Study the Global Plan for the Betterment of the World: Part 2

The Regional Bahá’í Council invites community members of all Faiths to join in the study of the current global plan created by the Universal House of Justice.

Paragraphs #3-4 of the letter dated 30 December 2021, from the Universal House of Justice to the Continental Boards of Consellors:

[3] The series of global Plans that began at Riḍván will last a full twenty-five years. It will carry the ark of the Cause into the third century of the Bahá’í Era and conclude at Riḍván 2046. During this period, the Bahá’í world will be focused on a single aim: the release of the society-building power of the Faith in ever-greater measures. The pursuit of this overall aim will require a further rise in the capacity of the individual believer, the local community, and the institutions of the Faith. These three constant protagonists of the Plan each have a part to play, and each one has capacities and qualities that must be developed. However, each is incapable of manifesting its full potential on its own. It is by strengthening their dynamic relationships with one another that their powers are combined and multiplied. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá explains that the more the qualities of cooperation and mutual assistance are manifested by a people, “the more will human society advance in progress and prosperity”; in the Faith, this principle distinguishes and shapes the interactions of individuals, institutions, and communities, and it endows the body of the Cause with moral vigour and spiritual health.

[4] The enkindled souls being raised up through the processes of the Plan are seeking to gain an ever more profound understanding of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings—“the sovereign remedy for every disease”—and to apply them to the needs of their society. They are committed to the prosperity of all, recognizing that the welfare of individuals rests in the welfare of society at large. They are loyal citizens who eschew partisanship and the contest for worldly power. Instead, they are focused on transcending differences, harmonizing perspectives, and promoting the use of consultation for making decisions. They emphasize qualities and attitudes—such as trustworthiness, cooperation, and forbearance—that are building blocks of a stable social order. They champion rationality and science as essential for human progress. They advocate tolerance and understanding, and with the inherent oneness of humanity uppermost in their minds, they view everyone as a potential partner to collaborate with, and they strive to foster fellow feeling even among groups who may traditionally have been hostile to one another. They are conscious of how the forces of materialism are at work around them, and their eyes are wide open to the many injustices that persist in the world, yet they are equally clear sighted about the creative power of unity and humanity’s capacity for altruism. They see the power that true religion possesses to transform hearts and overcome distrust, and so, with confidence in what the future holds, they labour to cultivate the conditions in which progress can occur. They share their beliefs liberally with others, remaining respectful of the freedom of conscience of every soul, and they never impose their own standards on anyone. And while they would not pretend to have discovered all the answers, they are clear about what they have learned and what they still need to learn. Their efforts advance to the alternating rhythm of action and reflection; setbacks leave them unfazed. In places where growing numbers are helping to build communities of this character, the power of the Cause to transform people’s social existence, as well as their inner lives, is becoming increasingly visible. Earnest pursuit of the Plan’s central aim will, we are sure, cause many, many such communities to emerge.

Discussion questions from the Regional Council

  1. Who are the constant protagonists? 
  2. Reflect on the qualities and capacities that an individual may possess. How can these qualities help the other constant protagonists of the Plan manifest their full potential? 
  3. What conditions are necessary to help others to develop the qualities and attitudes described in paragraph four? 
  4. How will these qualities serve to fortify our communities as mentioned in the first paragraph?
  5. Identify an individual, a specific group of people, or an organization. How can you use some of the ideas in paragraph four to attract them to the conferences? 
  6. How can each of the three protagonists increasingly raise capacity for cooperation and mutual assistance in the coming months and years? 
  7. How are the “enkindled souls being raised up through the processes of the Plan” channeling their energies to transform social existence and inner life? What do they give up? What receives conscious attention?