At so critical a period, at so challenging an hour, the members of a community, invested by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with a primacy which can, through neglect and apathy, be allowed to lose its vital power and driving force, are immersed in a task, and are faced with responsibilities, which a World Spiritual Crusade, ...has thrust upon them before the eyes of their admiring and expectant sister communities throughout the world.
(Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, p. 127)
At the same time, significant sections of the world community—including many social theorists, economists, and religious and secular leaders—cling to the view that human beings are incorrigibly selfish and aggressive and thus incapable of erecting a peaceful and progressive, world-embracing social order. Such a cynical view of human nature, with its attendant attitudes and behaviors, has contributed enormously to the ills plaguing society today, including poverty, unemployment, social strife, over-consumption, chauvinistic nationalism, war, and moral and spiritual apathy.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1994 Jan 21, Global Action Plan for Social Development)
But the friends should also exert their utmost, lest through neglect and apathy its progress be impeded.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Bahá’í Community, p. 102)
How tragic is the record of the substitute faiths that the worldly-wise of our age have created. In the massive disillusionment of entire populations who have been taught to worship at their altars can be read history’s irreversible verdict on their value. The fruits these doctrines have produced, after decades of an increasingly unrestrained exercise of power by those who owe their ascendancy in human affairs to them, are the social and economic ills that blight every region of our world in the closing years of the twentieth century. Underlying all these outward afflictions is the spiritual damage reflected in the apathy that has gripped the mass of the peoples of all nations and by the extinction of hope in the hearts of deprived and anguished millions.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1985 Oct, The Promise of World Peace)
If any soul speak ill of an absent one, the only result will clearly be this: he will dampen the zeal of the friends and tend to make them indifferent. For backbiting is divisive, it is the leading cause among the friends of a disposition to withdraw.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Selections From The Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp. 230-231)
Is it commendable that you should waste and fritter away in apathy the brilliance that is your birthright, your native competence, your inborn understanding?
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 91)
It is clear and evident that Western influence, the loosening of the bonds of religion, and the consequent waning vitality of the once powerful Muhammadan stronghold of Egypt are in a great measure to account for the indifference and apathy that now seem to characterize the attitude of the masses towards this important and vital issue.
(Shoghi Effendi, Bahá’í Administration, p. 101)
No true and faithful Bahá’í should in this day remain idle or seek what would give him comfort or even inner satisfaction. We should be constantly assailing the forces of darkness that have enveloped the earth and hasten the dawn of the new day foretold by Bahá’u’lláh.
(Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hooper C. Dunbar’s “Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness")
Nothing whatsoever can, in this Day, inflict a greater harm upon this Cause than dissension and strife, contention, estrangement and apathy, among the loved ones of God. Flee them, through the power of God and His sovereign aid, and strive ye to knit together the hearts of men, in His Name, the Unifier, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 8)
Now as never before should you strive mightily to free yourselves from the obstacles of apathy, attachment to worldly pursuits, and lethargy, which stand in the way of so glorious a realization.
(The Universal House of Justice, Ridván 153, 1996 - North America, p. 1)
Once again—and this time more fervently than ever before—I direct my plea to every single member of this strenuously laboring, clear-visioned, stout-hearted, spiritually endowed community, every man and woman, on whose individual efforts, resolution, self-sacrifice and perseverance the immediate destinies of the Faith of God, now traversing so crucial a stage in its rise and establishment, primarily depends, not to allow, through apathy, timidity or complacency, this one remaining opportunity to be irretrievably lost.
(Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, p. 157)
Ponder and reflect. Is it thy wish to die upon thy bed, or to shed thy life-blood on the dust, a martyr in My path, and so become the manifestation of My command and the revealer of My light in the highest paradise? Judge thou aright, O servant!
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Arabic Hidden Words 46)
Rejecting the low sights of mediocrity, let them scale the ascending heights of excellence in all they aspire to do. May they resolve to elevate the very atmosphere in which they move, whether it be in the school rooms or halls higher learning, in their work, their recreation, their Bahá’í activity or social service. Indeed let them welcome with confidence the challenges awaiting then. Imbued with this excellence and a corresponding humility, with tenacity and loving servitude, today’s youth must move towards the front ranks of the professions, trades, arts and crafts which are necessary to the further progress humankind—this to ensure that the spirit of the Cause will cast its illumination all these important areas of human endeavour.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 637)
The apathy and lethargy that paralyze their spiritual faculties—these are among the formidable obstacles that stand in the path of every world-be warrior in the service of Bahá’u’lláh, obstacles which he must battle against the surmount in his crusade for the redemption of his own countrymen.
(Shoghi Effendi: Citadel of Faith, p. 149)
The basest of men are they that yield no fruit on earth. Such men are verily counted as among the dead, nay better are the dead in the sight of God than those idle and worthless souls.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Persian Hidden Words 81)
The standard of dedication and of efficiency, attained, while pursuing the goals it has pledged itself to achieve, must never be allowed, through apathy, neglect or faint-heartedness, to be lowered.
(Shoghi Effendi, Messages to Canada, p. 69)
There are many things which will, if neglected, be wasted, and come to nothing. How often in this world do we see a child who has lost his parents and who, unless attention be devoted to his education and training, can produce no fruit. And better off dead than alive is he who produceth no fruit.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 247)
There is such a confusion in the world today, so much uncertainty, so much materialism, that it is very hard to hold the attention of even the more spiritually minded people. But we must persevere and do our best knowing this is our duty and that conditions will eventually change completely and follow Bahá’u’lláh’s Pattern.
(Shoghi Effendi, High Endeavours - Messages to Alaska, p. 49)
Though single-handed, and no matter how great the apathy of the people around you may be, you should have faith that the hosts of the Kingdom are on your side, and that through their help you are bound to overcome the forces of darkness that are facing the Cause of God. Persevere, be happy and confident, therefore.
(Shoghi Effendi, Quickeners of Mankind, p. 50)
Unashamed and unafraid when challenged to assert in its entirety the stupendous claim of Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’ís, whether laboring as individuals or functioning as an organized community, feel certain that in the face of the apathy, the gross materialism, and the superficiality of society today, a progressive disclosure of the magnitude of the claim of Bahá’u’lláh would constitute the most effective means for the attainment of the end so greatly desired by even the staunchest and most zealous advocate of the Faith.
(Shoghi Effendi, Bahá’í Administration, p. 125)
You were the fountainhead of learning, the unfailing spring of light for all the earth, how is it that you are withered now, and quenched, and faint of heart? You who once lit the world, how is it that you lurk, inert, bemused, in darkness now? Open your mind’s eye, see your great and present need. Rise up and struggle, seek education, seek enlightenment.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 91)