“The supreme need of humanity is cooperation and reciprocity. The stronger the ties of fellowship and solidarity amongst men, the greater will be the power of constructiveness and accomplishment in all the planes of human activity.”
In the same way that the human being is more than the sum of the individual cells which comprise its body, so too the powers of a unified community far exceed the combined powers of its individual members.
Bahá’ís see the young as the most precious treasure a community can possess. In them are the promise and guarantee of a future. Yet, in order for this promise to be released, children need to receive spiritual nourishment. In a world where the joy and innocence of childhood can so easily be overwhelmed by the aggressive pursuit of material ends, the moral and spiritual education of children assumes vital importance.
JUNIOR YOUTH SPIRITUAL EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM
The possibilities presented by collective action are especially evident in the work of community building, a process that is gaining momentum in many a cluster and in neighborhoods and villages throughout the world that have become centers of intense activity. Youth are often at the forefront of the work in these settings-not only Bahá’í youth, but those of like mind who can see the positive effects of what the Bahá’ís have initiated and grasp the underlying vision of unity and spiritual transformation.
Devotional meetings spring up naturally in a community where a conversation about the spiritual dimension of human existence is growing. In diverse settings, Bahá’ís, their friends and families unite with one another in prayer. There are no rituals; no one individual has any special role. Meetings consist largely of reading prayers and passages from the Bahá’í sacred texts in an informal yet respectful atmosphere. A spirit of communal worship is generated by these simple gatherings, and this spirit begins to permeate the community's collective endeavors.
Guided by universal participation, both as a principle and as a goal, the Ruhi Institute tries to design and carry out educational activities that combine classroom learning and personal study with acts of service in the community. Each educational activity is to be, in itself, an enabling experience that helps participants develop further the qualities, attitudes, capabilities, and skills of a new type of social actor whose energies are entirely directed towards promoting the well-being of the community, and whose actions are inspired by the vision of a new world civilization which will embody in all its structures and processes the fundamental principle of the unity of the human race.