If we Bahá’ís cannot attain to cordial unity among ourselves, then we fail to realize the main purpose for which the Báb, Bahá’u’lláh and the Beloved Master lived and suffered. In order to achieve this cordial unity one of the first essentials insisted on by Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is that we resist the natural tendency to let our attention dwell on the faults and failings of others rather than on our own. (From a letter dated 12 May 1925 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, in Living the Life, pp. 5–7)
How much disunity exists in our Bahá’í communities, because we haven’t yet learned how to attain cordial unity among ourselves? My hunch is a lot, especially since a lot of people are opting out of participating in the core activities. Instead of just accepting this reality, I can dig a little deeper.
I love it when a quote tells me a problem and immediately gives a solution! In this case, unity is not just a nice concept we can all agree on (Bahá’u’lláh came to bring unity to the world), but it gives me something practical I can do: stop dwelling on the faults and failings of other rather than my own, and remember the main purpose for which the Bab, Bahá’u’lláh and `Abdu’l-Bahá lived and suffered. Sometimes easier said than done, particularly in a culture that values gossip and fault-finding.
We’re told our greatest tests will come from other Bahá’ís and really, these tests are a gift, not something to fear or become frustrated and judgmental. With every test comes an opportunity to grow spiritually, to grow closer to God and to attain the virtues we’ll need in the next world. Instead of focusing on the faults and failings of others, I could welcome and embrace the awareness it gives, knowing that this finger-pointing can act as a mirror for my own growth.
Turning my attention to the crises and victories that came to the lives of the Central Figures, I can learn to adjust my own behavior and I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read through today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Letting Go of Criticizing Others