The entire structure and philosophy of the Baha’i teachings revolves around the oneness of humanity. Baha’is believe that all of us come from the same ancestors; that we all have one common humanity; that we share our DNA and our heritage and our earthly home and our Creator. Addressing the entire human race, Baha’u’llah said

“Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship.” – Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 13.

Baha’u’llah’s revelation unifies humanity, teaching us all that we come from the same loving God. If this visionary, progressive idea of the oneness of humanity strikes you as true, you already believe in the central teaching of Baha’u’llah. Abdu’l-Baha explains:

There are no differences or distinctions of race among you in the sight of God. Nay, rather, all are the servants of God, and all are submerged in the ocean of His oneness. Not a single soul is bereft. On the contrary, all are the recipients of the bounties of God. Every human creature has a portion of His bestowals and a share of the effulgence of His reality. God is kind to all. Mankind are His sheep, and He is their real Shepherd. No other scriptures contain such breadth and universality of statement; no other teachings proclaim this unequivocal principle of the solidarity of humanity. As regards any possible distinctions, the utmost that Bahá’u’lláh says is that conditions among men vary, that some, for instance, are defective. Therefore, such souls must be educated in order that they may be brought to the degree of perfection. Some are sick and ailing; they must be treated and cared for until they are healed. Some are asleep; they need to be awakened. Some are immature as children; they should be helped to attain maturity. But all must be loved and cherished. The child must not be disliked simply because it is a child. Nay, rather, it should be patiently educated. The sick one must not be avoided nor slighted merely because he is ailing. Nay, rather, he must be regarded with sympathy and affection and treated until he is healed. The soul that is asleep must not be looked upon with contempt but awakened and led into the light. – The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 433.

Fruit TreeThe Baha’i teachings proclaim the oneness of humanity and the oneness of the world itself. Ultimately, Baha’is believe, the world will transcend the boundaries between nations, races and ethnicities and unite. Distinctions and barriers between people will fall. The old global divisions — East and West, North and South, Occident and Orient, first- and second- and third-world, developed and developing countries — will all disappear. We will live as one, as world citizens, as inhabitants of our beautiful, united planet. The Baha’i Writings compare this period in human history to the adulthood of the individual:

…there are periods and stages in the life of the aggregate world of humanity which at one time was passing through its degree of childhood, at another its time of youth but now has entered its long presaged period of maturity, the evidences of which are everywhere visible and apparent. Therefore the requirements and conditions of former periods have changed and merged into exigencies which distinctly characterize the present age of the world of mankind. That which was applicable to human needs during the early history of the race could neither meet nor satisfy the demands of this day and period of newness and consummation. Humanity has emerged from its former degrees of limitation and preliminary training. Man must now become imbued with new virtues and powers, new moralities, new capacities. New bounties, bestowals and perfections are awaiting and already descending upon him. The gifts and graces of the period of youth although timely and sufficient during the adolescence of the world of mankind, are now incapable of meeting the requirements of its maturity. The playthings of childhood and infancy no longer satisfy or interest the adult mind. – Abdu’l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 9.

This stage of maturation, the adulthood of our species, can only come about with a new consciousness of the oneness of humanity. We know scientifically that all human beings are cousins, related to one another through our common African ancestors. Now, Baha’u’llah has proclaimed, the time has come for all of us to embrace our commonality, to encourage the recognition of our unity and to make a commitment to act with love and kindness toward the entire human family.

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BahaiTeachings.org or any institution of the Baha’i Faith.

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