During a recent devotional time with my bedfast Mother I was startled by this bit of scripture from the New Testament
"God has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth." Acts 17: 26
Shortly thereafter, in a book called "Agape Love" by chance, I found the same reflection a Persian Poet:
"The descendents of Adam are members of one body, for from the moment of Creation they are made of a single substance.
If the hands of fate causes pain in a single member, the other members will lose their tranquility and peace.
If thou are not saddened by the affliction of others, thou are not worthy to be called human.
Saadi, Thirteenth-Century Persian Poet (Trans. S. H. Nasr)
(See more translations below)
The reflection following the quote from Acts, spoke of a conversations between a writer and her 7-year-old friend who was of a beautiful color of brown. He was wondering why so many Bible-story books indicated in paintings that Adam and Eve were white. This led the writer to a sense of heart-sickness and to let the little friend know that all people have their roots in the One Creator God and therefore we are all equal.
The writer's reflection continued with the following: No race nor ethnicity is superior or inferior to another. He gives to all life and breath.
"Every life has been created, God's handiwork displayed: When we cherish His creation, we value what He's made."
I found the following via the internet search. You may also want to look at:
The most famous aphorism of Saadi
Saadi is well known for his aphorisms, the most famous of which, Bani Adam, in a delicate way shows the essence of Ubuntu and calls for breaking all barriers between the human beings:
Iranian Poetry 'Bani Adam' Inscribed On United Nations Building Entrance
- بنى آدم اعضای یک پیکرند
- که در آفرینش ز یک گوهرند
- چو عضوى به درد آورد روزگار
دگر عضوها را نماند قرار
- تو کز محنت دیگران بی غمی
نشاید که نامت نهند آدمی
The translations above are attempts to preserve the rhyme scheme of the original while translating into English, but may distort the meaning. What follows is an attempt at a more literal translation of the original Persian:The poem is translated by A.Marandi as:
- Humans are peers of a united race,
- Thus in creation, share the same base.
- If one is affected with pain,
- Others share the faith of same.
- When you are indifferent to this pain,
- You shall not earn the Humans' name.Also translated by M. Aryanpoor as:
- Human beings are members of a whole,
- In creation of one essence and soul.
- If one member is afflicted with pain,
- Other members uneasy will remain.
- If you've no sympathy for human pain,
- The name of human you cannot retain!by H. Vahid Dastjerdi as:
- Adam's sons are body limbs, to say;
- For they're created of the same clay.
- Should one organ be troubled by pain,
- Others would suffer severe strain.
- Thou, careless of people's suffering,
- Deserve not the name, "human being".and the last translation by Dr. Iraj Bashiri:
- Of One Essence is the Human Race,
- Thusly has Creation put the Base.
- One Limb impacted is sufficient,
- For all Others to feel the Mace.
- The Unconcern'd with Others' Plight,
- Are but Brutes with Human Face.
"Humans (children of Adam) are inherent parts (or more literally, limbs) of one body,==========
and are from the same essence in their creation.
When the conditions of the time hurts one of these parts,
other parts will be disturbed.
If you are indifferent about the misery of others,
it may not be appropriate to call you a human being."
How sad that even this poet himself was so abused by Christians during the Crusades even without any
cause yet did not seek revenge. He himself understood so much more clearly than so many from a Christian background today the wisdom taught in our own New Testament.