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Editorial: Looking Ahead
Jul 1, 2015

There is a quote in our main article this issue which has stuck with us here at The Fountain: "Those whose vision is in the future, and who promise to raise that future on their shoulders, need to feel the responsibility of their work within their souls in every step they take. Only then will they show a real sincerity in their duties."

We've always tried to look towards the future here at The Fountain. It's why in every issue you'll find articles about some of the most important scientific developments, like in our Science Square section. But we're not just satisfied with looking ahead; we want to look ahead responsibly.

One of the ways we can do that is through the practice of compassion. In his article, "A Symphony of Compassion," Anthony J. Ciorra invites us to study the roots of compassion in the three Abrahamic faiths, as well as in Buddhism. Almost every faith is built around the concept of love. By looking at the past, Ciorra shows that the very building block of human society has been the ability to love and empathize with our fellow humans. To build a better future, we all need to practice the daily compassion different faith leaders, like the Prophet Muhammad, Jesus, and the Dalai Lama, have exemplified.

Sometimes, you have to look backwards to find out how to move forward. Finding answers in the past is a pattern in this issue, and Alparslan Zora's "How Fair Are We When Looking Into The Past?" asks us to reconsider the actions of historical peoples by examining the context in which they lived. Some of their actions might seem incomprehensible, or even condemnable, to us now, but it's valuable to understand that societies develop at different speeds. Trying to understand their mistakes, which were common in their societies, is another form of compassion.

In Katharine Branning's "Leiden: Living the Poems of Tolerance," the author shows that compassion isn't just a feeling; it's an action. While traveling through a picturesque Dutch town, Branning is amazed by the poems painted on the walls of local buildings. Closer study reveals a rich history of diversity, dialogue, and cultural exchange between Europe and the Muslim world. Through mutual respect, Leiden was able to cultivate a fertile multiculturalism. The relationships that began centuries ago - based around commerce, art, and education - still benefit the town, and its people, today. Such an example of coexistence can be a guide for future generations.

Dr. Gonullu's article "The Uncertainties of Energy Supply" is a stark reminder of why it's so important to look ahead responsibly. Not only are the planet's fossil fuels beginning to run out, but they're also causing serious disruptions to the earth's climate. Just as Pope Francis' recent treatise on the environment highlights, we need to realize that protecting our planet isn't the realm of certain political or religious groups; it's a responsibility that falls upon all of us. Without working towards the future with compassion and thoughtfulness, we run the risk of leaving future generations a planet that isn't just devoid of natural resources, but that is barely habitable. Our planet is a gift that has been entrusted to us, and both scientific and religious leaders are calling for us to live and work responsibly so that our future is bright.