The reality is that our world is not united. In fact, it appears to be falling apart. Symptoms of disunity are cropping up all over. Governments are plagued with divisive politics. Corporations pit the interests of stockholders against the welfare of employees. Religions are divided along the lines of sect, denomination, cult and creed.
The sense of community that once supported a thriving middle class is giving way to a “me first” attitude, where a few are living lives of luxury far beyond the reach or imagination of kings and princes of old, while 2.7 billion people live on less than $2 per day. A greedy elite is plundering the wealth of the earth and destroying the habitat of us all.
Nations are divided by civil strife, while injustice and corruption are commonplace. People march in the streets demanding change, but their leaders lack the willpower or vision to act.
Signs of Hope
But there are signs of hope. There is evidence of increasing unity, for those who are looking. Awareness is growing of the damaging influence of racism, sexism, slavery, and other human rights abuses. Although imperfect, the United Nations organization is a first step towards international cooperation and peace.
Humanity as a whole is coming together in ways nobody could have dreamed possible one or two hundred years ago. In that time, the telegraph, telephone, radio, television, and now the Internet have brought the people of the world into each other’s living room. Combined with advances in transportation, the world is rapidly turning into a global village.
Thanks to these advances and human good will, non-government, non-profit organizations of all kinds are springing up, many of which are international in vision and scope. Many of these organizations are dedicated to creating a better world for all of us in areas of health, education, social and economic development, and environmental concerns, to name a few.
Consciously or not, people are responding to this exhortation of Bahá’u’lláh: “Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self.” 1
Part of our vision for a better world is an understanding of how it will come about. The reality we are experiencing today is essentially an old, outdated system collapsing under its own weight and disfunctionality, like a dead tree that is rotting from the inside. In its place we can see the first shoots of a new, much healthier tree that will become a new World Order.
“The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind’s ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System—-the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed.” 2
As the old world becomes more unbalanced, the centripital forces of disunity will continue to pull it apart. This part of the creative process is necessary to make room for the new world that is to come. This is one of several influences that will help bring our vision of a better world into reality.
1. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 94
2. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 6