“Did we in our own strength confide our striving would be losing…” These thought provoking words, included in one of my many favorite hymns, continue to go unheeded by the vast majority of our continuously maturing society. The more we advance academically, scientifically and technologically, the more independent we feel of others.
I’m reminded of a father who asked his son to pick up a large stone that he observed at their feet. The youth pulled and tugged and finally admitted, “I can’t.”
“Pick it up,” the father repeated. Again the son tried but was unable to lift it replying, “You saw me use every bit of strength I have and it wouldn’t budge.”
‘But you didn’t use all the strength you have, the father replied. I’m standing right here and you never once asked me to help you. Until you use all the strength available to you, you have not used all the strength you have.”
This common practice of doing only what we are individually capable of, and even then not often to fullest capacity, we are not using all the strength we have, and therefore are not achieving our fullest potential. It often relates to a matter of who gets credit for it.
I once heard it said that the mind cannot fathom what a Paradise this world would be if we were not so obsessed with who gets credit for what. The magnitude of this statement far exceeds our wildest imagination in the arenas of science, medicine, technology, cures, and any number of lifesaving and life altering discoveries that the wrong ones may get credit for or control over.
It was brought out during one memorial observances honoring. Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy that he had sponsored more human rights and other legislation than any other on record yet allowed others to attach their names to much of it commenting: “If it’s a good bill, there’ll be enough credit to go around. If it is a bad one, no one wants credit for it anyway.”
During the instability and present transitory stages of our national economy the new trend of pooling strengths to achieve common goals must gain ascendancy across racial, religious, and other boundaries-with the exception of partisan politics. How low must we go before putting the welfare of the people of this nation and of the world in proper perspective, a fete that modern man is scientifically and technologically yet not spiritually capable of doing.
The Baha’I Writings specifically declare, “America is a noble nation, the standard-bearer of peace throughout the world, shedding light to all regions. But there must remain other nations as untrammeled and free from intrigues and complications as the United States that are likewise unable to individually bring about universal harmony.”