THE ELIMINATION OF PREJUDICE The fundamental purpose of all the teachings of Baha'u'llah, Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith, is the promotion of concord and cooperation among all the peoples of the world. He states: "Ye were created to show love one to another and not perversity and rancor. Take pride not in love for yourselves but in love for your fellow-creatures." Baha'u'llah teaches that prejudices, whether religious, racial, patriotic or political are destructive to the foundations of human development. Prejudices of any kind are the destroyers of human happiness and welfare. Until they are dispelled the ad- vancement of the world of humanity is not possible. The Universal House of Justice, world governing body of the Baha'i Faith, states in its treatise titled "The Promise of World Peace", "Racism, one of the most baneful and persistent evils, is a major barrier to peace. Its practice perpetrates too outrageous a violation of the dignity of human beings to be countenanced under any pretext. Racism retards the unfoldment of the boundless potentialities of its victims, corrupts its perpetrators, and blights human progress. Recognition of the oneness of mankind, implemented by appropriate legal measures, must be universally upheld if this problem is to be overcome." Prejudice takes many obvious forms - from physical violence, to economic oppression. But we must also eliminate the more subtle manifestations of prejudice, such as assumptions of personal superiority over other classes, races or nations. This is the most difficult aspect of eliminating prejudice because it deals with our deepest feelings and beliefs, many of which we hold on a subconscious level. It is critical to realign our thoughts and highest convictions to those of true acceptance of all people, because these thoughts are what drive our conscious actions. 'Abdu'l-Baha, eldest son of Baha'u'llah, explains, "Concerning the prejudice of race: it is an illusion, a superstition pure and simple! For God created us all of one race. There were no differences in the begin- ning, for we are all descendants of Adam. In the beginning, also, there were no limits and boundaries between the different lands; no part of the earth belonged more to one people than to another. In the sight of God there is no difference between the various races. Why should man invent such a prejudice? How can we uphold war caused by an illusion?" In the same way that the variety of hues and shapes of flowers in a garden contribute to its overall beauty, Baha'is believe that the diversity of the human family is something to celebrate and protect, not fear.