“It is incumbent upon every man of insight and understanding to strive to translate that which hath been written into reality and action…. That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race.”
As the community building process in a given neighborhood or village intensifies, the friends involved increasingly are drawn into the social and material concerns facing the population. They find in the spiritual teachings of the Baha’i Faith certain insights and principles that they begin to apply to address issues they face in areas such as the promotion of the equality of women and men, the environment, health, agriculture, and education. Once consciousness is raised about such issues, groups of friends with a shared vision developed through participation in study circles, junior youth groups and collective worship begin to undertake efforts for the betterment of their community. Informal efforts and service projects sometimes evolve to become more sustained initiatives like tutorial classes or even community schools. Some of these have later become even more formalized as they develop into complex development organizations and large academic schools.
Although varied in their areas of endeavor and level of complexity, what such efforts of social action have in common is a vision of helping humanity progress spiritually and materially, a belief in the oneness of humankind and the principle of justice, a focus on building the capacity of all people to participate in the generation and application of knowledge for the betterment of their own communities, and an approach characterized by learning in action through cycles of consultation, study, action and reflection.