It’s been some time now, and the verdict is clear… things are getting worse in the world not better:
- Disparity between rich and poor
- Too few jobs
- Games and spectacles “to keep idle citizens entertained”
- Rule by decree
- Irresponsible behaviour of public officials
What does this remind you of? Sounds a lot like our civilization, right?
Actually, it is a description of Ancient Rome before it’s collapse!
Many argue, ” things will improve and this is just a temporary situation”, other extremists claim “the end of the world is near”
I don’t buy it. Historian Arnold Toynbee researched the rise and fall of civilization more than anyone, and according to his findings, right now is pretty much exactly when our civilization is due for collapse.
Of course, civilizations don’t just come and go, retired member of the Baha’i Universal House of Justice, the late Dr. Peter Khan describes how they exhibit cracks over time, often hundreds of years in the making, until eventually they crumble and collapse. Much has been written by various authors in an attempt to identify the fissures in the Roman Empire, some of which are very prevalent in much of world society now…
So how do we deal with this? Pure capitalism, like socialism and other man-made systems preceding it, is a flawed system based on certain false assumptions about human nature and well-being (nevermind total disregard of the environment based on an antiquated assumption of inexhaustible natural resources), and it is slowly unravelling before our eyes.
Individuals too, while affected by the system in place, are certainly culpable for the unwise and harmful actions carried out under the pretext of personal rights and “getting ahead of the pack”.
Ultimately, the relationship between society and the individual is so intertwined and mutually affective that ignoring one at the expense of the other has to be viewed as simplistic.
The effect of individualistic, materialistic attitudes so prevalent worldwide have never been so clear – They not only lead to unhappiness, they’re totally destructive.
I’ve been pondering for a long time on how our society is far beyond any kind of band aid solutions, well proven not to be effective. Even more so, I’ve been thinking about how our educational institutions are giving degrees and releasing supposed ‘experts’ into the world with ‘solutions’ for social development that are based in failed approaches. (I posted a great video about this recently that explains why & how the whole foundation of the education system is broken)
So, I’ve been looking into how we create a new civilization, how is it going to happen?
According to Dr. Peter Khan, a healthy civilization involves a foundation of behavioral change through spiritual transformation. A civilization depends upon certain moral and ethical, spiritual characteristics.
Assuming we need to start from scratch to see real improvements to the worlds major problems, we would want to have certain things to create a framework and guideline for a new civilization:
- We would want individuals comprising that civilization to engage in an exploration and application of divine teachings to daily life, so that we can build up a civilization in a reasonable and productive manner
- We would want civilized society to be imbued with a sense of altruism to the service of humanity. We don’t want selfish greedy people, but people who are altruistic, who think of the larger good.
- And essentially we would want them to transmit civilized values to the new generation of children and youth.
There are many who claim to be implementing these practices but the one organization that has really seemed to have grasped these principles and put them into action are the Baha’is.
They are implementing growth of a new type of civilization slowly but surely, in over 220 countries and territories in one collective, unified effort through their devotional meetings, the institute process, and study of the Ruhi Books, a focus on service to humanity, children’s classes, youth classes, and junior youth activities.
But most importantly, they are assisting in a transformation of the human heart and priorities of the individual, the only way true change and lasting solutions have ever occurred in the world.
Don’t want to waste your time contributing to humanity with failed solutions that band aid serious problems? Get involved in one of these activities!
Logic, reason, and common sense dictate that if what we’re doing isn’t working, doing the opposite may be a good place to start.