The recent pandemic has highlighted the glaring disparities in the economic system between the rich and the poor. On the one hand, we have the plight of poor people living under the poverty line and trying to survive the onslaught of miseries caused by financial hardship. In contrast, a small percentage of people continue to add billions to their already colossal wealth.
It upsets me because it looks like humanity has lost its consciousness and has become numb to the sufferings of the poor and underprivileged. I see the ever-widening gap between the poor and the rich getting wider and wider, yet there seems to be no solution in sight. That makes me more determined than ever to keep this issue alive and continue to address it.
We need Humanomics: a human system with human values, and less of economics to solve the inequalities in our economic system because a lack of humanity has been with the system since its inception and has had devastating effects on millions of lives.
The Baha’i Writings remind me to be aware of my role in taking care of the poor since my moral and spiritual duty is to protect and care for them:
“O Son of Man! Bestow My wealth upon My poor, that in heaven thou mayest draw from stores of unfading splendour and treasures of imperishable glory. But by My life! To offer up thy soul is a more glorious thing couldst thou but see with Mine eye.” -Baha’u’llah
In addition to helping on an individual level, we need to work towards changing the economic system to make it more sensitive to people’s needs and inject morality and spirituality into it to serve humanity rather than humanity being sacrificed to make the system work.
This can only be done by practicing truthfulness, trustworthiness, and other moral values in our actions, especially in our economic activities. These activities are not just economical but spiritual.
The economic problems of the world will not be solved if we do not change the system. The present financial system is a by-product of the old order and was built on wrong assumptions. It is assumed that people only think of their interests and do not concern themselves with the plight of others. This assumption has been the engine for driving the system, and it has become a fertile ground for greed to spread in every aspect of human life, and we can see the result is the present economic injustices in the world.
The sad part about this is that every single day that this continues, thousands of people in the world will be dragged into a life full of economic challenges without any hope of remedy.
The essential element missing in the present economic system is justice, which should be its foundation. Economic justice these days is the scarcest commodity in the world.
I feel that every individual is responsible for trying to do his or her utmost to lessen the burden of poverty from the shoulders of our fellow humans so that every person in the world has the economic means to live a comfortable and fulfilled life — which is a fundamental human right for everyone.
Though the possibility of the economic system becoming more humane looks like a far-fetched dream, if we desire it and strive to attain it by playing our small part, we can transform this rigid system, which is currently devoid of spirit into a fantastic tool for the prosperity of humanity.
"Badi Shams is a Baha’i and a mystic at heart. His field of interest is economics; he has published "Economics of the Future" and "Economics of the Future Begins Today" and recently written the books "Random Thoughts of a Mystic Economist" and "Towards a New Spiritual Economic System." You can find Badi's website at badishams.net called "Baha'i Inspired Economics" He is retired from the education system
You can read more articles on our interfaith blog. Spiritually Speaking, HERE: https://www.timescolonist.com/blogs/spiritually-speaking