Economic life is an arena for the expression of honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, generosity, and other qualities of the spirit. The individual is not merely a self-interested economic unit, striving to claim an ever-greater share of the world’s material resources.
“Man’s merit lieth in service and virtue”, Baha’u’llah avers, “and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches.”
And further: “Dissipate not the wealth of your precious lives in the pursuit of evil and corrupt affection, nor let your endeavours be spent in promoting your personal interest.”
By consecrating oneself to the service of others, one finds meaning and purpose in life and contributes to the upliftment of society itself.
At the outset of His celebrated treatise The Secret of Divine Civilization, ‘Abdu’l-Baha states:
“And the honour and distinction o f the individual consist in this, that he among all the world’s multitudes should become a source of social good. Is any larger bounty conceivable than this, that an individual, looking within himself, should find that by the confirming grace of God he has become the cause of peace and well-being, of happiness and advantage to his fellow men? No, by the one true God, there is no greater bliss, no more complete delight.”
The larger the presence of a Baha’i community in a population, the greater its responsibility to find ways o f addressing the root causes of the poverty in its surroundings.
Extracts from the letter of March 1st 2017 The Universal House of Justice