To any outside observer, humanity seems to be drifting aimlessly at sea – without a map, rudder or compass. We seem to suffer from repeated crises of spiritual identity and moral confusion.
No matter what injustices we see, no matter what oppressions we witness, meditating on such matters leads us to realize that unity is necessary if we are to achieve a meaningful and lasting remedy.
“The welfare of mankind, its peace and security, is inaccessible until its unity is firmly established.” – Baha’u’llah
Our problems are not technological, scientific or economic. We have everything we need to solve all of our problems. What we lack is the vision and the collective will to act.
The issues we face are spiritual in the heart, not material. The collective vision of humanity must embrace the recognition and practice of the unity of humanity. Anything less will not meet the essential requirements of the times we live in.
Bahá’ís believe that the purpose of religion is to create unity, to connect hearts, and to promote the spiritual and material progress of mankind. Humanity aspires to justice, to love which manifests itself in deeds, for words are the property of all.
The Bahá’í Faith seeks to build healthy communities based on love, inclusion and justice. Currently, our efforts are focused at the local level starting with the neighborhoods where we live and work.
We seek inclusion, unity and connectivity. We focus on spiritual empowerment and the development of knowledge and skills that expand our ability to build and maintain healthy neighborhoods wherever we live.
Bahá’ís believe that “doing” and praying cannot be separated. This means that the development and promotion of a devotional character in your neighborhood must be accompanied by service to others. For if our life is not changed by prayer, if prayer does not lead us to greater heights of service to others, then what is the point of prayer.
“A righteous act is endowed with a power which can raise the dust to the point of causing it to pass beyond the heaven of heavens. He can tear all bonds and has the power to restore the strength that has been exhausted and gone … “- Baha’u’llah
These unity building activities are grounded in one of humanity’s deepest aspirations – to make a difference. God has placed these powers in us. Each of us has the ability to reflect His attributes.
Service to others allows us to develop these attributes while making a difference. Instead of seeing a world filled with chaos, the Bahá’ís see a humanity in a process of transition, going through a state of late adolescence, with all the confusion and irrational behavior that this entails, as it involves. progresses towards maturity.
Instead of being filled with fear and anxiety, we instead see hope, as we know that humanity is simply coming to terms with its emerging adulthood.
Ray Hassen is a member of the Baha’i Leander community and a retired teacher. Doing Good Together is compiled by Interfaith Action of Central Texas, interfaithtexas.org.