A Paris Talk - Abdul-Baha
I hope you are all happy and well, I am not happy, but very sad. The news of the Battle of Benghazi grieves my heart. I wonder at the human savagery that still exists in the world ! How is it possible for men to fight from morning until evening, killing each other, shedding blood of their fellow-men, and for what object? To gain possession of a part of the earth! Even the animals, when they fight, have an immediate and more reasonable cause for their attacks! How terrible it is that men, who are of the higher kingdom, can descend to slaying and bringing misery to their fellow beings, for the possession of a tract of land! The highest of created beings fighting to obtain the lowest form of matter, earth. Land belongs not to one people but to all people. This earth is not man's home, but his tomb. It is for their tombs these men are fighting. There is nothing so horrible in this world as the tomb, the abode of the decaying bodies of men.
However great the conqueror, however many countries he may reduce to slavery, he is unable to retain any part of these devastated lands but one tiny portion - his tomb! If more land is required for the improvement of the condition of the people, for the spread of civilisation (for the substitution of just laws for brutal customs) - surely it would be possible to acquire peaceably the necessary extension of territory. But war is made for satisfaction of men's ambition, for the sake of worldly gain to the few, terrible misery is brought to numberless homes, breaking the hearts of hundreds of men and women! How many widows mourn their husbands, how many stories of savage cruelty do we hear! How many little orphaned children are crying for their dead fathers, how many women are weeping for their slain sons.
There is nothing so heart-breaking and terrible as an outburst of human savagery! I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all thoughts of your heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship and happiness. When soldiers of the world draw their swords to kill, soldiers of God clasp each others hands! So may all the savagery of man disappear by the mercy of God, working through the pure in heart and the sincere of soul. Do not think the peace of the world as an ideal impossible to attain! Nothing is impossible to the divine benevolence of God. If you desire with all your heart, friendship with every race on earth, your thought, spiritual and positive, will spread, it will become the desire of others, growing stronger, until it reaches the minds of all men.
Do not despair! Work steadily. Sincerity and love will conquer hate. How many seemingly impossible events are coming to pass in these days! Set your faces steadily towards the light of the world. Show love to all, "Love is the breath of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man". Take Courage! God never forsakes his children who strive and work and pray! Let your hearts be filled with the strenuous desire that tranquility and harmony may encircle all this warring world. So will success crown your efforts, with the universal brotherhood will come the kingdom of God in peace and goodwill. In this room today are members of many races, French, American, English, German, Italian, brothers and sisters meeting in friendship and harmony! Let this gathering be a foreshadowing of what will, in very truth, take place in this world, when every child of God realises that they are leaves of one tree, flowers in one garden, drops in one ocean, and the sons and daughters of one father, whose name is love.Abdul-Baha: 21st October 1911: Paris