07. Peace, More Than Just An End To War.
Updated: Apr 19, 2020
Every December, my fellow Kiwis prepare for another Christmas in N.Z. Our media carry jolly scenes of snowmen, and of reindeer pulling sleighs bearing a chubby white Father Christmas; all this while while my air conditioner struggles with the heat of a December day.
And we exchange greeting cards bearing these same images, conveying hearty wishes for 'peace on Earth and good will to all men'.
What is this peace? Is peace a formal political agreement between nations committed to a state of truce - or is it a state of mind, of good will and harmony? Where have we gone wrong?
"The vitality of men’s belief in God is dying out in every land; nothing short of His wholesome medicine can ever restore it." - Baha'u'llah, Gleanings – XCIX
"Man is, in reality, a spiritual being, and only when he lives in the spirit is he truly happy. This spiritual longing and perception belongs to all men alike..." - Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks
Peace is more that just an end to war. It is an attitude, a spiritual state, a commitment to treating others with justice and good will.
And yet, despite millennia of mankind's professed longing to achieve this, my fellow world citizens watch on helplessly as "...the process of the disintegration of a lamentably defective world order gathers momentum in all parts of the planet, engendering hopelessness, confusion, hostility, and insecurity..." - Universal House of Justice, 9.11.2018
What is needed? It requires not a mere treaty but a new way of living that combines both spirit and means, "...a spirit reflecting hopefulness for a brighter future; such 'means as lead to the elevation, the advancement, the education, the protection and the regeneration of the peoples of the earth" - UHJ 9.11.2018
What is the first step? “The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.” - Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas
This earth belongs not to one people but to all people. “We should continually be establishing new bases for human happiness and creating and promoting new instrumentalities toward this end. How excellent, how honorable is man if he arises to fulfill his responsibilities; how wretched and contemptible, if he shuts his eyes to the welfare of society and wastes his precious life in pursuing his own selfish interests and personal advantages. Supreme happiness is man’s, and he beholds the signs of God in the world and in the human soul, if he urges on the steed of high endeavor in the arena of civilization and justice.” --- UHJ 9.11.2018