Members of a community in Brazil plant flowers. Photo: Baha'i World Centre. Despite the simplicity and straightforwardness of these activities in terms of their design, although rarely how they unfold in practice! Consequently, a number of souls may arise and act in accordance with the aforesaid conditions, and hasten to all parts of the world…Thus in a short space of time, most wonderful results will be produced, the banner of universal peace will be waving on the apex of the world and the lights of the oneness of the world of humanity may illumine the universe. What a difference a century has made! It is within this historical context that the contemporary approach to community-building must be fully understood and appreciated. In the past, service was often equated with pioneering or travel teaching, particularly for those communities and individuals that were blessed with the material capacities to do so. But the beauty of the current approach to community-building is that it underscores both the need and the ability for all of us to serve wherever we reside. Service is not only that thing you do in some other place for a designated period of time.
Learning how to serve our communities
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This translates into a process of community building, which means strengthening both the spiritual and material nature of the community through a grassroots approach. This means that capacity is gradually developed in the community, until it can branch out and influence nearby communities, with growing degrees of complexity. In a time when the political, social and economic structures of society are disintegrating, leaving hatred and despair in their wake, the careful construction of a global foundation of spiritual values that can penetrate every aspect of society ensures a hopeful future for communities around the world—communities that can withstand, and eventually transcend, the negative effects of a crumbling society:. Be not concerned with the smallness of your numbers, neither be oppressed by the multitude of an unbelieving world. Five grains of wheat will be endued with heavenly blessing, whereas a thousand tons of tares will yield no results or effect.
Among the themes explored during the series of youth conferences held around the world in and the waves of subsequent gatherings were the related subjects of community building and fostering mutual support. A great responsibility to contribute to the betterment of society faces the current generation of youth. On them also rests the duty of fostering an environment in which the younger members of society can attain the spiritual and intellectual powers needed to become builders of a new civilization. The task is no doubt immense.