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Our massive social problems everywhere make me wonder: where are the good guys and good women? Do we have enough good people to overcome these forces that tear us apart and disrupt society?
Truly, who doesn’t have fears that society – or their nation – could collapse?
Fear. Uncertainty. Dread.
We all live with it, constantly, either in the background or the foreground. Can anyone be 1,000% sure about their own safety and security – or even that their computer or phone is safe from hackers out to steal every penny?
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Don’t we all dread that terrible phone call, email, text, or knock on our door that someone we love, even a child, has been killed by a lone gunman entering a school or a workplace? Or, if we live in one of the world’s war-torn places, that a loved one has been taken by cruel missiles or armed invading soldiers?
Most of us just passed through years of trauma being afraid of COVID-19, and even now, the variants threaten us daily.
We live today under these real and ominous shadows, which obscure what happiness and freedom we once felt. On a global level, besides the most devastating natural or manmade disasters, nations have thousands of nuclear warheads capable of leveling massive cities. At a local level, there was a time when we felt safe enough in our neighborhoods to leave doors and windows unlocked – but not anymore.
Part of the reason we don’t feel safe and secure is because our world is undergoing a drastic change, which Baha’u’llah’s writings characterize as a result of “the Great Announcement:”
By Him Who is the Great Announcement! The All-Merciful is come invested with undoubted sovereignty. The Balance hath been appointed, and all them that dwell on earth have been gathered together. The Trumpet hath been blown, and lo, all eyes have stared up with terror, and the hearts of all who are in the heavens and on the earth have trembled ….
For Baha’is, the Great Announcement refers to the call of the Creator to humanity, asking us to turn to the Word of God in this day.
That Word, Baha’is believe, is embodied by God’s latest divine messenger and manifestation, Baha’u’llah. His holy words, like all the scriptures of the past, convey God’s direct counsels, advice, and commands to live in harmony and be as fingers on one hand. They provide a comprehensive, universal prescription for solving our differences – a prime prescription for human unity.
For example, how can we end war?
O rulers of the earth! Be reconciled among yourselves, that ye may need no more armaments save in a measure to safeguard your territories and dominions. Beware lest ye disregard the counsel of the All-Knowing, the Faithful …
Baha’u’llah advised the world’s political leaders to unite against military aggression:
Should any one among you take up arms against another, rise ye all against him, for this is naught but manifest justice.
So, although gruesome events are taking place right now, good fortune smiles on us – we have a new set of directions that can lead us to unity, peace, and reconciliation.
Of course, relationships between nations are complex, just like relationships between people. That’s why we need wise leaders and diplomats. Without face-to-face conversations and sharing, relations would become strained or antagonistic. Without understanding, sharing, consensus, give-and-take, and agreement, situations become worse, even explosive. Diplomats try to help their own countries, encourage and facilitate cooperation between nations, and maintain global peace.
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Like world diplomats, millions of Baha’is in over 200 nations and territories are ambassadors of goodwill, unity, and peace. Baha’is join hands with hundreds of millions of others working toward the same goals. Baha’is believe the Sun of Truth will shine so brightly that it will ultimately dispel the clouds of fear, uncertainty, and dread which now paralyze and block humankind’s vision, as Abdu’l-Baha pointed out in this talk he gave in Paris more than a century ago:
Truth may be likened to the sun. The sun is the luminous body that disperses all shadows, in the same way does truth scatter the shadows of our imagination. As the sun gives life to body of humanity so does truth give life to their souls.
The sun is shining, but its truth is obscured. We must turn to it to feel and absorb its reality.
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