I’ve never been very interested in politics, and at some level have felt that it really didn’t make much of a difference who I voted for or if I even voted at all. The processes of community building and development that I have been passionate about are not political processes, though they might be affected by politics. But I sit here today both shocked at a country I don’t recognize and profoundly saddened, affected at an emotional level I never expected.
I believe that humanity is gradually moving from its collective adolescence toward its maturity, and that the heart of that change is recognition of the oneness of humankind. That humankind is one race is already established by all the sciences. That the countries of the world are already profoundly and inseparably intertwined economically is something we see demonstrated in our daily lives. That the version of the global economy that our adolescent selves have created, based on on understanding that might have been adequate to childhood but fails to meet the challenges of maturity, has led to unprecedented inequality and concentrated power in the hand of a small percentage of people, is also beyond doubt. These inequalities have certainly contributed to the results we see today.
There are no simple solutions, no blueprint we can use to address the problems both within our countries and globally, and there are legitimate differences in opinion about how to rectify injustices that exist. But any solution that vilifies large sections of the human race, that encourages division, inflames hatreds, and minimizes the complex nature of the issues we face is a step backward. I hope that all of us, whatever our political leanings and views about the right steps to be taken, will measure our words and actions, and the words and actions of our leaders, against the standard of the oneness of humankind, and that we will use whatever powers we have as a force for unity in a time when the voices of division are being raised high.
With that, I will share a few quotes that are inspiration to me, and I hope will be inspirational to you.
When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love… If you desire with all your heart, friendship with every race on earth, your thought, spiritual and positive, will spread; it will become the desire of others, growing stronger and stronger, until it reaches the minds of all men.
Do not despair! Work steadily. Sincerity and love will conquer hate. How many seemingly impossible events are coming to pass in these days! Set your faces steadily towards the Light of the World. Show love to all; ‘Love is the breath of the Holy Spirit in the heart of Man’. Take courage!
Abdul-Baha, Paris Talks, “The Pitiful Causes of War, and the Duty of Everyone to Strive for Peace,” October 21, 1911
O CHILDREN OF MEN! Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest.
The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.
Oh, friends of God, be living examples of justice! So that by the Mercy of God, the world may see in your actions that you manifest the attributes of justice and mercy.
Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality. Its operation must be carried out in all classes, from the highest to the lowest. Justice must be sacred, and the rights of all the people must be considered. Desire for others only that which you desire for yourselves. Then shall we rejoice in the Sun of Justice, which shines from the Horizon of God.