Collective Salvation

Africanize globalization
Added: Friday, 13 July 2007

watch original V-Blog in Persian

When you look at the world, it's very easy to get depressed. You see chaos and disintegration everywhere and it appears as though this planet has become the home of extremes: whether it's the extremes of fundamentalism versus the absence of morality, or the extremes of wealth and poverty, it is difficult not to get disheartened. A paradigm that seems to emerge from this chaos is 'the individual at the center of the universe' – everyone seems to believe that at the end of the day, they are the most important force in their own life and it is up to them to compete, survive and attain a state of wealth and comfort.

I've been living in Africa for over 4 years now and in my faith I'm told that Africa has an important contribution to make to world civilization! It is "like unto the pupil of the eye, which is dark in color, yet it is the revealer of the contingent world" (Abdu'l Baha).

If I look at Africa through the paradigm of the individual at the center of the universe, I see a place of misery, poverty and corruption. A place that has many minerals which it can't safeguard from the clutches of selfish forces from all over the world. Africa is a needy place, because my measuring-stick only measures material prosperity and individual freedom and comfort.

Now if I change my yard-stick and my paradigm, immediately things change. If what I'm measuring and valuing is not the individual at the center of the universe but rather the collective wellbeing of any people and ultimately of the world as a family, then Africa is a place of great wealth. I learn that Africa is rich in spiritual values that the world needs in order to heal its downward spiral of exploitation. In Africa we learn that survival is a collective endeavor. We learn that "I am because you are", we learn that if you're doomed, I'm doomed. In other words, the collective is the center of the universe. This collective is no segment of humanity; this collective is the human race.

When we look at the world through those eyes, we understand what valuable contribution Africa needs to make to business, industry, media and all strata of the modern, rapidly globalizing world. When we look at the world through those eyes, we see in the chaos around us, sheer order! Because the chaos is like a construction site. It's full of rubble and dust and dirt. Old buildings are being shattered and crumble down – much as the paradigm of the individual is crumbling down. And we see in this construction site the beginnings of a new building and we can visualize and we can be part of building this new edifice with the materials we have; the belief in our collective wellbeing. No country, race, religion, gender or other man-made denomination can be left out if any of us are to see a brighter future. We will be, because we will be together.

"The wellbeing of mankind, its peace and security is unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established." (Baha'u'llah)

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