Promoting harmony in society

Flora Teckie

Flora Teckie

Published Feb 25, 2024


Flora Teckie

One of the most pressing issues facing humanity is how to overcome various kinds of prejudice – racial, national, religious, class, creed, or gender-based.

Racism and other kinds of discrimination continue and thrive when people of different

backgrounds live side by side in a social set up without the opportunities for meaningful interaction.

According to a statement to the Baháí International Community: “Within neighbourhoods, individuals from various backgrounds need opportunities to come together to define and engage in shared projects that contribute to its moral, intellectual and material well-being.

In sum, residents of a neighbourhood or village nurture a sense of belonging and build up the resolve to eradicate prejudice when they are able to cooperate, contribute and become protagonists in their local reality. It is through such co-participation that diverse perspectives are encountered, meaningful bonds are forged, and the dignity and capabilities inherent to all are made manifest”.

Peaceful co-existence starts with us as individuals, from inside our homes and from our neighborhoods. It starts by newfound friendships, seeing no one as a stranger but everyone as members of one human family. It begins by recognising that it is the natural diversity of temperament and talents among individuals, as well as humanity's varied and rich experiences, cultures and viewpoints that contribute to the human family's progress and well-being.

Our universal human identity, our everlasting soul, has no race, no nationality and no gender.

Only through a deepening sense of oneness of human family, transcending our differences, that we can address critical issues such as racial justice.

Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith asserts: “Close your eyes to racial differences, and welcome all with the light of oneness”.

The Bahá’í Writings further states: “… excellence does not depend upon colour. Character is the true criterion of humanity”, and emphasise that we should “Associate with each other, think of each other, and be like a rose garden. Anyone who goes into a rose garden will see various roses, white, pink, yellow, red, all growing together and replete with adornment.

Each one accentuates the beauty of the other. Were all of one colour, the garden would be monotonous to the eye. If they were all white or yellow or red, the garden would lack variety and attractiveness; but when the colours are varied, white, pink, yellow, red, there will be the greatest beauty”.

Furthermore, as followers of different religions not only, we need to work together in order to bring harmony and peace, but the Bahá’í Writings go further prescribing: “Love ye all religions and all races with a love that is true and sincere and show that love through deeds and not through the tongue”.

Considering that religion has a limitless power to inspire change and long-term commitment in its followers, a peaceful global society cannot be built without directly and substantively involving religion. However, for religion to help in meeting the diverse challenges confronting humanity today, it must be free from prejudice, fanaticism and animosity.

The Baháí Writings state that "religion must be the source of fellowship, the cause of unity and the nearness of God to man. If it rouses hatred and strife, it is evident that absence of religion is preferable and an irreligious man is better than one who professes it".

We can each contribute towards harmony and peace, towards freeing the planet from war, by an awareness that we all belong to one human family, created by one Almighty God, an dedicate ourselves to promoting the well-being of the entire human race.

Pretoria News