Pretoria News

Family contributions to global peace

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MAY 15, celebrated as the International Day of Families, is a reminder of the moments of joy, and of strength, that we have felt whenever the affairs of our family were conducted peacefully.

The family forms the basis of both the individual’s material and spiritual development and happiness, as well as of society’s cohesion and advancement. It is the ideal environment in which education for peace and a unified world view can begin.

According to the Bahá’í Writings: “The family unit, the nucleus of human society, constitutes a space within which praiseworthy morals and essential capacities must be developed, for the habits and patterns of conduct nurtured in the home are carried into the workplace, into the social and political life of the country, and finally into the arena of international relations”.

Raising children who can assume responsibility for both their own development and can participate in building a better and peaceful world, is a fundamental role of the family.

While children receive formal education at school, it is at home that character is developed, and moral and spiritual attitudes are formed. Home is the first environment where the values of tolerance, peace, and social responsibility can be taught.

By using appropriate education, the family can make vital contributions to the development and transformation of individuals, the advancement of society, and the establishment of a peaceful and prosperous global order.

Furthermore, the family is where individuals learn by example and, the way they are treated, how people relate to each other. A happy and united family helps in producing happy and well-adjusted individuals.

The Bahá’í Writings state: “Where unity existeth in a given family, the affairs of that family are conducted; what progress the members of that family make, how they prosper in the world, their concerns are in order, they enjoy comfort and tranquility, they are secure, their position is assured, they come to be envied by all.”

Creating a united family will, of course, require new skills and commitment to gender equality, which encourage communication and mutual trust, respect and affection between husbands and wives, parents and children.

A healthy family is outwardlooking – not just focused on its own well-being – since each nuclear family is a unit of the whole human family. It is important that children are taught the concept of the oneness of humanity and to regard themselves as citizens of the world.

“The family”, in the Baháí view, “is the best and most effective institution to teach the concept of the oneness of humanity and to rear our children to live a life of unity and to become unifiers in all dimensions of their lives.”

Children should be encouraged to associate with people of all races and religions and learn to appreciate the different cultures and the contributions different people have to make.

The Baháí Writings state: “Children must be so raised as to regard every soul, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, or any other affiliation, as a fellow human being and to hold dear the words that capture the spirit of the age:

The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.”





African News Agency