These great oppressions that have befallen the world are preparing it for the advent of the Most Great Justice.
These fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away and the Most Great Peace shall come. Bahá'u'lláh
Last December CNN ran a very interesting story that centered around a global report on health. 500 researchers from more than 50 countries, looking at 20 years of health data noted some curious shifts in health trends.(1)
The good: “Kids who used to die from infectious disease are now doing extremely well with immunization,” said Ali Mokdad, co-author of the study and professor of global health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which led the collaborative project.(2)
The bad: “The report revealed that every country, with the exception of those in sub-Saharan Africa, faces alarming obesity rates — an increase of 82% globally in the past two decades. Middle Eastern countries are more obese than ever, seeing a 100% increase since 1990.”(2)
The ugly: According to the Red Cross, while “almost 1 billion people go to bed hungry every night, the latest figures show that another 1.5 billion are dangerously obese.”(3)
This is quite shocking, strange and just another testimony to the stark inequalities that we allow to persist in our world because of something that lies squarely in our own hands.
As we continue to live in a land of such contradiction, one can’t help but be affected by such daunting social ills. Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and apathy can easily set in, void of a sense of history, destiny and purpose. Our song today speaks to a truth that we must cling to if we wish to retain our hope and let our choices spring from that reservoir rather than from oceans of despair. There are processes moving us along as a human family. Some move us towards higher levels of unity; others are violently sweeping away decaying, worn-out modes of living; both are apparent at different levels at any particular time. And both are necessary.
This passage from Shoghi Effendi is worth repeating:
“The principle of the Oneness of Mankind, as proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh, carries with it no more and no less than a solemn assertion that attainment to this final stage in this stupendous evolution is not only necessary but inevitable, that its realization is fast approaching, and that nothing short of a power that is born of God can succeed in establishing it.”
Keep your eyes on the prize… hold on.
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1. Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, Published Dec 13, 2012, The Lancet, http://www.thelancet.com/themed/global-burden-of-disease
2. Global Report: Obesity Bigger Health Crisis Than Hunger, Danielle Dellorto, CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/13/health/global-burden-report
3. World now has ‘more people dying from obesity than malnutrition’, Tariq Tahir, Metro News, http://metro.co.uk/2011/09/22/world-now-has-more-people-dying-from-obesity-than-malnutrition-160264/
Photo by Dean Kalyan
Food for the Soul: 19 Days of Music and Devotion is a series of devotional songs from Badasht vol. I & II coupled with inspiring images and quotations from sacred Writings, initially to accompany the Bahá’í Fast from March 2-20. Please use them in your own way, and share with your friends & family.