"It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens." This quotation from the Writings of the Baha'u'llah underlies the pendant pictured below, and it is one of the core beliefs of the Baha'i faith.
As the designers of this pendant explain, little on this piece of jewelry lacks symbolic significance. Its eighteen background lines represent the eighteen steps to the main floor of the Bahai House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois. The "Ringstone Symbol" in the foreground
represents the worlds of God, His manifestations & humanity, linked by divine messengers.
At a time when many in the West associate monotheism with intolerance, Baha'i is a reminder that it can also give rise to more universal values. Global peace, the elimination of prejudice, the fundamental unity of all nations and religions in one God--such are the core principles of the Baha'i faith, which has spread far beyond its Middle Eastern roots to count among its members world leaders in law, politics, education, journalism and entertainment.
On a personal note, I couldn't finish my first post on Baha'i jewelry without noting my indebtedness to one of the most influential leaders
of the Baha'i faith, the Hon. Dorothy W. Nelson
, Senior Judge on the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, for whom I had the good fortune of serving as a law clerk. Without her I'd know a lot less not only about the Baha'i faith, but law
, life and the inestimable value of a cup of tea and cookies on a rainy day. Thanks Judge!