The most crucial mistake that the economists have made is their failure to recognize man’s high station. Hence, it is not surprising to see man being reduced to one of the factors in production (labour), along with land and capital. Their theories have used a very limited definition of man. He has been depicted most of the time as a selfish and greedy being who has no other goal except to satisfy his own needs (consumer) without regard for the welfare of others. This view is far removed from what God has ordained for man. Bahá’u’lláh explains:
“Lofty is the station of man, were he to hold fast to righteousness and truth and to remain firm and steadfast in the Cause. … His is the loftiest station, and his influence educateth the world of being.” –Bahá’u’lláh: Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 220.
“If … the spiritual nature of the soul has been so strengthened that it holds the material side in subjection, then does man approach the Divine; his humanity becomes so glorified that the virtues of the Celestial Assembly are manifested in him; he radiates the Mercy of God, he stimulates the spiritual progress of mankind, for he becomes a lamp to show light on their path.” -‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, pp. 97–98.
- How can man attain a great station?
- Describe the potential of man once his spiritual nature has been strengthened.
- Is man’s true potential recognized in the present economic system?
This is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s guidance to assist man to achieve his true station by balancing his spiritual and material efforts.
“ … Share your time with God. … Spend half of the day in search of livelihood, guaranteeing your material life and dignified appearance, and dedicate the other half in the acquisition of moral virtues and service at the threshold of God…” -‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Printed in the Persian magazine Payameh-Bahá’í, #116 (France).
- What areas should be the focus of our lives?
- Do you think that we are responsible for earning our livelihood or is it the role of the government to provide it for us?