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Oneness of Humankind

There are several stories in this blog that touch on the theme of “Oneness of Humanity.” View the fully interactive concept map at Prosperity of Humanity


Listening to the news, we seem to see conflict at every turn. And yet, if we look closer, we also see thousands and thousands, if not millions of ordinary people coming together to address the problems around us. Everywhere, people are expressing the desire for an end to conflict and movement toward peace. What we need is a galvanizing vision that everyone can get behind—a vision of true prosperity for all the inhabitants of the planet.

How do we achieve such a vision? The first step is to recognize the oneness of humankind, to understand that we are, indeed, one human race, one people, one human family.

It seems obvious, doesn’t it? Almost simplistic. Of course there is only one human species. Of course we are just one human race. But the implications of this awareness are profound.

If, indeed, we are one people, why do we create government systems based on opposing parties, each promoting their own agenda? If we are one human race, why do we have adversarial justice systems where there are winners and losers, rather than really investigating the truth of what happened? If we are one human family, why do we have police systems that target, harass and incarcerate people of color in disproportionate numbers? If we truly are one human race, why do we accept competition and conflict as the main features of human interaction?

The oneness of humankind. The words themselves are easy to understand. But do we really know what they mean? The Prosperity of Humankind refers to Baha’u’llah’s analogy of the human body as a model for society. Granted, we human beings are not just a bunch of differentiated cells—we are individuals with intelligence and motivations of our own. Yet, the analogy illustrates some fundamental principles, the primary one being “unity in diversity.”

The human body consists of many different types of cells working together: nerve cells, bone cells, blood cells, liver cells. But it is the wholeness and complexity of the human body that allows each cell to reach its full potential.

Imagine removing a liver cell from the body. It really can’t do much on its own. By itself, it can’t purge the body of deadly toxins. And it has no way of receiving the nutrients it needs to do its work. Only when it is inside the body, working with other liver cells, can it actually do its job.

Take another example… What if the immune system suddenly decided that the liver cells were foreign bodies and set out to destroy them? Two systems within the body at war with each other. What happens? The whole body suffers. All the other systems are affected as well and nothing quite works right. The person becomes very sick.

It’s only when all the systems, all the organs, all the cells of the body are working together that the body is healthy and whole. Then the person can fully function: creating, loving, dancing, playing, sharing and doing great work.

The same is true for humanity. The conflict and strife we are experiencing at all levels are like the body being at war with itself. No one really wins in these conflicts. We all suffer.

But when we understand that we truly are many cells in one body, diverse expressions of one consciousness, then we’ll begin to realize our true potential.

Look at us—even in our conflict-ridden, weakened state, humanity has achieved amazing things. We’ve sent humans into space, we can traverse our own planet in mere hours, we’ve conquered diseases, we’ve created a system of instant communication that is worldwide. Just imagine what we, as a human race, could do if we were whole. Our potential is limitless!

Many of the stories in this blog touch on this theme:

headshot of Micah McCarty

Micah McCarty explains how diversity is essential to a healthy ecosystem and how cultural diversity is just as important in Prosperous Ecosystems.

headshot of Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson talks about how we need to think and act collectively in It’s All About Perception.

Katherine Deumling at a farmers market holding a bunch of green onions

Katherine Deumling describes how vital and important our farmers and food producers are and how they deserve our respect and support in Delicious Food, Fair Food.

Shariff Abdullah giving a speech

Shariff Abdullah tells the story of a woman in the Himalayas who lives on next to nothing, but whose whole life is dedicated to being generous to others in Developing Consciousness.

Where do you see examples of us living and acting as if we are one human family? Please share your experiences in the comments.

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