It was articulated by Bahá’u’lláh more than a century ago when He told Cambridge scholar Professor Edward Granville Browne: “Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind.” Indeed the principle of the oneness of humankind is “the pivot round which all the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh revolve”.
Even earlier than that the concept of the brotherhood of man was embedded in the Bible and in the Koran.
But Bahá’u’lláh took it a step further. He compared the world of humanity to the human body, using the analogy to explain our interconnectedness.
“Within this organism, millions of cells, diverse in form and function, play their part in maintaining a healthy system. The principle that governs the functioning of the body is cooperation. Its various parts do not compete for resources; rather, each cell, from its inception, is linked to a continuous process of giving and receiving.”
And this is also true of the body of the human race.
Elimination of Prejudice
Whether we approach global citizenship from the standpoint of religion or from the perspective of sociology or political science, what is evident is that its establishment in the world will require a particular set of qualities and attitudes, chief among them being the elimination of any kind of prejudice, substituting generosity for greed and developing a passion for justice.
Already we can see those qualities emerging strongly in the world, through the United Nations and its agencies, through the EU, through the courageous work of charities, NGOs and interfaith groups, and through volunteering at every level of society.
World citizenship is as inevitable as night following day. The human race is coming of age and as with all human transitions, the coming of age is accompanied by a degree of chaos. Think of the turbulence associated with adolescence or the upheaval and confusion of the period of transition in childbirth. In both cases the chaos doesn’t last, and neither will the chaos humanity is currently experiencing. We are simply experiencing the birth pangs that will deliver us into a new age of human maturity
The process of humanity’s integration that began with the family and moved gradually outwards over countless generations to include ‘the tribe, the city-state, and the nation’, will lead eventually to peace and harmony and an acceptance of the fact that we are citizens of the world.