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Abdu’l-Baha (on the greatness of goodness)

“Is there any deed in the world that would be nobler than service to the common good? Is there any greater blessing conceivable for a man, than that he should become the cause of education, the development, the prosperity and honour of his fellow creatures?…The highest righteousness of all is for blessed souls to take hold of the hands of the helpless and deliver them out of their ignorance and abasement and poverty, and with pure motives, and only for the sake of God, to arise and energetically devote themselves to the service of the masses, forgetting their own worldly advantage and working only to serve the general good…”

‘Abdu’l-Baha (1844-1921), The Secret of Divine Civilization (1875), p. 103. This then-anonymous treatise, an open letter to the people of Iran (then Persia), is still an incredibly valuable perspective on human progress, true happiness, and the development of nations. The line “only for the sake of God” has had me thinking. Yet another re-read of this seminal book this summer has been contributing to the general good of this man’s mind.

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