As the world evolves into a more global society, the need to recognize that “humanity is one” becomes more and more obvious, to me, every day. By accepting this view of humankind, the global community would make the world more peaceful and just. Without its acknowledgment, one faction or another will continue to justify inequity, injustice and privation, whether those actions are racial, religious, economic, environmental, gender or nationality based.
Civilization has advanced through phases of societies based on family units, tribes, city-states and nations. The next logical step in this evolving process would be to realize that “[t]he earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.” (From the writings of Bahá’u’lláh.)
In spite of a sea of change in worldwide attitudes of many prejudices in recent centuries and decades, some individuals and organizations continue to perpetuate discriminatory practices that were commonly accepted in past eras. With a global perspective, however, society would gradually reshape itself based on the principles of love, inclusiveness, reciprocity and global prosperity. Creative and resourceful solutions to today’s world problems would then be found to help alleviate, rather than perpetuate, suffering.
In search of progress, I browsed through the calendar for some world-embracing commemorative days in March and April, and found the following: 3/1 – Zero Discrimination Day, 3/3 – World Wildlife Day, 3/8 – International Women’s Day, 3/21 – World Day to Eliminate Racial Discrimination, 3/21 – International Day of Forests, 3/22 – World Water Day, 3/24 – World Day for Truth Concerning Human Rights Violations, 3/25 – Day to Remember Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, 3/25 – Earth Hour, 4/7 – World Health Day, 4/22 – Earth Day, 4/25 – World Malaria Day, 4/29 – Day to Remember Chemical Warfare Victims.
This gives me hope! Each of these days is evidence that there are dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic individuals out there devoted to each cause. I am encouraged knowing that they will most likely remind their circles of friends to keep these issues at the forefront of societal discourse. And, as these individuals become more numerous and their circles of friends expand, they will hasten the day in which a critical mass will usher in significant and important changes.
Faith communities can be the prime movers in reshaping society to look at the world from a global perspective. As their members follow the teachings (in word and deed) of the founders of their faiths, they can inspire the greater society and provide a standard for the betterment of the world. The golden rule, present in all religions (though explained using different words), is basically a law of reciprocity. By living one’s life according to this rule of faith, appreciating that “humanity is one” can become the prevailing guide in one’s life. With individuals applying this principle, the world would change.
Indeed, the golden rule is the basis for a just and peaceful world. Since all of the founders of the world’s major religions have taught peace, love and justice, those teachings are a good place for all of God’s children to start.
Stanton Brown is a member of the Baha’i Community of Bainbridge Island. First published by the Bainbridge Review.