The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.
What kind of security do you have, either at your home or on your computer? You may have locks on your doors, an alarm system, cameras, an anti-virus program – but will they actually keep you safe and secure?
Perhaps if you were one of the gold bars in Fort Knox, Kentucky, locked in a thick vault protected by armed soldiers, maybe you’d have a measure of security. But most other systems offer us a little peace of mind rather than actual security. Our modern world, fraught with fraud, outright theft, and even violence, certainly does not seem secure, and fails most people on that score.
The Baha’i teachings offer a new perspective on the whole subject of security. Baha’u’llah linked the security of all humanity with the re-establishment of trustworthiness:
Trustworthiness is the greatest portal leading unto the tranquillity and security of the people. In truth the stability of every affair hath depended and doth depend upon it. All the domains of power, of grandeur and of wealth are illumined by its light.
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In 2019 I was happily using my Dell Inspiron 580S daily for many hours, to write, search the internet, use social media, go through and respond to emails and much more. But one day a supposedly good link opened and filled my screen with a ransom-like request. I couldn’t close the screen or do anything. I turned the Inspiron off and on and I thought I’d gotten rid of it. I did a manual virus scan and nothing turned up. I went back to normal, but the PC wasn’t. I noticed black screen flickers once in a while. My internet searches bypassed trusted sites and displayed questionable ones, I even got a white screen on occasion. Some application programs were messed up. So I reinstalled Windows with Microsoft’s help and ran though more virus scans, even using DOS Commands.
Finally, I still could tell the PC wasn’t clean. I took it to my local computer technicians and paid to try and salvage what they could. But that didn’t work, either. They discovered a corrupted BIOS, the very heart and brain of every PC, and advised me to trash the PC and buy a new one.
Fortunately, I had a backup of all my files on an external hard drive. I reloaded them into the new PC, and started fresh. No wonder even today, many people are afraid to touch a PC or try a laptop or tablet.
Many of you have probably been through this, if not through a home burglary or invasion or worse. Even being careful does not prevent the unforeseen from happening. We constantly react to these events, hardly catching our breath to be proactive. We try to stay ahead of the scammers and fraudsters and burglars, but they seem to be gaining.
Which brings us to an inevitable conclusion: security is a chimera, an illusion. It may look like we have it, but we don’t. Each of us, and the world as a whole, are in desperate need of security.
All security, as Baha’u’llah pointed out, starts with trustworthiness. If a person, thing, system, institution, government, business, or organization isn’t trustworthy, how can we hope to live, work, even play, in an atmosphere of fairness and justice? How can we hope not to be cheated, robbed, or invaded? Or not have our computers infected or our wealth held for ransom?
Baha’u’llah wrote that trustworthiness:
… is the door of security for all that dwell on earth and a token of glory on the part of the All-Merciful. He who partaketh thereof hath indeed partaken of the treasures of wealth and prosperity. Trustworthiness is the greatest portal leading unto the tranquility and security of the people. In truth the stability of every affair hath depended and doth depend upon it. All the domains of power, of grandeur and of wealth are illumined by its light.
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Trustworthiness is so important that Baha’u’llah ascribed its attainment as equivalent to sainthood:
The purpose of the one true God in manifesting Himself is to summon all mankind to truthfulness and sincerity, to piety and trustworthiness, to resignation and submissiveness to the Will of God, to forbearance and kindliness, to uprightness and wisdom. His object is to array every man with the mantle of a saintly character, and to adorn him with the ornament of holy and goodly deeds.
Ultimately, the Baha’i teachings tell us, trustworthiness starts in the consciousness and the conscience of every human being. It begins when we each recognize a higher moral calling, and realize that we are connected to one another as relatives in one human race. The spiritual teachings of the Baha’i Faith, which summon all humanity to trustworthiness, impart a new moral code and the mechanism for implementing it in all people.
Imagine, for a moment, a time when everyone becomes trustworthy – then the world will truly know security. Despite what we see, Baha’is believe we are moving toward this standard and try to model it in our lives.
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