A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Unity in Diversity

A unique administrative system, rooted in the concept of unity in diversity, both insists on education for all members of the community and allows for the immediate assimilation of all those who in the past have been deprived of their rights.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1993 Apr 05, Equality of Men & Women A New Reality)


A unity in diversity of actions is called for, a condition in which different individuals will concentrate on different activities, appreciating the salutary effect of the aggregate on the growth and development of the Faith, because each person cannot do everything and all persons cannot do the same thing. This understanding is important to the maturity which, by the many demands being made upon it, the community is being forced to attain.
(Universal House of Justice, Promoting Entry by Troops, p. 16)


Bahá’u’lláh compared the world to the human body. There is, indeed, no other model in phenomenal existence to which we can reasonably look. Human society is composed not of a mass of merely differentiated cells but of associations of individuals, each one of whom is endowed with intelligence and will; nevertheless, the modes of operation that characterize man’s biological nature illustrate fundamental principles of existence. Chief among these is that of unity in diversity. Paradoxically, it is precisely the wholeness and complexity of the order constituting the human body—and the perfect integration into it of the body’s cells—that permit the full realization of the distinctive capacities inherent in each of these component elements. No cell lives apart from the body, whether in contributing to its functioning or in deriving its share from the well-being of the whole. The physical well-being thus achieved finds its purpose in making possible the expression of human consciousness; that is to say, the purpose of biological development transcends the mere existence of the body and its parts.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1995 Mar 03, The Prosperity of Humankind)


Bahá’ís should obviously be encouraged to preserve their inherited cultural identities, as long as the activities involved do not contravene the principles of the Faith. The perpetuation of such cultural characteristics is an expression of unity in diversity. Although most of these festive celebrations have no doubt stemmed from religious rituals in bygone ages, the believers should not be deterred from participating in those in which, over the course of time, the religious meaning has given way to purely culturally oriented practices.
(Universal House of Justice, NSA USA - Developing Distinctive Bahá’í Communities)


Consider the flowers of a garden. Though differing in kind, color, form and shape, yet, inasmuch as they are refreshed by the waters of one spring, revived by the breath of one wind, invigorated by the rays of one sun, this diversity increaseth their charm and addeth unto their beauty. How unpleasing to the eye if all the flowers and plants, the leaves and blossoms, the fruit, the branches and the trees of that garden were all of the same shape and color! Diversity of hues, form and shape enricheth and adorneth the garden, and heighteneth the effect thereof. In like manner, when divers shades of thought, temperament and character, are brought together under the power and influence of one central agency, the beauty and glory of human perfection will be revealed and made manifest.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 41)


For the bedrock of the Bahá’í administrative order is the principle of unity in diversity, which has been so strongly and so repeatedly emphasized in the writings of the Cause.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 90)


In reality all are members of one human family—children of one Heavenly Father. Humanity may be likened unto the vari-colored flowers of one garden. There is unity in diversity. Each sets off and enhances the other’s beauty.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 25-26)


Let there be no misgivings as to the animating purpose of the world-wide Law of Bahá’u’lláh. Far from aiming at the subversion of the existing foundations of society, it seeks to broaden its basis, to remold its institutions in a manner consonant with the needs of an ever-changing world. It can conflict with no legitimate allegiances, nor can it undermine essential loyalties. Its purpose is neither to stifle the flame of a sane and intelligent patriotism in men’s hearts, nor to abolish the system of national autonomy so essential if the evils of excessive centralization are to be avoided. It does not ignore, nor does it attempt to suppress, the diversity of ethnical origins, of climate, of history, of language and tradition, of thought and habit, that differentiate the peoples and nations of the world. It calls for a wider loyalty, for a larger aspiration than any that has animated the human race. It insists upon the subordination of national impulses and interests to the imperative claims of a unified world. It repudiates excessive centralization on the one hand, and disclaims all attempts at uniformity on the other. Its watchword is unity in diversity… .
(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 41-42)


Let us by word and example show that “it does not ignore, nor does it attempt to suppress, the diversity of ethnical origins, of climate, of history, of language and tradition, of thought and habit, that differentiate the peoples and nations of the world.” Finally, let them appreciate that “it calls for a wider loyalty, for a larger aspiration than any that has animated the human race"; that “it insists upon the subordination of national impulses and 5 interests to the imperative claims of a unified world"; that “it repudiates excessive centralization on one hand, and disclaims all attempts at uniformity on the other"; that “its watchword is unity in diversity”.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1992 Nov 26, Second Message to World Congress, p. 4)


Long-term solutions will require a new and comprehensive vision of a global society, supported by new values. In the view of the Bahá’í International Community, acceptance of the oneness of humanity is the first fundamental prerequisite for this reorganization and administration of the world as one country, the home of humankind. Recognition of this principle does not imply abandonment of legitimate loyalties, the suppression of cultural diversity, or the abolition of national autonomy. It calls for a wider loyalty, for a far higher aspiration than has so far animated human efforts. It clearly requires the subordination of national impulses and interests to the imperative claims of a unified world. It is inconsistent not only with any attempt to impose uniformity, but with any tendency towards excessive centralization. Its goal is well captured in the concept of “unity in diversity.”
(Bahá’í International Community, 1991 Aug 13, International Legislation for Environment Development)


Since the mid-19th century, myriad religious, racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic and national elements have come together to promote the concept of unity in diversity.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1989 Feb 08, Eliminating Racism)


The Bahá’í Writings … answer the question of minorities with a call to “unity in diversity,” in Mr. Eide’s words “pluralism in togetherness” … To preserve and honor diversity without making differences a cause for conflict requires a new way of thinking, based on respect for the rights of every individual. This new way of thinking, characterized some years ago as a “culture of human rights,” must be developed and supported by human rights education.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1995 Aug 07, Prevention of Discrimination Protection of Minorities)


The Bahá’í world will work ceaselessly to develop in all its members - children, youth and adults - a … global consciousness based on the spiritual principles of unity in diversity, justice, love and service.
(The Bahá’í International Community, 1995 Apr 06, Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Bahá’í Faith)


The details of educational programs and activities aimed at promoting social integration will vary a great deal from the local to the national and international levels. However, in our increasingly interdependent world, all programs and initiatives must have certain aspects in common. Among other things, they should teach unity in diversity as the foundation principle for social integration both for nations and for the world community …
(Bahá’í International Community, 1994 Aug 23, Role of Education, Media Arts in Social Development)


The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord. If you meet those of a different race and colour from yourself, do not mistrust them and withdraw yourself into your shell of conventionality, but rather be glad and show them kindness.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Advent of Divine Justice, p.32)


The fact that he is by origin a Jew or a Christian, a black man or a white man, is not important anymore, but, as you say, lends color and charm to the Bahá’í community in that it demonstrates unity in diversity.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 68)


The first example of a spiritually based indicator explores the application of the principle of unity in diversity to educational policy. Beginning with a vision of development that accepts both the possibility and the necessity of a united and peaceful world, unity in diversity is identified as a spiritual principle essential to the realization of that future. A policy area is then chosen: in this case, education. By considering the principle[38] of unity in diversity in education, numerous possibilities for policies, goals and programs emerge, several of which might be pursued. In this exercise, however, consideration will be limited to just one goal: to foster in students a global consciousness—a consciousness inherent in the principle of unity in diversity.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1998 Feb 18, Valuing Spirituality in Development)


The oneness of humanity, with its corollary of unity in diversity, is applicable both to the peoples and to the nations of the world.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1994 Jan 21, Global Action Plan for Social Development)


Unity in diversity is at once a vision for the future and a principle to guide the world community in its response to these challenges. Not only must this principle come to animate relations among the nations of the planet, but it must also be applied within both local and national communities if they are to prosper and endure. The unifying, salutary effects of applying this principle to the redesign and development of communities the world over, would be incalculable, while the consequences of failing to respond appropriately to the challenges of an ever-contracting world will surely prove disastrous.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1996 Jun 07, Sustainable Communities in an Integrating World)


Unity in diversity stands in contrast to uniformity. It cherishes the natural diversity of temperament and talents among individuals as well as humanity’s variegated experiences, cultures and viewpoints, inasmuch as they contribute to the human family’s progress and well-being. Much like the role played by the gene pool in the biological life of humankind and its environment, the immense wealth of cultural diversity achieved over thousands of years is vital to the development of the human race which is experiencing its collective coming-of-age. It represents a heritage that enriches us all and that must be permitted to bear its fruit in a global civilization. Acceptance of the concept of unity in diversity, therefore, implies the development in the individual of a global consciousness, a sense of world citizenship, and a love for humanity as a whole. In this regard, each individual needs to understand that, since the body of humankind is one and indivisible, each member of the human race is born into the world as a trust of the whole and that the advantage of the part in a world society is best served by promoting the advantage of the whole.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1998 Feb 18, Valuing Spirituality in Development)


Unity in diversity, the foundation principle for social integration …
(Bahá’í International Community, 1994 Aug 23, Role of Education, Media Arts in Social Development)


Unity of the human race should not be confused with uniformity, which is against the fundamental laws of creation. The teachings of Bahá’u’lláh emphasize the principle of unity in diversity. In God’s creation there is only one of everything. No two things are the same. The best way to appreciate the reason for this uniqueness is to study the Bahá’í Writings and also observe nature.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 4, p. 198)


What is true of the life of the individual has its parallels in human society. The human species is an organic whole, the leading edge of the evolutionary process. That human consciousness necessarily operates through an infinite diversity of individual minds and motivations detracts in no way from its essential unity. Indeed, it is precisely an inhering diversity that distinguishes unity from homogeneity or uniformity. What the peoples of the world are today experiencing, Bahá’u’lláh said, is their collective coming-of-age, and it is through this emerging maturity of the race that the principle of unity in diversity will find full expression.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1995 Mar 03, The Prosperity of Humankind)


What the peoples of the world are today experiencing, Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, said, is their collective coming- of-age, and it is through this emerging maturity of the race that the principle of unity in diversity will find full expression.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1995 Jul 16, Realization of Economic, Social Cultural Rights)


World citizenship begins with an acceptance of the oneness of the human family and the interconnectedness of the nations of “the earth, our home.” While it encourages a sane and legitimate patriotism, it also insists upon a wider loyalty, a love of humanity as a whole. It does not, however, imply abandonment of legitimate loyalties, the suppression of cultural diversity, the abolition of national autonomy, nor the imposition of uniformity. Its hallmark is “unity in diversity.”
(Bahá’í International Community, 1993 Jun 14, World citizenship A Global Ethic for Sustainable Development)


You should strive to create a Bahá’í community which will offer to the entire world a vibrant model of unity in diversity.
(The Universal House of Justice, Ridván 153, 1996 - North America)