In conclusion, communities that thrive and prosper in the new millennium will do so because they acknowledge the spiritual dimension of human nature and make the moral, emotional and intellectual development of the individual a central priority. They will guarantee freedom of religion and encourage the establishment of places of worship. Their centers of learning will seek to cultivate the limitless potentialities latent in human consciousness and will pursue as a major goal the participation of all peoples in generating and applying knowledge. Remembering at all times that the interests of the individual and of society are inseparable, these communities will promote respect for both rights and responsibilities, will foster the equality and partnership of women and men, and will protect and nurture families. They will promote beauty, natural and man-made, and incorporate into their design principles of environmental preservation and rehabilitation. Guided by the concept of unity in diversity, they will support wide-spread participation in the affairs of society, and will increasingly turn to leaders who are motivated by the desire to serve. In these communities the fruits of science and technology will benefit the whole society, and work will be available for all. Communities such as these will prove to be the pillars of a world civilization—a civilization which will be the logical culmination of humanity’s community-building efforts over vast stretches of time and geography. Bahá’u’lláh’s statement that all people are “born to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization,” implies that every person has both the right and the responsibility to contribute to this historic and far-reaching, collective enterprise whose goal is nothing less than the peace, prosperity and unity of the entire human family.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1996 May 30, Sustainable Communities in an Integrating World)
The amelioration of the conditions of the world requires the reconstruction of human society and efforts to improve the material well-being of humanity. The Bahá’í approach to this task is evolutionary and multifaceted, involving not only the spiritual transformation of individuals but the establishment of an administrative system based on the application of justice, a system which is at once the “nucleus” and the “pattern” of the future World Order, together with the implementation of programmes of social and economic development that derive their impetus from the grass roots of the community. Such an integrated approach will inevitably create a new world, a world where human dignity is restored and the burden of inequity is lifted from the shoulders of humanity. Then will the generations look back with heartfelt appreciation, for the sacrifices made by Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís alike, during this most turbulent period in human history.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 663)