A Baha’i Perspective
Growing up as a member of the Baha’i Faith, I learned to appreciate the beauty in diversity, the power of cultural expression, and the common link that unites all of us. As a child and adolescent, I was extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to travel. I traveled to countries far from home often enough and for periods long enough that I began to see the entire planet as my home. I saw myself as a world citizen. My people were all people. The one thing that became foreign to me was the concept of division. My circle of friends was international, my homeland was planet earth, and borders and nationalities were simply man-made. They had no impact on the intrinsic value of a human being. We were, and are, after all, one human race.
But oneness is greater than the unity of one species. How can we live in harmony if we disrespect and disassociate ourselves from nature? How could we strengthen ourselves only to jeopardize the ground we walk on, the air we breath, and the water we drink? Should we really ruin the lives of millions of other species who share this planet with us? For nearly five years, I have been spending most of my time in a small beach town in Costa Rica where I am surrounded by nature and wildlife. Countless times I have sat on my surfboard in the soothing waters off the coast of Playa Guiones. I sit peering back at the horizon line, struck by the majesty of the natural world. Consequently, the lush green forests, breathtaking sunsets and the sights, sounds, taste and smells of nature impacted me more than I can explain.
Because I have a great appreciation for the beauty in diversity, spiritual reality, the power of nature, and the oneness that connects us all, I was thrilled to receive a commission from a like-minded individual. Fortunately, this commission of three paintings enabled me to explore themes that I really cared about. While each painting of a Tibetan, African and Indian child is complete separately, together they mean more. Together they not only unite the human spirit, nature, and divinity together, but they also delineate the beauty of diversity and the oneness of humanity. Together they are the Oneness Series.
In an age when too many of us celebrate division, vulgarity and ego, I think we need a reminder. We need to be reminded about our higher nature and the connection we have with one another. The more we recognize oneness, the more we will find ourselves. Ultimately, that will give us the tools we need to change this world.