Action must precede change. As a child, you have little responsibility, and there are few opportunities to change your world. Your capacity is limited because your body and mind are developing. By your early teens, you start to see more of the world and recognize where things can be better. Your abundance of mental, physical, and spiritual energy expand your capacity for action.
For Shoghi Effendi, “The true basis of unity is service.” If there is to be unity within your family or community, then you should serve one another. Taking action allows you to meet new people, have new experiences, learn about yourself, and strengthen your ties with your community. The more action you take to serve humanity, the more you influence the world around you. Providing service helps you strengthen your faith, live according to Bahá’í principles, and stand up to tests regarding dating, bullying, drugs, alcohol, prejudice, and fasting.
Bahá’u’lláh emphasizes the importance of taking action by saying, “Let deeds, not words, be your adorning.” The Bahá’í principle of progressive revelation means there will be new prophets of God as humanity progresses. For humanity to advance towards greater levels of unity and spirituality, there needs to be continuous growth and progress. Taking action enables you to change the world for the better more than words alone can do. Each person’s potential for action is unique. Some are clear communicators and can lead and direct others well. Some are shy and prefer to organize and support from behind-the-scenes. Others are creative and write music and create art. Still others are intellectual and can research and analyze. Finding the type of actions that fit you best might take some trial and error, but your participation will be valued and bring about positive change.