Real peace, progress possible with effort and participation

Dianne Nagy

Dianne Nagy

The Baha’i faith teaches that world peace is inevitable, and that ordinary people can do extraordinary things to help bring it about. If you look around the country, you will see that there are a growing number of people who work to bring unity to our diversity, and to build models of understanding, cooperation and collective action to overcome the barriers that perpetuate conflict and sabotage our progress toward social justice.

I urge you to find the models of unity that exist around us, and then work to make these efforts visible, to give each one a face and a name and to show their social effects. As we highlight and replicate these models, we can foster a new consciousness and a new expectation that we have the power to transform society on a global scale.

Remember that the end of slavery, the emancipation of women, the global movement of civil rights and the growing cooperation among nations on global issues did not arise spontaneously. These turning points in human history grew out of the determined efforts of countless individuals whose efforts grew from a ripple to an inexorable tidal wave of change that reordered society.

Understanding that this kind of individual transformation is possible, and appreciating the radical, transforming effects it can have on society, turns hope into confidence that change can really be made. That peace is not some vague and pious hope, but the inevitable outcome of the realization of the essential oneness of humanity.

After all, humanity has gone through an evolutionary process and has seen the establishment of the family, the tribe, the city-state and the nation. With each stage of human evolution, there were trials, conflicts, bloody wars, terrible setbacks and losses. But every new stage of unity was successfully established. Why, then, would we think that we cannot make the transition from national sovereignty to global society, the consummation of human evolution, the fruit, the end, and the aim of all that has come before?

Peace will be established by ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Global change begins with grassroots efforts that individuals initiate, replicate and support. It can all begin with you. As ‘Abdu’l Bah