In the first three months of 2020 (yes folks we’re only three whole months into the year), humanity has seen the threat of nuclear war, the near burning of an entire continent due to climate change, and now a pandemic that has brought us to our knees. Never, in the history of humanity have we been forced to recognize our oneness and accept that we are all in fact connected, regardless of our man-made borders and divisions.
“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…“
About 150 years ago Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith uttered these words when writing His collection of poem-like prayers, called The Hidden Words. In my early teen years, I remember reading these words for the first time and even then, seeing the magnitude of the words chosen.
It’s interesting that although Baha’u’llah tells us in another Hidden Word that we were in fact created “noble,” here He reminds us that the nobility to which He is referring to is a spiritual one and that our material being is in fact, merely dust.
In the past few months, this message has never been clearer. In the same Hidden Word above, Baha’u’llah continues by saying:
“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.”
Imagine reading and reflecting on this passage a year ago. Would any of us have been able to imagine what this level of unity would entail? Could we have imagined that the entire human race would one day come together in peace to do what is best for all the peoples of the earth? Would we have thought that a global crisis would lead us to a path of global unity?
I see the financial impact on those that are paid hourly and live paycheck to paycheck. And although we are seeing businesses close and layoffs rolling out, we’re also seeing employers agreeing to continue paying salaries even if employees are unable to come into work. We are seeing people supporting the arts by donating their unused tickets proceeds rather than asking for refunds. We are witnessing a level of compassion that all the messengers of God have asked of us since the time of Adam.
What was deemed of social importance last week is no longer important at all. Our value system has been shattered and we must find a new way to measure value.
For decades people demanded more respect for those that contributed to society such as teachers and health care workers, but instead the material world usually rewarded athletes and reality stars. Now our focus and gratitude go to our teachers as we tackle the challenges of homeschooling.
So many of us are grateful for the healthcare workers that are quite literally risking their lives trying to understand and get ahead of this quick-moving crisis. We value the grocery workers who are filling the empty shelves and the farmers that provide the food for those shelves. The “world-embracing” vision that Baha’u’llah asked from us is now being forced upon us in the most humbling way.We can all see how the message of unity that God sent to humanity in this day is essential to our own survival, both physically and spiritually. “The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established,” Baha’u’llah wrote. All the peoples of the world coming together and eliminating prejudices has never been more relevant and vital for our well-being.