Celebrations are underway in every part of the world in response to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith. Countless local and national celebrations, embracing every culture and segment of society, are inspired by a desire to unite and contribute to the betterment of the world. This is the message of Bahá’u’lláh, who declared that today ‘is the Day in which God’s most excellent favours have been poured out upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into all created things. It is incumbent upon all the peoples of the world to reconcile their differences, and, with perfect unity and peace, abide beneath the shadow of the Tree of His care and loving-kindness.’
I remember walking down the long corridor of our home, as a child, to collect the post from the little wooden letter box stuck to the front door. We lived with my grandparents and so quite often the envelopes would bear their names - my Grandpa’s mostly. The routine in the house was relatively predictable at this time of the morning: Grandma would be sitting up in bed, having some breakfast that had been prepared for her by Grandpa, and he himself would be enjoying cornflakes followed by marmalade on toast - the very same choice faithfully made every day for many decades - at the dining room table. He wore his distinguished pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers; she sat in a handmade floral nighty with a shawl around her shoulders. The image is printed indelibly on my memory, not because it was remarkable but because it was every day.
The age-old quest for good health and vitality presses on. It has enlisted many over the years, but today is more visible and alluring than ever before thanks in no small part to mainstream and social media where the exchange of image-rich information is overwhelming. This ‘wellbeing’ quest has become an industry - marketed, consumed, and ever-renewed - and has ironically created unhealthy patterns of addiction that feed on discontent and guilt in the process. But isn’t it reasonable, amongst all the craze, to simply want to be well, to be fit, to be energetic? Doesn’t it make sense to adjust our habits in the light of research, to eat better, to exercise our bodies, and to prolong our lifespan?