Sunday, March 22, 2015


Rev. Leland Stewart, B.S.E., B.T.
Unity-and-Diversity Fellowship
22 March 2015(15)

This is a new cycle of human power.  It is the hour of unity among all peoples, 
and of the drawing together of all races and cultures.
Baha’i Faith, Science and Spirituality, pages 169-171

Friday, March 20, was the beginning of spring.  In many parts of the country and world there have been most unusual climate conditions.  In much of the East Coast there have been record-setting low temperatures and amounts of snow, whereas in Southern California, temperatures have been unduly warm and with almost no rain for months, even years. 

Around the world there are presently many areas of violence and chaos.  How then can the Baha’is say that this is a cycle of human power?   Pitirim Sorokin, the late world-renowned sociologist of Harvard University, said that in every major crisis two things are happening at the same time.  While on the one hand most people are taken in by the crisis and experience a worsening of life, others either see bottom or hit bottom and are able to transcend the crisis and begin to rebuild their lives.  This is also true at the societal level. 

What we see and hear most about are the negative effects of the crisis, whereas at the same time more and more people and societies are moving beyond the crisis and beginning to build a new world.  This is the situation in our time, and it is urgent that we support that which is courageously rebuilding and recreating the inner life and the outer world.  Sorokin pointed out that in the second half of the crisis the forces of transformation will get stronger and stronger, and that sooner or later the destructive forces will be reduced or eliminated.

As this polarization becomes more intense, we as individuals and groups need to respond in a similar way and become more effective in our constructive endeavors.  In the last two days, three members of the Unity-and-Diversity World Council executive board were invited to participate in an Annenberg Alchemy Leadership Seminar, whose purpose was to help the various nonprofit organizations involved to improve how their boards function, including how they raise funds to pursue their goals.  This experience was an excellent example of cooperative effort between the groups and the Annenberg facilitators to educate and inspire the organizations to work on the areas where improvement is needed to reach their maximum effectiveness.  It was clear to myself and the others from UDC who participated in that seminar that we have much to do to transform our executive board so that it can accomplish what it is expected to do.

May the forces of truth, beauty, and goodness increasingly transform ourselves and the world around us, so that in fact we will soon realize the emergence of a sustainable global civilization!

Spirit is One; paths are many!!!

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