1/6th = 1 billion.
1/6th of the world will go hungry next year according to a report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) at the UN. According to the article, this is the worst that humanity has encountered, ever. So what happened? I thought billions of dollars were being sent to feed the hungry. The Hunger Project (a top rated hunger relief charity organization) received close to 16 million dollars in charities last year; 11 million of which reached the communities THP is supporting. And don’t tell me that there isn’t enough exposure. If you type “feed the hungry” into your Google search engine you’ll get 5,870,000 results. That must count for something. So, why then will 1/6th of the worlds population going hungry in 2009? (Which is sadly being labelled as, “the year of the hungry”).
In a message from the Universal House of Justice, the world governing body of the Baha’i community, the following guidance was provided:
“The principal cause of this suffering, which one can witness wherever one turns, is the corruption of human morals and the prevalence of prejudice, suspicion, hatred, untrustworthiness, selfishness and tyranny among men. It is not merely material well- being that people need. What they desperately need is to know how to live their lives — they need to know who they are, to what purpose they exist, and how they should act towards one another; and, once they know the answers to these questions they need to be helped to gradually apply these answers to everyday behaviour. It is to the solution of this basic problem of mankind that the greater part of all our energy and resources should be directed.”
I believe, in the Development world, this concept is referred to as “sustainable development” or “empowerment programs.” Whatever you wish to call it, the purpose is clear. As noble and well-intentioned we may be in our moments of charity, the root of the problem still remains. The fundamental change in consciousness which must take place in order to alleviate the great injustices of our time, will inevitably emerge as the rising issue over the next decade. It is becoming more and more evident that the change which needs to occur is not a material one, but a mental and spiritual one. This following guidance delivered by Shoghi Effendi (Successor of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, son of Baha’u’llah) 63 years ago, after the most terrible World War in humanity’s history, details the root of this very suffering and it’s only cure:
“The tasks facing the believers everywhere are great, for they see only too clearly that the only permanent remedy for the many afflictions the world is suffering from, is a change of heart and a new pattern of not only thought but personal conduct. The impetus that has been given by the Manifestation of God for this Age is the sole one that can regenerate humanity, and as we Bahá’ís are the only ones yet aware of this new force in the world, our obligation towards our fellow men is tremendous and inescapable!”
A change in heart and a new pattern of thought and personal conduct. Does this scare you. It shouldn’t. It’s actually quite simple, and achievable. Not only that, it is well under way. If the fate of 1/6th of your race concerns you, consider Baha’u’llah’s vision. How are you involved? How can you be involved? Why aren’t you involved?