[Photo: Extended family members of President-elect Barack Obama react as election results come in, at the family’s homestead in Kogelo village, Kenya, Wednesday. AP/Matt Dunham ]
The response of the people of the world to the election of Barack Obama as the next US President sets the stage for a new world order which the old colonial and economic powers have resisted, the impoverished masses have long hoped for, and the former colonized and betrayed nations have dismissed as a possibility.
We are all driven by the same instincts, hopes and needs. We are also endowed with the capacity to fulfill not only the basic needs of ourselves, our family and community, but to realize an ever advancing civilization that progresses in every regard we are challenged to reframe our views and long held beliefs.
The world community’s response to the US election has definitively and unequivocally shown us that monumental changes are similar to a new birth following a period of gestation. During this period the social injustice that had long been overlooked and had become an accepted norm, became the center piece of the response to the economic collapse of the elite societies in the west. For the first time, those that have defended the current world order were impacted directly and decisively. The Baha’is view these events in the following context:
“Unification of the whole of mankind is the hall-mark of the stage which human society is now approaching. Unity of family, of tribe, of city-state, and nation have been successively attempted and fully established. World unity is the goal towards which a harassed humanity is striving. Nation-building has come to an end. The anarchy inherent in state sovereignty is moving towards a climax. A world, growing to maturity, must abandon this fetish, recognize the oneness and wholeness of human relationships, and establish once for all the machinery that can best incarnate this fundamental principle of its life.” Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Baha’i Faith
The US Presidential campaign at a basic level to most in the world was not about the agenda and policy differences of the candidates. To them it was about the possibility of a black African man, with a Muslim middle name, becoming the President of the leading social, economic, and military force in the world. The very large footprint of this nation’s policies and its disastrous effects had also become a source of much debate amongst Americans. However, it was the economic consequences of this nation’s long held policies that created the right circumstances for this transition to take place. In some respect, the past eight years has accelerated the process of getting to this stage in the evolution of human civilization. In short, the world is now in “shock and awe” of a fulfilled potential of this American democracy’s ideals and not its economic nor its military might. With the fulfillment of these ideals in America, the world can adopt them as theirs and we can look for them being realized in many other parts of the world within our life time.
Such parallels can also be found in Iran. The past 30 years has set the stage for a profound transition and while many have debated the factors at work, none can identify the one that will serve as its trigger. In this regard, only one thing is certain that just like a pond, the waves of change wherever they are initiated will reach the coastlines of every nation on this blue planet sooner or later. Local conditions will determine the impact, and Iran will not be exempt from its consequences. There is already much hope and optimism amongst Iranians as to what President Obama may mean for Iran and Iranians.