I had originally posted the following as a Facebook status update, but thought I’d post it here as well to give it a more permanent home.
The last few weeks have felt so busy and emotionally draining that I haven’t had a real chance to fully contemplate on the enormity of what this weekend means for the world. This weekend, Bahá’ís all over the world celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh – prophet-founder of their faith.
It’s been 200 years since the birth of an incredible boy who brought about the teachings and exemplary life that revitalized the eternal truths shared by all the world’s great religions, as well as new social teachings to address the most urgent need of our day: unity.
And I can’t help but sit here and think about how the person I am today – the choices I make, the actions I take, the causes I champion, the values I fight for, the ways I relate with others, etc – are completely (completely!) indebted to that man who was just a newborn 200 years ago.
As the socio-political world around us appears to go through a systematic dismantlement, and an increasing number of formerly trusted institutions, processes, and policies continue to be exposed for their spiritually and morally rotten core, it’s easy to lose hope and feel like there is nothing we can do to make a change.
But on this historic 200th anniversary, I want to share that I stand here with nothing but the brightest of hopes for the future of humanity, thanks to that boy born a mere two centuries ago. A hope that exists because I’ve seen what came before, what is happening now, and how the past and present will continue to affect our future.
I’ve read the incredible living history of this faith, filled with countless heroes and heroines who fearlessly stood – and continue to stand – by their beliefs in the inherent oneness of the human race, in the fundamental equality of women and men, in the importance of rendering service to every member of the human race, in the harmony between science and religion, and so many other principles aimed at bringing together a world that might otherwise seem destined to destroy itself. They stood by these beliefs even when it meant – and continues to mean – that they could be victims of physical violence, imprisonment, denial of education, torture, and death
I’ve experienced first-hand the transformational power that comes with teaching young children about the importance of practicing virtues and living an exemplary life. I’ve seen neighborhoods transformed by simple acts of loving service undertaken by adolescents who felt empowered to make a real lasting change in their immediate communities. I’ve seen friends and family of all ages embrace their two-fold moral purpose of improving their own personal character through acts service that improve the life of communities around them. And what is the world if not a massive collection of smaller communities?
And the best part is there’s a place for everyone in this process of new-world-building! Let me know if you want in! I know people.
In the meantime, I invite you to check out how people all over the world are celebrating this amazing occasion: http://bicentenary.bahai.org