Survival Requires Diversity, not Uniformity

Survival Requires Diversity, not Uniformity
Unity in diversity is a watchword of the Bahá'í Faith. With some research into the core teachings of other religious groups, respect and even appreciation of the variety of flowers in the human garden can also be found.

Yet, "Man draws imaginary lines on the planet and says, 'This is a Frenchman, a Musselman, an Italian!' Upon these differences wars are waged. Men are fighting for the possession of the earth. They fight for that which becomes their graves, their cemeteries, their tombs. In reality all are members of one human family--children of one Heavenly Father. Humanity may be likened unto the varicolored 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

Later in the same treatise, the son of Bahá'u'lláh--Prophet Founder of the Bahá'í Faith--adds, "The world of existence is like unto an orchard and humanity is like unto the trees. All these trees are planted in the same orchard, reared through the heat of one sun, watered with one rain. We must be the cause of the adornment of this orchard. The world of humanity is like unto a rose garden and the various races, tongues and people are like unto contrasting flowers. The diversity of colors in a rose-garden adds to the charm and beauty of the scene as variety enhances unity. Why should we not look upon the human world with rose-colored vision?" - p. 183

The sciences of agriculture and ecology have added a more material reason for this diversity in Nature: permaculture and adaptability. The wider the variety of flora and fauna, the greater the longevity of the ecosystem. The greater the variability of genotype within a species, the more likely it will survive changes in its habitat.

Natural ecosystems are immensely diverse, and changing all the time.
"Thus should it be among the children of men! 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 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. Think of them as different coloured roses growing in the beautiful garden of humanity, and rejoice to be among them.

"Likewise, when you meet those whose opinions differ from your own, do not turn away your face from them. All are seeking truth, and there are many roads leading thereto. Truth has many aspects, but it remains always and forever one.

"Do not allow difference of opinion, or diversity of thought to separate you from your fellow-men, or to be the cause of dispute, hatred and strife in your hearts. Rather, search diligently for the truth and make all men your friends.

"Every edifice is made of many different stones, yet each depends on the other to such an extent that if one were displaced the whole building would suffer; if one is faulty the structure is imperfect....Bahá'u'lláh has drawn the circle of unity, He has made a design for the uniting of all the peoples, and for the gathering of them all under the shelter of the tent of universal unity. This is the work of the Divine Bounty, and we must all strive with heart and soul until we have the reality of unity in our midst, and as we work, so will strength be given unto us." - 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 53
And learning to live together as one human family will be absolutely necessary in order to have any future. There are now problems that no one person can solve, nor even understand completely. It will need concerted efforts and perspectives of a wide variety of viewpoints and talents in order to stay alive.

The planet will be fine; always has been. Only past individual species have suffered and (mostly) died out. But if people continue to damage both their own genomic diversity and the ecosytem in which they survive...we will soon go the way of dinosaurs.

The Bahá'í Faith--like each religious dispensation before it--is about supplying the guidance and reassurance that mankind needs to deal with the exigencies of the day in which it was revealed. This is the day of one planet and one people, united in harmony, not conformity.

You Should Also Read:
The Golden Rule
How to Love Mankind
The Duty of Encouragement

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