Baha'i, Social Justice

Noticing the Glimmering of the Lesser Peace

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I recently read an article, which talks about the relationship between poor housing conditions and the 25% of children in Montreal who suffer from lung disease, and suggests that the province of Quebec should invest not only in hospitals, but in home construction as well. Before, such articles would just make me so angry at the injustices happening even in a lovely city like Montreal. But this time, I saw glimmerings of the Lesser Peace and, albeit much more faintly, the beginning of the march towards the Most Great Peace.

Very simply put, the Lesser Peace is peace out of necessity; it is the day when all of the nations in the world will make a firm commitment to ensure peace, knowing that, due to the big strides in weapon development, a single war would cause massive casualties around the world. The Most Great Peace will come out of unity and love amongst the peoples of the world. We will go from edgy defensiveness but relative international security to being, well, one big happy family.

In the abovementioned article, there are clamours in a major metropolitan city in Canada to upgrade the housing of the poor. Currently, their housing is of such bad quality that the ensuing excessive humidity and related mould problems cause major lung problems in children.

The discourse is currently one of social justice and economics; it isn’t fair that children suffer the consequences of the economic hardships of the parents, all the more that their ensuing bad health becomes an economic burden for the entire population. And so, we are moving toward making a commitment to give them good housing. Doesn’t that remind you a little bit of the Lesser Peace?

But try as you might, social justice cannot be separated fully from love for humans. And so one day, perhaps this concern will grow into a love amongst the peoples of the world that would ensure this situation doesn’t even occur; all houses will be built as if for a family member, and so, although economically viable, a construction company will never even consider building something he wouldn’t let his closest of family and friends live in. By the same token, the concept of poverty as a barrier to basic health would be abhorrent to everyone, to the point that were a family to hit hardships, all their friends and neighbours would spontaneously arise to help them.

You might think that I am a naïve optimist, but you know what… I really do see glimmering of the Lesser Peace in the news, as well as the faint traces of the beginning of the march towards the Most Great Peace. And it is the best feeling ever to carry around as I continue trying to figure out how to contribute, however humbly, to building a new civilization.

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3 thoughts on “Noticing the Glimmering of the Lesser Peace

  1. The other news out of Montreal is that religion will be banned in subsidized day cares and in my hometown the city council decided not to rent rooms to religions organizations. So much for tolerance.

    As for the post at hand, being a property owner and a landlord, I have a different take. Part of the reason why Montreal suffers from such terrible housing is that the Quebec government implemented in the late seventies very sever rent control and tenant right legislation that offers no incentive for owners to invest in their buildings because it is simply not economically viable to do so.

    In many cases, small owners simply cannot afford to fix-up their buildings as the costs are too high as compared to the rents they would be able to get back.

    Furthermore, mold is not as dangerous or as harmful as people are lead to believe.

    What I find rather unfortunate about such stories is that it is always that the “government has to do something”. Which means imposing a bureaucratic one-size fits all solution.

  2. Sahar Joon,

    félicitations pour le blog que je découvre seulement ce matin.
    – Bien d’accord de ne pas chuter dans l’abîme de la ”mode $$$”)
    – Bonne perception, que je partage aussi, au sujet de la Moindre Paix
    – Le Blog est maintenant inscrit dans me favoris

    Enfin, très bonne réflexion (comment pourrait-il en être autrement venant de toi ?)

  3. Mister D, your comments are always very interesting and give me a lot to think about. It is very interesting to note that it is often seen as a ‘the government must do something’ situation – very disempowering. It makes you wonder what would happen if everyone realized how they can take their destiny into their hands…

    Et merci pour le commentaire, Monsieur ou Mme Mystère! Je suis très contente que le blogue vous plaît! J’ai hâte de lire vos réfléxions, aussi!

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