I would like to go one thousand years into the future. From that vantage point I would be able to compare human society at one thousand year intervals. By the year 1,000 the Message of Christ was well established in Europe and the civilization of the Romans was long gone with many of its virtues turned upside down. For instance, a letter survives from a Roman soldier who wrote home to his pregnant wife saying: “if the baby is a girl, kill it.” Kindness and mercy were considered, by Romans, as defects of character. For Christians those were the highest virtues. Christians established hospitals to care for the sick and aged. Romans would abandon them to die. What could be achieved by society if no one any longer could bear to know that someone lived or suffered in want? Will that be possible in a thousand years?
There was peace within the Roman empire, but it was peace through force and oppression. What if there was peace by choice?
Few people in the Roman empire could read and write. Few people a thousand years ago could read and write. What would society be like if everyone could not only read and write, but also have such an education to enable each person to participate as much as they wanted in the life of society?
During the Roman empire slavery was not only considered normal, but necessary. One thousand years ago, slavery was still considered a natural part of society. We have finally gotten past the idea that slavery can be legally valid, but illegal slavery still exists. What if the idea of one person not only owning, but controlling another person, was considered repulsive and abhorrent?
One and two thousands of years ago women were considered inferior creatures, maybe not even fully human. What if they were enabled and allowed to participate in all affairs of society to the extent they wished and they were even honored for having more tender and compassionate hearts than men?
One and two thousand years ago people only knew about the part of the world, or continent where they lived. Few people had much accurate knowledge of places far away and no knowledge of the Americas or Antarctica. What will be the result of a thousand-and-plus years of global interconnectedness?
One and two thousands years ago no one knew what the moon was, nor our solar system, or galaxy, or the universe, few even know that the Earth was not flat. What will a thousand years of accurate scientific information do?
When individuals no longer hold power over any other individuals and decisions were made by groups in consultation, what might that society be like?
The teachings of Christ, given two thousand years ago, transformed many aspects of human society. In a thousand years from now what will the teachings of Baha’u’llah transform? In less than two hundred years Baha’i teachings have brought together members of two thousand-and-some different ethnic, religions, cultural, racial, etc. backgrounds to work unitedly with each other to improve their lives, their families and their societies. What will be the result of that in another thousand years? When women hold the highest positions of any individuals in the Baha’i community and that becomes the norm everywhere? When a person’s background is honored for the diversity of the whole? When our differences are seen as adornments, not cause for hate? When every individual is educated to be able to participate fully in society and investigate matters for themselves, not relying on others. When science is known to be essential to human progress, so much so that if an idea contradicts facts uncovered by science, those ideas are rejected as false. For human beings to be known to be noble spiritual beings, not sinful and defective, how will that impact our own self-image and society as a whole?
To see what might be possible if human society had a different philosophical basis than now is what I’d like to go see in a thousand years.