‘Let Deeds Not Words Be Your Adorning…’

Yahoo! News reports that a mob burned a Mozambican man alive in South Africa in what seems to be a continuing wave of xenophobic attacks. According to the police the unfortunate victim was stoned and then burned. It is a sobering thought that in the 21st Century we are still killing each other because of differences in race or nationality. It also shows that the concept of the oneness of humanity although widely agreed is far from being widely practiced. As Abdu’l-Bahá warns-

‘What profit is there in agreeing that universal friendship is good, and talking of the solidarity of the human race as a grand ideal? Unless these thoughts are translated into the world of action, they are useless. The wrong in the world continues to exist just because people talk only of their ideals, and do not strive to put them into practice. If actions took the place of words, the world’s misery would very soon be changed into comfort. A man who does great good, and talks not of it, is on the way to perfection. The man who has accomplished a small good and magnifies it in his speech is worth very little. If I love you, I need not continually speak of my love—you will know without any words. On the other hand if I love you not, that also will you know—and you would not believe me, were I to tell you in a thousand words, that I loved you. People make much profession of goodness, multiplying fine words because they wish to be thought greater and better than their fellows, seeking fame in the eyes of the world. Those who do most good use fewest words concerning their actions’.

Paris Talks, UK Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1972 eleventh edition reprint

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