One Human Family
The conviction that we belong to one human family is at the heart of the Bahá’í Faith. The principle of the oneness of humankind is “the pivot round which all the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh revolve”.
Bahá’u’lláh compared the world of humanity to the human body. Within this organism, millions of cells, diverse in form and function, play their part in maintaining a healthy system. The principle that governs the functioning of the body is cooperation. Its various parts do not compete for resources; rather, each cell, from its inception, is linked to a continuous process of giving and receiving.
Acceptance of the oneness of humanity demands that prejudice—whether racial, religious, or gender related—must be totally eliminated.
Every individual is a member of the body of humanity. Each is essentially noble, possessing a unique soul. All have a common purpose—to carry forward an ever-advancing material and spiritual civilization. All are the citizens and co-stewards of one planet, entitled to enjoy the benefits of such a civilization. If one member of the body is in anguish or distress, all the other members must necessarily suffer. This growing awareness of our common heritage and interdependent future is redefining our understanding of ourselves and challenges the ways of contemporary society. It rejects the adversarial practices of partisan politics, the competitive spirit dominating economic activity, and the countless other situations in which conflict is accepted as the driving force of human interaction.
We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
And all the books you’ve read have been read by other people. And all the songs you’ve loved have been heard by other people. And that girl that’s pretty to you is pretty to other people. And that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing ‘unity’.
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
“The Earth is but one country and mankind its citizens”
I think my best skill in this whole deal is as a conduit to try to bring people together, because I think it’s in our unity that we’ll have the greatest strength.
All it takes for the evil forces of racism and the so called white supremacist to conquer is for the aware to ignore them and lead them to believe that they have an accepted place in society. Ken George-Dill
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
Bishop Desmond Tutu
“Change yourself and you have done your part in changing the world”. Paramahansa Yogananda
The Vision of Race Unity
A STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHÁ’ÍS OF THE UNITED STATES
RACISM IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ISSUE confronting America. A nation whose ancestry includes every people on earth, whose motto is E pluribus unum, whose ideals of freedom under law have inspired millions throughout the world, cannot continue to harbor prejudice against any racial or ethnic group without betraying itself. Racism is an affront to human dignity, a cause of hatred and division, a disease that devastates society.
Notwithstanding the efforts already expended for its elimination, racism continues to work its evil upon this nation. Progress toward tolerance, mutual respect, and unity has been painfully slow and marked with repeated setbacks. The recent resurgence of divisive racial attitudes, the increased number of racial incidents, and the deepening despair of minorities and the poor make the need for solutions ever more pressing and urgent. To ignore the problem is to expose the country to physical, moral and spiritual danger.
Aware of the magnitude and the urgency of the issue, we, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, speaking for the entire U.S. Bahá’í community, appeal to all people of goodwill to arise without further delay to resolve the fundamental social problem of this country. We do so because of our feeling of shared responsibility, because of the global experience of the Bahá’í community in effecting racial harmony within itself, and because of the vision that the sacred scriptures of our Faith convey of the destiny of America.
If you look at the world around you, you will see that it is characterized by diversity and multiplicity. Both denote the abundance of materialism. Such diversity exists even at the level of thought. You can approach the same subject from different perspectives and find multiple solutions to the same problem. If liberation is a problem for human beings, it logically follows that such a problem should have multiple solutions too. In Hinduism, therefore, you are not oppressed by the limitations of thought, doctrine, or beliefs to find your way to the abode of God. The assimilative nature of Hinduism arises from its acceptance of plurality and multiplicity as the defining and undeniable aspect of human existence.
Racism is a product of ignorance, and an agent of mortal inferiority.
What is the flesh of man or the colour of his skin that he should be so mindful of, does not the body of man, in the hour of transition becomes impotent and useless?
In that hour when the spirit shall relinquish the black, white, yellow, red or couloured body, what colour is that spirit that shall mingle with the ether? Will that spirit be identified before the throne of life by a colour?
Shall not the body which bears the distinction of colour disintegrate into nothingness?
one who erects his nobility upon the colour of his skin, has given himself to the adoration of the perishable. Ken George-Dill
What does Buddhism say about prejudice and discrimination?
The Buddha was born into a society that knew the caste system. For Buddhists, the caste system is an example of discrimination and is something that they do not support. Buddhists teach that prejudice is an example of ignorance. Furthermore, believing that we are in some way superior to those around us is an example of craving or of fear.
When people discriminate, their behaviour reflects an ignorant attitude towards other people. Buddhists believe that ignorance and craving cause people to suffer – known as dukkha.
Buddhists believe in equanimity, upekkha. This means an equal attitude towards everyone. Buddhists try to ensure that everyone is treated as such in society.
Buddhists believe that there is no fundamental difference between any human. Every individual is valued and should be treated fairly and therefore with justice.
Mahayana Buddhists believe that everyone should be treated equally because we all have ‘Buddha Nature‘, ie the ability to become enlightened. It does not matter about our culture, race or background. Once enlightenment has been reached, there are no divisions at all.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.