Centering the “Pupil of the Eye”: Blackness, Modernity, and the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh
In the late nineteenth century, Bahá’u’lláh likened people of African descent to the “pupil of the eye” through which the “light of the spirit shineth forth.”
This selection of metaphor, often referred to by Central Figures and Institutions of the Bahá’í Faith, effectively positions blackness at the epicenter of a “bold and universal” world-transformative project that involves nothing less than the “coming of age of the entire human race” (Shoghi Effendi, World Order 43, 163).
Freedom of religion or belief, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of association are interdependent, interrelated and mutually reinforcing. They are enshrined in articles 18, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Upholding these rights plays an important role in the fight against all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief.
In countless places we don’t usually hear about around the world, humanitarian aid workers labor every day to assist people who need help.
Have you ever traveled somewhere solely to help others?
That’s what international humanitarian aid workers do. They heroically go into dangerous places where people’s lives are at risk, and they selflessly put their own lives at risk to help others. Far away from their families and their home countries, most international humanitarian aid workers put themselves in harm’s way because they feel a strong sense of the oneness of humanity.
CLOSING THE GAP AND OVERCOMING INDIGENOUS DISADVANTAGE
The lifetime expectancy gap between indigenous and non-indigenous is but a symptom of a greater, multi-dimensional problem. The Bahá’í Community recognises that a great deal of work must be carried out to right wrongs, to create justice, and to educate a new generation. Instant solutions are not possible. Education, however, provides a long-term solution to indigenous disadvantage, by creating a shift in consciousness within the next generation of, both indigenous and non-indigenous.
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.