Baha’i Writings

 

2.     Human / Mental Balance

 

 

2.6           Wealth (Means for Personal and Social Growth)
 

2.6.1                   Wealth - Generosity

Be united in counsel, be one in thought. Let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday. Man's merit lieth in service and virtue and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches. Take heed that your words be purged from idle fancies and worldly desires and your deeds be cleansed from craftiness and suspicion. Dissipate not the wealth of your precious lives in the pursuit of evil and corrupt affection, nor let your endeavours be spent in promoting your personal interest. Be generous in your days of plenty, and be patient in the hour of loss. Adversity is followed by success and rejoicings follow woe. Guard against idleness and sloth, and cling unto that which profiteth mankind, whether young or old, whether high or low.

 

            (Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 137)

 

 

2.6.2                   Wealth – Excessiveness and moderation

            Then rules and laws should be established to regulate the excessive fortunes of certain private individuals and meet the needs of millions of the poor masses; thus a certain moderation would be obtained.  However, absolute equality is just as impossible, for absolute equality in fortunes, honors, commerce, agriculture, industry would end in disorderliness, in chaos, in disorganization of the means of existence, and in universal disappointment:  the order of the community would be quite destroyed.  Thus difficulties will also arise when unjustified equality is imposed.

                       
`Abdu'l-Baha:  Some Answered Questions         Page 274
 

2.6.3                   Wealth – Praiseworthy in the highest degree

            Wealth is praiseworthy in the highest degree, if it is acquired by an individual's own efforts and the grace of God, in commerce, agriculture, art and industry, and if it be expended for philanthropic purposes.  Above all, if a judicious and resourceful individual should initiate measures which would universally enrich the masses of the people, there could be no undertaking greater than this, and it would rank in the sight of God as the supreme achievement, for such a benefactor would supply the needs and insure the comfort and well-being of a great multitude.  Wealth is most commendable, provided the entire population is wealthy.  If, however, a few have inordinate riches while the rest are impoverished, and no fruit or benefit accrues from that wealth, then it is only a liability to its possessor.  If, on the other hand, it is expended for the promotion of knowledge, the founding of elementary and other schools, the encouragement of art and industry, the training of orphans and the poor - in brief, if it is dedicated to the welfare of society - its possessor will stand out before God and man as the most excellent of stand out before God and man as the most excellent of all who live on earth and will be accounted as one of the people of paradise.

           
`Abdu'l-Baha:  Secret of Divine Civilization    Pages 25-26

 

 

2.6.4                   Wealth – Consideration for the poor

            Poverty is stimulus toward God. Each one of you must have great consideration for the poor and render them assistance. Organize in an effort to help them and prevent increase of poverty. The greatest means for prevention is that whereby the laws of the community will be so framed and enacted that it will not be possible for a few to be millionaires and many destitute. One of Bahá'u'lláh's teachings is the adjustment of means of livelihood in human society. Under this adjustment there can be no extremes in human conditions as regards wealth and sustenance. For the community needs financier, farmer merchant and laborer just as an army must be composed of commander, officers and privates. All cannot be commanders; all cannot be officers or privates. Each in his station in the social fabric must be competent; each in his function according to ability; but justness of opportunity for all.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 36)

 

 

2.6.5                   Wealth – Social well-being and happiness

            But if conditions are such that some are happy and comfortable and some in misery; some are accumulating exorbitant wealth and others are in dire want -- under such a system it is impossible for man to be happy and impossible for him to win the good pleasure of God.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 41)