and proud of his little English learning, felt shy of showing respect to his own father because he did not know English and was clothed in the simple dress of an earlier generation. Not this the true light of knowledge. And I have known young men proud of their learning but using it, abusing it, to rob others of their money and self-respect. Such learning is not the light the country needs.

Cleverness without character is a destructive force. What, after all, is cleverness? Goethe’s Mephisto is a type of ‘cleverness!’ And he represents the ‘Devil’ in literature! Themistocles was a man of marvellous cleverness and he formed a coalition with the enemy of his country. Alcibiades was amazingly clever; and he became an opportunist!

“Light, more light!” Yes. But that light is the light of love. The love expresses itself as the service of the poor and weak. The love that is given to all men, all nations, all races. True knowledge shines with the light of love. True culture makes you feel that your home is in the heart of humanity.

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