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The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the authoritative views of the Baha'i Faith.
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The Virtues Basket: How Do We Embrace Unity?

PRESENTED BY Setareh Samandari Zargarpour | Jul 20, 2021

In this video of the Virtues Basket series, we explore true unity – that powerful force which holds together all life in this world – and how we can embrace it in our daily life.

We are all connected in this world. The Baha’i teachings explain that unity goes beyond people simply getting along, and define it as a divine principle underlying our very existence. Abdu’l-Baha, the son of the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah, and his designated successor, wrote:

The wonderful Law of Attraction, Harmony, and Unity, holds together this marvelous creation. As with the whole, so with the parts; whether a flower or a human body, when the attracting principle is withdrawn from it, the flower or the man dies. It is therefore clear that attraction, harmony, unity and love, are the cause of life, whereas repulsion, discord, hatred and separation bring death. 

The principle of the unity finds a fitting analogy in the composition of the human body. All organs exchange what they need and work together in unity and harmony for the body to function. Similarly, the body of humanity achieves unity through cooperation, justice, the elimination of prejudices, education and development of human virtues.

Unity exists latent within us, but we must discover and develop it through spiritual, material, and human education. Baha’u’llah said: “Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasure, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.” Thus, while unity is achievable, it needs effort to develop. 

From a young age, children can grasp the power of unity in the world around them. But we all need constant reminders of its importance if we wish to bring unity to every space we inhabit and become builders of connection and harmony in the world. As members of one human family, the ability to mingle and interact with each other with the utmost love and kindness regardless of our race, culture, religion, and gender, adds a crucial component to establishing world unity. Abdu’l-Baha put this principle beautifully, saying:

The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord. If you meet those of different race and color from yourself, do not mistrust them and withdraw yourself into your shell of conventionality, but rather be glad and show them kindness. Think of them as different colored roses growing in the beautiful garden of humanity, and rejoice to be among them.

To elucidate this concept and apply it to humanity, Abdu’l-Baha also asks us to:

consider the flowers of a garden: though differing in kind, color, form, and shape, yet, inasmuch as they are refreshed by the waters of one spring, revived by the breath of one wind, invigorated by the rays of one sun, this diversity increaseth their charm, and addeth unto their beauty. Thus, when that unifying force, the penetrating influence of the Word of God, taketh effect, the difference of customs, manners, habits, ideas, opinions and dispositions embellisheth the world of humanity. This diversity, this difference is like naturally created dissimilarity and variety of the limbs and organs of the human body, for each one contributes to the beauty, efficiency and perfection of the whole.

As we learn to live in harmony, like beautiful musical instruments playing our part in a concert, we realize that our diversity makes our world beautiful and empowers us to achieve greater things together. The present circumstances of our world, with its wars, conflict, and corruption, will only be overturned when all become conscious of the oneness of humanity. The Universal House of Justice, the democratically elected, international administrative body of the world’s Baha’is, wrote in The Promise of World Peace:

World order can be founded only on an unshakable consciousness of the oneness of mankind, a spiritual truth which all the human sciences confirm …. Recognition of this truth requires abandonment of prejudice — prejudice of every kind — race, class, color, creed, nation, sex, degree of material civilization, everything which enables people to consider themselves superior to others. Acceptance of the oneness of mankind is the first fundamental prerequisite for reorganization and administration of the world as one country, the home of humankind. Universal acceptance of this spiritual principle is essential to any successful attempt to establish world peace.

Each one of us can contribute to the development of this “unshakable consciousness” by reinforcing unity in our mindsets, our beliefs, and our actions — and by teaching our children to understand and practice unity from a young age, so that they grow love for unity and dislike for conflict. This video from the Virtues Basket can be a useful tool as we work towards building unity in the world.

Setareh Samandari Zargarpour has always been an artist at heart, after a 20-year career in Banking as Branch Manager for Wells Fargo and Chase she transitioned to working in Film. She had finished her Master of Arts in Political Science from CSUN and utilized it...



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