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  • Patricia Wilcox

025. NATIONS; AN AGGREGATE OF FAMILIES.

Updated: Oct 22

It seems almost unbelievable to me that some nations of our global family are still preparing for nuclear warfare.


Seriously, guys? Were you on the planet back in the 50’s while I was just a little school kid laying on my back on the school playing field, worrying in my head about whether the world was about to implode?

Do you know how near the world came to that catastrophe, and all because of a simple misunderstanding?

Little as I was back then, I’d heard enough on the radio to know I should be worried about this nuclear thing.


Later I learned that an American destroyer had began dropping depth charges on a nuclear-armed Soviet submarine which its captain mistook for live explosives.

Convinced he was witnessing the opening salvo of World War III, he angrily ordered his men to arm the nuclear-tipped torpedo and prepare for attack. By some stroke of Providence, the captain’s second in command refused to give consent.

Having escaped that disaster by some act of Providence, why do we still have this monster of nuclear warfare seemingly able to run rampant in our world? Didn’t we learn anything from the ‘60’s, folk music, Woodstock, and the Summer of Love? Even little kids know this situation is not right. After eons of warfare, surely we must be able to do better now?

These situations were never anticipated by Kiwi physicist Earnest Rutherford who was the first to discover in 1932 that when lithium atoms were "split" by protons from a proton accelerator, immense amounts of energy could be released.

Apparently, he and 2 other nuclear physics pioneers, Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein, believed that harnessing the power of the atom for practical purposes anytime in the near future was unlikely, with Rutherford labelling such expectations "moonshine."

To be fair, there are many extremely beneficial uses of nuclear energy, in areas such as the obvious one of fuel and also medicine and the space program. But unless and until we change our attitude towards our fellow man, the lethal types need to have much better control. Ideally a global ban.

We need to change our historic nationalistic attitudes and start operating like a family; the Family Of Man. That sounds good even to little kids.

We need to evolve new models of family life which reflect our rich diversity of culture and roles, and are responsive to the pace of change which is an inescapable feature of our time. The families which it is the challenge of our present generation to build must serve a new paradigm, one unlike anything which we have known before, because it must be sufficient to meet the needs of an utterly new Age.

The 21st Century has arrived so fast, and we hardly had time to consider how we should we approach it. In my mind, it comes with a set of instructions - the Baha’i teachings. And the kids of today know so much more compared with the children in my grandparents time.

Imagine what the children of the future could achieve with the goldmine of knowledge that is the Baha'i teachings, when these are imparted from birth to adulthood. `Abdu'l-Baha', son of Baha'u'llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith, asserted the fundamental potential of the family, saying;

"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 surround the nation. The happenings in the family are the happenings in the life of the nation...nations are but an aggregate of families."

A little kid laying on the school playing field.