No matter where you are in the planet, radio can reach you—and that means it has the potential power to enlighten the human spirit.
In 2019, the world will observe the hundred-year anniversary of the first radio broadcast, which happened in The Hague, the Netherlands, when PCGG—the first radio broadcasting station—started its programming on November 6, 1919.
But in this digital age some may feel that traditional radio no longer has a penetrating influence on the populace. On the contrary! According to information compiled in 2017 from Nielsen Audio Today and Pew State of the News Media 2017, 92% or more of America’s 67.8 million millennials use radio each week. Nearly 58 million people born between 1965 and 1979 use radio each week. The boomers—those born between 1950 and 1964—make up another 58 million listeners to radio each week. With that being said, online listenership is also on the rise. Just one of the online services, Pandora, has more than 73 million active listeners, and Spotify claims more than 100 million listeners. Satellite radio services like SiriusXM have become enormously popular, as well.
Radio also plays an enormously important role in remote places around the world; in developing nations where access to news, information and entertainment is scarce; and in hard-to-reach areas without other forms of communication.
So it appears that radio, whether transmitted over-the-air, from satellite or online, will continue to have a significant role in our societies and cultures for some time to come.
To hear the Baha’i message on radio in the United States, you may want to tune in to WLGI, the Baha’i-owned radio station based in South Carolina—or their online presence at WLGI.org. WLGI is a great station with a jazzy R&B mix of music, accompanied by the message of the Baha’i teachings. Currently with CJ Cohen, Ernie Hilton and Greg Kintz as the main presenters, WLGI provides a warm and inviting presentation, including local weather, community activities, and their primary purpose: promoting love, peace and unity.
Many other Baha’i radio stations broadcast news, weather, music, community discourse, social action and spirituality in many different languages—Spanish, Tagalog, Farsi, etc.—from various places around the globe.
So with other Baha’i-oriented stations out there in the United States, why did I start MyStar95.com?
First of all, the Baha’i teachings have so much to say about the power of music to influence the human soul. In a letter to an individual Baha’i, Abdu’l-Baha said:
… consider how much the art of music is admired and praised. Try, if thou canst, to use spiritual melodies, songs and tunes, and to bring the earthly music into harmony with the celestial melody. Then thou wilt notice what a great influence music hath and what heavenly joy and life it conferreth. Strike up such a melody and tune as to cause the nightingales of divine mysteries to be filled with joy and ecstasy.
Also, I have always believed that in order to effectively acquaint people with your message, whatever that may be, you have to meet them where they are. As far as radio is concerned, the most popular music format in the United States is called “Adult Contemporary”—where the majority of music listeners tend to gravitate.
That means playing the music of popular contemporary artists—but don’t many of them focus on the physical rather than the spiritual aspects of life?
Contrary to popular opinion, many contemporary artists create some music of a positive nature. Coupled with faith-based artists singing about hope, inspiration and having a positive outlook for our future, you have hundreds of artist with thousands of songs that meet people where they are musically—and that can uplift their souls. At MyStar95.com, we couple that approach with health, wellness and financial information intended to inspire the listener. Our disc jockeys weave in positive, entertaining, inspirational and thought-provoking content that helps keep hope alive in the hearts of our audience members.
Hope is a very important thing for the station to try to invoke. Often these words from the writings of the Baha’i Faith echo in my mind:
… Beware! Beware! Lest ye be the cause of hopelessness to any creature! Should one become the cause of grief to any one heart, or of despondency to any one soul, it were better to hide oneself in the lowest depths of the earth than to walk upon the earth. – Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 1, p. 1.
There was a time in my life that I was closing in on hopelessness. I could see it off in the distance. Where I stood at the time was horrifying. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I had been caught in that hopeless abyss.
This Baha’i-inspired radio station has helped draw me away from that place of hopelessness, and gives me new hope for humanity. Every day it inspires me as I think of these words of Baha’u’llah:
Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds. – Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, p. 11.
In the end this online radio station is founded on the idea that life has meaning and people want to hear about that meaning, through music and a variety of socially engaging topics and spiritual thoughts. MyStar95.com provides a curated listening experience for spiritually-minded individuals on the go, listening in home or engaging in daily work.