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60. Preserving Unity in a new Age of Diversity

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

The era known as the Age of Exploration, also known as the Age of Discovery, began in the early 15th century and lasted through the 17th century.

It was a time when Europeans began exploring the world by sea in search of new trading routes, wealth, and knowledge. This unprecedented exposure to human differences resulted in many conflicts, as people found themselves confronted by a growing variety of choices and options for which they were ill prepared.

Today this greater choice extends from democratic rights which offer a variety of political options, to unprecedented choices in reproduction, in occupation, in diet, exercise, education, healthcare etc...

Humanity has never encountered the degree of challenge caused by such extremes of diversity, which will potentially grow ever more pronounced into the looming age of Space Exploration.

People are torn between valuing individuality on the one hand and embracing diversity on the other.

Growing fears became expressed in two popular songs of the 60's. One example expressed concern about widening choice in types of housing, siting of housing, neighbourhood zoning, and a general concern about suburban sprawl. Today it even more powerfully addresses privilege and social inequality.

The 1963 hit song, 'Little Boxes', was written by Pete Seeger;

Little boxes on the hillside Little boxes made of ticky-tacky Little boxes on the hillside Little boxes all the same There's a green one and a pink one And a blue one and a yellow one And they're all made out of ticky-tacky And they all look just the same

And the people in the houses All went to the university Where they were put in boxes And they came out all the same And there's doctors and lawyers And business executives And they're all made out of ticky-tacky And they all look just the same

And they all play on the golf course And drink their martinis dry And they all have pretty children And the children go to school And the children go to summer camp And then to the university Where they…

The 1969 hit song "Melting Pot" from UK pop group Blue Mink was generally considered a plea for racial harmony, but with today's changing values it has disturbing assimilationist undertones - that our unity could result in a planet of people all the same. It also uses now-abhorrent racist terminology.

Take a pinch of white man Wrap him up in black skin Add a touch of blue blood And a little bitty bit of red Indian boy Oh like a Curly Latin kinkies Oh Lordy, Lordy, mixed with yellow Chinkees, yeah You know you lump it all together And you got a recipe for a get along scene Oh what a beautiful dream If it could only come true, you know, you know

What we need is a great big melting pot Big enough enough enough to take The world and all its got And keep it stirring for a hundred years or more And turn out coffee coloured people by the score

Rabbis and the friars Vishnus and the gurus We got the Beatles or the Sun God Well it really doesn't matter what religion you choose And be thankful little Mrs. Graceful You know…

Despite these concerns, the desire for 'a recipe for a get along scene... a beautiful dream..." is one that Baha'is around the planet are working on, collaborating with others to make it come true. And it is happening. The Baha’i Faith is the world’s second-most widespread religion after Christianity, spanning the globe and working to unite it, which, Bahá'u'lláh taught, is the final stage in the evolution of humanity, uniting in one global society.

He taught that as humanity evolved physically and adapted socially, so world unity is the final stage in the evolution of humanity. Bahá'ís believe that humanity must now move forward to global maturity, recreating itself as a single human family;

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