By Bill Sims
Reprinted from the July / August 2020 issue of the Puslinch Pioneer
Over the past three months there have been many changes to our individual and collective lives – the way we work, play, shop, visit, communicate, worship, study and become educated; none of us has been exempt from this tragic time in our history.
However, during this same period, we have witnessed many positive events taking place in society – events that would not have taken place without this pandemic.
We have seen rise in service to others, from young children serving adults, youth carrying out selfless acts of assistance to others, the great teams of front line workers putting their lives on the line for our society – even if it means sacrificing their own lives and family; the list goes on.
We have also heard of various improvements in the earth’s environment as a result of the slow down of our activities.
We have witnessed another phenomenon in this country – all levels of government working together in non-partisan ways to conquer this crisis, regardless of protocol methods based on party lines and policy.
In fact, there is even a glimmer of unity in various countries of the world working together to find ways to solve this crisis.
Why is this? What is the cause of this change from the “normal operating procedures” of our society?
Naturally, we have to look first at the power of the individual. All of the major religions have told us to love one another, be kind to others, and look at each other as our friends and not as enemies.
We are told that we have been created in the image and likeness of God. Many of these wonderful qualities, such as generosity, thoughtfulness, kindness, service, mutual respect, and love – our true spiritual qualities, are being shown more during this time than ever before.
These qualities are appearing at the individual, community and governmental levels of society. In addition, increased online devotional gatherings are being held around the world; people are being reoriented toward their spiritual nature, the thing that unites us all.
One of the primary teachings of the Bahá’í Faith is that, “The earth is but on country, and mankind its citizens.” Another is that, “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”
The Bahá’í community of Puslinch naturally commends the leaders at all levels of government and their respective agencies for the work they are doing to alleviate the hardships and suffering of so many. And instituting various ways and means to fight this pandemic as well as start to bring some economic actions into play in a safe and wise manner.
The Bahá’í community, along with many agencies and individuals, is praying that these positive forces will continue, that the citizens of the world will work in the spirit of unity and service to overcome the obstacles that lie before us, and that the society that emerges from this pandemic will continue to be mature, and work together for the benefit of the entire population of our planet.
As we witness the glimmer of unity of the nations of the world during this time, we close with excerpts from a talk given in England over 100 years ago by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the son and appointed successor of the Prophet- Founder of the Bahá’í Faith:
“The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind and of the fundamental oneness of religion. War shall cease between nations, and by the will of God the Most Great Peace shall come; the world will be seen as a new world, and all men will live as brothers.”