I just came back from an amazing conference in Germany. There was five thousand people gathered from everywhere in Central Europe. It’s the third conference I have been to this month, and I think I have seen 10,000 Bahais on account of it. What makes all of this relevant is not the fact that so many people came together as to the reason why they came together.
The world is now in a turmoil. Things are breaking apart. If you look at the news, you see children murdering their parents, the economy as at an all time low and there are wars everywhere. Life is dreary and it sucks. Here’s the thing, we think it’s obvious and we think there are no solutions out there for it.
We have become like the frogs who have become used to the boiling water. But the truth is, we can’t continue on this way. There has to be a solution, and it won’t come in fancy goverment policies, or new trade agreements , or any ” Other”. It has to come from us. Bahai’s believe that we all have to come together to work for peace, for harmony, for justice. Baha’u’llah gave us permanent solutions from the ground up. The solution lies in caring for everyone as brothers and sisters, for wanting things to change and for feeling that there is a solution for all of it.
Baha’u’llah wrote hundreds of texts but this was not just in word alone. He himself was imprisioned for all of his life for those beliefs. So have hundreds of Bahais around the world. There has been 41 conferences around the world, 41 joyous conferences planning specific steps towards a positive change in the community around them. And all of them have indicated painful sacrifice. A boy from India sleeps in a restaurant and walks for three days to get to the conference , poor Believers in the Congo trek miles in a war torn country to get there, the bankrupt believers in Iceland toil through to get to London, Indigenous populations in Quito arrive after having been in a mangled bus crash
For every victory there is a crisis , for every sacrifice there is a reward. Some people call it crazy, ideal and stupid. All of this for what? The answer is for love of humanity and wanting to change . They don’t ask for money, or fame or any reward. All they ask is for you to open your hearts and want a change as well. For us to throw our differences of ” us” and ” them” and just to spill forth , mangled stars lighting the universe.
Next week, the most heroic example of sacrifice shall be seen. Seven Bahais in Iran, the leaders of the Bahai community in that region are to be tried for being ” traitors ” , the hate for them simply because they wanted to serve and be Bahais. The injustice has to be stopped. And these lonely seven, in the dark cells in a remote prison of Iran withthe smell of dampness and silence permeating the room, I hope they know that the 80,000 Bahais who have come to these conferences remember them and are fruits of their selfless sacrifice.
As we watch baloons flying into the air over the temple in Germany with small notes for them, may they continue to be in our hearts, and our prayers.