23 November 2021
Fidál, 02 Qawl (Speech), 178 B.E.
A quiet afternoon in the neighborhood …
A colleague sent an initial draft of a paper titled “The Starting Point for a Global Initiative to Turn from Emergency to Emergence.” In my response, I mentioned that since it concerns changing human behavior, it raises the question at the heart of almost all systems change initiatives: How does one incentivize people to 1) engage in conversations that matter about their circumstances; 2) experiment with alternatives that address them; and 3) share what they learn and adopt / adapt what works? Probably as many ways as there are systems!
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Of course, no distinction of station can be made between any of the Manifestations of God. No Bahá’í can claim that the stations of the Báb or Bahá’u’lláh are superior to the stations of any other of God’s Messengers. It is only their mission which is distinctive. These were the first of the Prophets of God to be charged with uniting all of mankind. The first whose message was intended not for one people of culture, one language or nation only, it was for all peoples—Muslim and Jew and Confucianist, African and Indian and European. The coming of age of the human species, the time when that the race might recognize itself as one, discover its fullness and its common humanity, had arrived.
As such, the twin Holy Days—that are accounted as one in God’s eyes—mark the first world holy day to be vouchsafed to us by a loving God. Here is the first day in human history which can be celebrated as sacred by all peoples, no matter what their background. Equally here, the Jew may discover the birth of the Messiah and the Christian the Return of Christ. The Muslim might celebrate the appearance of the Hidden Imam or the birth of the promised Qá’im. The Zoroastrians can rejoice at the birth of their king, the Sháh Bahrám; the Buddhist can find the Maitreya Buddha, the supremely enlightened One; the Hindu recognize the reincarnation of Krishna, born to reestablish righteousness on earth. As such, this day might be seen as the first event in human history which can be claimed as their own by people of all traditions and all cultures.
My sister and brother-in-law recently relocated and chose to donate several books in their library rather than move them. Many of these volumes are not well-known, but due to the topics they cover and the manner in which their authors explore them, they warrant a nod of recognition before being sent on their way. Accordingly, most quotes referenced in the “Quoted” section come from these books. Maybe they will stir (or renew) your interest, too.
- Kalimát Press Staff, editor. Twin Holy Days: Birthday of Bahá’u’lláh, Birthday of the Báb: A Compilation. 1st Ed, Kalimát Press, 1994, [return]