Baha’is all over the world are about to celebrate one of the most auspicious days of their cherished Faith. October of 2017 signalizes the 200th year anniversary of the birth of the Founder of their precious Faith, Baha’u’llah. He announced, roughly 150 years ago, that the Divine-will for today is the oneness of humanity and unity of all religions, races and people. If the world’s religious leaders and kings, such as Pope Pius IX, Napoleon III and Naser al-Din Shah, had listened to Baha’u’llah’s counsels He gave in scores upon scores of letters, then bigotry, racism and utter hatred among people today would have ceased to exist.
Every day, we are surrounded by people whether it be our family members, parents, co-workers or colleagues. As social beings, we cannot help but associate with each other in order to get things done, and this is what gives life so much beauty in complexity.
Of course, there are varying degrees of personalities out there. There are introverts and there are extroverts. Some more extreme than the other, but for the most part, all socialize in one instance or another.
Why is socialization and association within the human species such an essential quality that is unique to them alone? What would life have been like had humans not been so social?
We wouldn’t have buildings, skyscrapers, automobiles, aeroplanes or the internet had things been slightly different. Anyone would reasonably vouch for the fact that almost all human activity has been particularly successful when performed in groups or teams. Take NASA as an example. The astronomers, physicists and engineers work closely with each other and the different specialization greatly complements and allows for the whole to accomplish what would have been otherwise impossible. Same is true in other specialized spaces such as medicine, agriculture and architecture.
Amidst all the interaction and socializations, people can sometimes do things or say things unintentionally hurting another. Hence the reason why we should try and exercise awareness to not offend each another.
The best way to begin is by pondering on the powerful words of the founder of the Baha’i faith Baha’u’llah:
What is being conveyed here, in my limited understanding, is that we should take into account our words and actions daily. For example, if we hurt someone, then we should immediately apologize. If people do things that either annoy us or simply drive us utterly insane, then we should work on tolerance and patience. If someone hurts us, then we should not hesitate in forgiving them right away as well.
All these things inevitably happen to us on different occasions. Thus, we should reflect on how we effect those around us and how in turn they affect us. Too often people overlook the importance of reflecting and bringing oneself to account which could have a negative ripple effect. It is not surprising when we hear people say that they prefer their animal pets over saying hello to the neighbor right across the road.
Human beings aren’t just skin, flesh and blood alone. We have a heart (not the physical heart) that is sensitive. We have feelings and emotions that need to be protected. Hence, we shouldn’t wish for anyone something that we wouldn’t wish for ourselves. If we only think about ourselves or put our interests first, then it is more likely that we will not pay any attention to what other people are going through, whether good or bad. Except if we consider the interests and happiness of others as primary, then we will actually become happier because the collective happiness is contagious. If one person is happy and the rest sad, could that one happy person really be said to be truly happy?