What Should Be Our Greatest Concern?

surveyFor the last week, this blog has had a survey up called, What Should Be Our Greatest Concern?

It’s time to tally the votes from our readers.

First though, let me state that 48% of this blog’s readers come from the United States; however, that means that 52% are from a wide diversity of other countries…

I should also say that the way the Internet and Blogs work the survey will likely receive more voters and I may revisit the results in the future.

For now though, here are what readers feel should be our greatest concerns.

The Top Concern with 11% of the vote:

Clean Water

The set of next greatest concerns, each carrying 9% of the vote:

Children’s Rights
Climate Change
Human Rights

The next set, each with 8%:

Moral Development
War
Starvation
All of the Above…

Next, each with 6%:

Epidemic Disease
Rainforests
Women’s Rights

Next, each with 4%:

Economic Collapse
Terrorism
Religious Fanaticism

And, finally, with 2%:

Wetlands

I’ll be using this survey of Greatest Concerns for the next series of posts—doing research and providing links so you can explore the issues…

Spiritual Quote:

“Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.

“We can well perceive how the whole human race is encompassed with great, with incalculable afflictions. We see it languishing on its bed of sickness, sore-tried and disillusioned. They that are intoxicated by self-conceit have interposed themselves between it and the Divine and infallible Physician. Witness how they have entangled all men, themselves included, in the mesh of their devices. They can neither discover the cause of the disease, nor have they any knowledge of the remedy. They have conceived the straight to be crooked, and have imagined their friend an enemy.”
Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 212

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Who Is Writing The Future ?

starvation
It would seem that the Past and Present are just about too much to handle these days. So, who’s writing our Future? Will it just happen? Should it be left up to those who’ve wrecked our past and present?

From Agence France-Presse: HIV-AIDS orphans face life alone in Swaziland

From Unicef: Situation worsens for children as relief measures falter in Horn crisis

From Save The Children: Children living on highways to escape Bihar floods killed by traffic

The children that manage to live through these crises are the ones most likely to affect our future; they are, even now, “writing” the future–in their hearts . . .

And, it’s not just the children who suffer in extremely bleak ways in Africa, East Asia, India, or China that are doing this Writing. Children of the affluent are doing their heart-writing, too.

All these young and mostly tender souls are the Witnesses of our age. Those who live into adulthood are the ones who will, based on their past, decide what’s to be done in a world nearly completely devastated by near-term crises.

Children have always been the Future. Too bad I won’t live to see the remarkable achievements of the future adults who overcome our mistakes and build a new world on the skeleton of what we’ve left them.

Today’s Spiritual Quote comes from a document that evaluates the Twentieth Century:

“…the deliberate extermination of millions of helpless human beings, the invention and use of new weapons of destruction capable of annihilating whole populations, the rise of ideologies that suffocated the spiritual and intellectual life of entire nations, damage to the physical environment of the planet on a scale so massive that it may take centuries to heal, and the incalculably greater damage done to generations of children taught to believe that violence, indecency, and selfishness are triumphs of personal liberty. Such are only the more obvious of a catalogue of evils, unmatched in history, whose lessons our era will leave for the education of the chastened generations who will follow us.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1999 Feb, Who is Writing the Future: Reflections on the Twentieth Century

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The Crisis of Faith

Things seem so gruesomely glum—so downright dour—so freakishly forbidding . . . Yet, there is Potent Hope. If you can accept it . . .

From the Washington Post: Credit Crisis Triggers Unprecedented U.S. Response
From China View: Former UN chief expresses concern over global food, fuel crisis in Ghana
From the New York Times: 1,500 Reported Killed in Georgia Battle
From the Boston Globe: Early retirement plans can be short-circuited by a crisis of one kind or another
From the Irish Times: Testimonies of atomic terror: lest we forget
From Nehanda Radio: Thousands face starvation as food crisis deepens in rural Zimbabwe

Pretty bad, eh? Probably gonna get worse…

I’m not being morose or sullen; not even pessimistic. I’m making a strong point.

What can extricate our Family from the multitude of crises assailing it?

Where is hope?

It sure isn’t in the things that have been tried for many years—the failed strategies, the materialistic grand-schemes, the corporate “solutions”, the political fantasies.

Something related to God, then?

“Oh, my, there he goes again. Poor Alex is flying in his nirvana of spirituality.”

Valid point. Just look at all the fine people, deeply spiritual, who’ve been slaughtered by the present system of managing human affairs.

Still, is dying for a cause proof that the cause isn’t valid? Is the apparent power of the politicians, corporations, and greedy-onslaughts-abounding any proof that a spiritual solution is not the best way to face such a sorry Mess?

Try this quote on for size:

“It behoveth everyone to traverse this brief span of life with sincerity and fairness. Should one fail to attain unto the recognition of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, let him at least conduct himself with reason and justice. Erelong these outward trappings, these visible treasures, these earthly vanities, these arrayed armies, these adorned vestures, these proud and overweening souls, all shall pass into the confines of the grave, as though into that box. In the eyes of those possessed of insight, all this conflict, contention and vainglory hath ever been, and will ever be, like unto the play and pastimes of children. Take heed, and be not of them that see and yet deny.”

Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, 3.17

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Humanity Is Starving For Unity !

starving man

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From G8: Global Food Security Plan Expected, on Inter Press Service comes this:

“A landmark agreement on ensuring global food security is likely to emerge from the G8 summit… The agreement would reflect an intertwining between soaring food prices, climate change, and surging energy costs, conference sources say.”

Does this sort of action foreshadow a coming organic unity of human kind?

Does even the effort being made, whether the agreement leads to betterment of the problems or not, show the utter necessity of a global focus on unity?

Here are today’s quotes:

“The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind and of the fundamental oneness of religion.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 19

“…by ‘Oneness of Mankind’ is meant an organized unification, not mere brotherhood. It is not a humanitarian principle, it does not imply a theoretical abstract conception, but a promise that the world is going to be unified politically, socially, economically and religiously.”

Shoghí Effendí, Extracts from the USBN

“Conceived of as an end in itself, the national state has come to be a denial of the oneness of mankind, the source of general disruption opposed to the true interests of its people. From the depths of man’s divine endowment stirs response to the affirmation of oneness which gives this age its central impetus and direction. Society is undergoing transformation, to effect a new order based on the wholeness of human relationships.”

Bahá’í International Community, 1947 Feb, A Bahá’í Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights

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Think Globally ~ Act Locally

You Be The Judge

First Statement:

1 July 1912

Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York

“The fundamental basis of the community is agriculture, tillage of the soil.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p. 37

Second Statement:

“Strive as much as possible to become proficient in the science of agriculture, for in accordance with the divine teachings the acquisition of sciences and the perfection of arts are considered acts of worship.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 144

Third Statement:

Late 1990s

“It has been estimated that without the use of pesticides food production would drop by 40%, resulting in both a dramatic increase in food costs and the associated problems of starvation.”

Fourth Statement:

Wikipedia

“Intensive farming or intensive agriculture is an agricultural production system characterized by the high inputs of capital, fertilizers, labour, or labour-saving technologies such as pesticides relative to land area. This is in contrast to the concept of Extensive Agriculture which involves a low input of materials and labour with the crop yield depending largely on the naturally available soil fertility, water supply or other land qualities.”

Fifth Statement:

March 2001

“Imagine the surprise of going online and discovering that the vitamin and mineral content of vegetables has drastically dropped….Some of the differences in vitamin and mineral content were enormous–a 50% drop in the amount of calcium in broccoli, for example. Watercress down 88% in iron content; cauliflower down 40% in vitamin C content–all since 1975.”

Sixth Statement

June, 2008

“Global food prices are expected to rise further as world leaders failed to take concrete actions to reverse the trend. “

Seventh Statement:

June, 2008

Hungry Farmers Urge Local Control over Food

“…they emphasized the importance of protecting the land, water, and seeds rights of communities necessary to grow food… [to] guarantee a dignified future to peasants and indigenous people….Otherwise, the farmers said, the poor in their communities would remain at the mercy of the large corporations that dominate agricultural production now and are largely responsible for the spiraling price of staple foods across the planet. “

Call In The Jury !