Bahai News - World Unity
The Monitor (Addis Ababa)
July 1, 2000
By Solomon Belay
Addis Ababa - Last time I wrote of the need for some spiritual
qualities from those who aspire to assume office. This time I would
like to give a suggestion which may help them as a framework principle
in their undertakings. The suggestion is not solely for the consumption
of the elected, it is also for the electors.
The leader and the led are parts of the whole, so it is hardly
possible to treat them singly. From a small barber shop to a big
college, we have various entities named after unity.
Those behind the naming decisions might have the conviction that if
ever one word exists which holds the key to the solution of the rampant
problems afflicting the world, it is unity. Whatever the motive for its
coining, the word unity seems to have become a fashion.
I will try to give few comments on world unity, whether it is
achievable and its implications for present day society. We should
endeavour to understand unity in terms of the next stage in the
evolution of mankind.
It is something you can't avoid. It is the result of the impulses of
an organic process that takes place within the body of mankind.
The question is how to embrace it like a young man embracing the
challenges of adult life. Shaghi Effendi, who was the Guardian of the
Bahai Faith from 1921-1957, elucidated this fact so eloquently as
follows; "Unification of the whole of mankind is the hall-mark of the
stage which human society is now approaching.
Unity of family, of tribe, of city-state and nation have been
successively attempted and fully established. World unity is the goal
towards which a harassed humanity is striving.
Nation-building has come to an end. The anarchy inherent in state
sovereignty is moving towards a climax.
A world, growing to maturity, must abandon this fetish, recognize
the oneness and wholeness of human relationships, and establish once
and for all the machinery that can best incarnate this fundamental
principle of its life." As it can be discerned from the above
statement, world unity ('globalization') is at home. The question is
what features will it assume? Will it be one of justice and fairness or
will it be one of injustice and iniquity? Will it protect the diversity
of its parts or will it melt down everything into a uniform blur? All
individuals, most particularly political leaders, are midwives who help
in the delivery of this 'new life' stirring in the womb of the world.
The conscious choice of accepting willingly the unity of the world
alleviates the pain ensuing the delivery. Our capacity to exploit the
situation for our common good depends on our realization of this
process and the extent of our activities toward nurturing it.
Whoever the organizer (originator) of the scene is or whatever mode
the transition from nationalism to world federationism may take,
everyone on this planet has a role to play. We all have a voice in the
melody of this millennial evolution.
The unreserved acceptance of the following principles and their
applications has a significant positive influence on the process and
for a birth of a united, fair and just world with a touch of a new
1. The elimination of all sorts of prejudice, whether it be colour,
race, religion, sex, class or education.
2. Education for all. If parents can't give it for their children
the government and the society have to give it.
If education for all is difficult, the girl child has to get
priority as she is the first teacher to her children 3. Equal right for
4. The reorientation of existing curriculums. Too much emphasis on
the scientific/materialistic aspect should be shifted to a more
balanced curriculum encompassing both the material and spiritual
aspects of mankind.
5. A radical change in the economic thinking.
The limiting of economic principles into a mere question of supply
and demand has to change and has to be lined with the upholding of the
oneness of mankind, "Don't ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for
6. The right to access information so that truth can be investigated
7. Defining the intersection between national sovereignty and
8. The need to adopt international auxiliary language, currency etc.
All the above principles and many more, which can be elaborated
further, seek whole- hearted acceptance and practicing them at all
levels. Of course some of them are painful to exercise and may also
but they are worth paying. We can no more postpone the agenda of
There is an urgent need to understand and incorporate these
principles in our daily undertakings. If we are to insist on our
outworn ideas stubbornly, there and then we will have the lashes of
war, terrorism, riot, corruption chastising everybody and clearing
forcefully the way to those same principles rejected once.
The United Nations Organization is one living testimony for human
endeavour prompted by the lessons of World War I and II. The UN is like
a new born babe.
We all know its 'bones' are not strong. However, we should console
ourselves in the fact that all the chaos and frustrations in the world
and the experiments will at last lead to the restructuring of the UN
and help it grow to assume its God-given destiny.
©Copyright 2000, The Monitor - Addis Ababa
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