We all want happiness, for ourselves and for all our loved ones—but where does it really come from?
When we interact with the ones we love we intuitively do our best to speak and act only in ways that would give rise to their well-being, peace, and feeling of security. Why? We know that doing otherwise would result in their discomfort—their unhappiness.
On the basis of their love, parents make years of effort and sacrifice for the happiness of their children. Genuine public administrators and leaders, on the basis of the love they have for others and society, make efforts for the happiness of all those within their jurisdictions.
The Baha’i teachings on the equality of men and women have impelled the worldwide push for women’s rights forward even before it began as a social movement. Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, called for the equality of women and men as one of the foundational Baha’i principles; and did so in a dangerous Middle Eastern context in the 19th Century. The Ottoman Empire tortured, exiled and imprisoned him for life as a result. His son Abdu’l-Baha, the exemplar and inheritor of his father’s Cause, advocated globally for the rights of women long before it became safe or politically fashionable. Here, in excerpts from a speech Abdu’l-Baha gave to a women’s suffrage organization in New York City in May of 1912, Abdu’l-Baha calls for the equal rights of women in clear and emphatic terms:
Bahá’ís of Botswana
Bahá’í communities are working together with their neighbours and friends to promote and contribute to the well-being and progress of society. In urban centres and rural villages, in homes and schools, citizens of all backgrounds, classes and ages are participating in a dynamic pattern of life, taking part in activities which are, at once, spiritual, social and educational.
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