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15 October 2007

Blog Action Day: 
The hills are alive!

Flame tree on the Terraces of the Shrine of the Báb, Haifa, Israel. Source: Media.Bahai.org

Flame tree on the Terraces of the Shrine of the Báb, Haifa, Israel.
Image source: Media.Bahai.org

IN A modest solar system, our planet is a small globe. Yet, in the vast cosmic stream, it is a spectacular presence, carved by wind and water, painted with frescoes of sky, draped in root and fruit. It is a planet lush with created things, all humming in harmony in a place called home.

Think what we have been given.

Now think what we have done.

SmokestackMan-made perils have placed ecology on a dangerously precarious balance, and the global call for sustainable action has never been this explosive. From the destruction of agricultural land to the poisoning of the oceans, our reckless impudence is threatening the future of our environment—the same precious environment that has inspired our own artistic instincts, whose seasons enrich our daily lives with color and texture, whose seas and forests nourish and comfort us, whose valleys and hills shape our song and dance with the sound of their music.

Now think what we could lose.

We either save this world together . . . or we all go together“The hills are alive/With the sound of music!” With these unforgettable lyric from the Broadway and Hollywood musical The Sound of Music, songwriters Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II have immortalized the majesty and organic richness of the natural environment that surrounds us and supplies us with everything we need for life. It is the land we walk on, the air we breathe, the light and heat we receive, the fruit and crop we sustain on!

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Son of the Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, has reaffirmed our ecological ties to the environment by declaring that all things flourish according to the law of reciprocity. In simple terms, man is organic with the world. It is man’s imperative to remain interconnected with all created things in his environment with moderation, a commitment to protecting the heritage of future generations, and an awareness of the sanctity of nature.

“Nature is God's Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world.”
—Bahá'u'lláh
Then there are the spiritual ties. Bahá’u’lláh, Prophet-Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, has written that “nature is God's Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise.” With these words, Bahá’u’lláh declares our essential relationship with the environment: that the grandeur and diversity of nature is proof of the majesty and bounty of God! Our respect for nature and concern for the environment are therefore fundamental, if we are to hold it as a divine trust for which we are answerable.

But the real challenge of our times is this: in order to move beyond our environmental crisis, we must accept our oneness with nature . . . and our oneness of humanity. Unless and until people of all races and nations are “as pearls of one ocean, as rays of one sun”, the problems of humanity, the dangers to our world environment, and the obstacles to sustainability will only worsen. The threats of climate change, amongst others, have made it very clear that we either save this world together . . . or we all go together.

“The earth is one country and mankind its citizens
—Bahá'u'lláh
Bahá’u’lláh has written that “the earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.” An ever-advancing civilization can only be built on an earth that can sustain itself, an earth whose citizens are unified in universal thought and action . . . an earth whose life-sustaining fabric and beauty must remain safeguarded, protected, and cherished.

Its future is in our hands. On Blog Action Day, think what we can do.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Related Sites:

The Bahá'í Faith and the Environment
EnvironLink
Environmental News Network
National Geographic on the Environment
Tree Hugger
UN Focus on the Environment
World Wildlife Fund
11th Conference of the International Environment Forum

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