06. Fixing A Broken Family
Updated: Apr 19
What a contentious subject my previous article on the place of Abraham as Father of Nations proved to be! When it was first posted (this is a reprint) my site received the first of many hacks.
Why are some in our global family so aggravated by the idea that we are one human family with mutual forbears? What happened to the Summer of Love, to the 'peace, love and mung beans' days of the 60's and 70's with flowers in our hair and suspicious-smelling smoke in the air, to all those uplifting folk songs calling us to 'give peace a chance'? To the inspiring influence of Bob Geldof, singer-songwriter and political activist, and Michael Jackson's 'Man In The Mirror', challenging each of us to demonstrate personal accountability?
It was all supposed to be so simple, about peace, love, and harmony, but then it seemed that the script gradually changed.
Instead of Nirvana, what followed the Summer Of Love was the Vietnam War and Helter Skelter, a cult of Charles Manson responsible for committing a series of gruesome murders, followed by the 1993 siege and consequent burning of 76 members of the Branch Davidian family at their Waco compound, all accompanied by an escalation of other social disorders which proved that love needed to be much more than the 'feel-good' consequences of chemically induced highs.
Into the social and moral vacuum that followed the rejection of organised religion and its accompanying cynicism, I first heard the words of the Baha'i Faith, a new faith once again calling us to love, but this time with clear guidance on how that could be achieved.
It was not just a feel-good love. This was a love that called for deeds, not words, for the practical application of true unity and equality of opportunity - for all religions, for women and men, blacks and whites, for equal access to education and economic advantage.
I realised that what was necessary was a vastly different concept of what constitutes a family; not a Charles Manson family, not a Branch Davidian family but one that saw itself as a part of a greater whole...
Compare the nations of the world to the members of a family. A family is a nation in miniature. Simply enlarge the circle of the household, and you have the nation. Enlarge the circle of nations, and you have all humanity. The conditions surrounding the family surrounds the nation. The happenings in the family are the happenings in the life of the nation. Would it add to the progress and advancement of a family if dissensions should arise among its members, all fighting, pillaging each other, jealous and revengeful of injury, seeking selfish advantage? Nay, this would be the cause of the effacement of progress and advancement. So it is in the great family of nations, for nations are but an aggregate of families. Therefore, as strife and dissension destroy a family and prevent its progress, sonations are destroyed and advancement hindered.
-‘Abdu’l-Bahá / 58. Theosophical Lodge
Rather than sitting back idly and letting our brave new world be overrun by haters, our present day requires women and men of all faiths, like those who supported Women Wage Peace, to join countless others in the global family to Wage Peace.
And so an increasing number of us are arising with spiritual banners in our souls that cry 'One Planet, One People Please'. "Glory not in love for your country, but in love for all mankind.' - Baha'u'llah