Changing Attitudes and Understanding as a Result of Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind

Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind
Faculty: Arthur Lyon Dahl, Christine Muller, Laurent Mesbah

Mark JohnsonMark Johnson of Overland Park, Kansas, reflected about the way the course changed his understanding of the world situation and what he can do to effect change.

“I feel much more hopeful about the future after this course. I learned that there is a way out of the mess we’re in, and that Baha’u’llah has provided not only a vision but the framework for the way to do it. The course greatly improved my appreciation of the Universal House of Justice’s guidance for us. I was also heartened to learn about the many people in the world successfully working on these problems in a spirit of global unity.

My values and beliefs with respect to the environment and economic justice haven’t changed a bit, but my understanding of “unity” and how I must put that belief into practice has. I feel much less angry about the state of the world, although I remain disappointed and frustrated. I cannot afford the “luxury” of anger any longer. That emotion sets me up for an us-versus-them way of looking at our problems, which only reinforces my anger. I now understand how important it is that we all work together on this, that we find points of agreement that we can build on. I used to see this more in ideological terms. That frame of reference is not helpful. If I really believe in the oneness of mankind, then I have to be willing to engage with anyone, to be willing to listen and understand their point of view, look for our commonality, and do what I can to build on that.

The most direct way I can apply what I’ve learned is in my own life. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching about changes I can make in my lifestyle to be more consistent with a sustainable future. I want to learn how to live a coherent life and perhaps even model that for others.

Several of the presentations during the course were very impressive and have motivated me to work on my PowerPoint skills to improve the use of visuals for future presentations and deepenings.”

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