Steinbeck by Ron Price

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In December 1962, three months after I began my pioneering life, part of my contribution at the time to the Baha’i global teaching plan, John Steinbeck spoke the following words as part of his Nobel Prize speech: “I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.” At the time that Steinbeck spoke these words I was 18 and had joined, three years before, a movement which believed in the perfectability of man. That movement was the Baha’i Faith and in 1962 it had some 400 thousand members worldwide, most of them in Iran. As I write these words this movement claims to be the emerging world religion on the planet, has five to six million adherents and is the second most widespread religion on earth. Assumptions like the one made by Steinbeck are supported by Baha’i teachings and they are critical to anyone involved in the betterment of human beings anywhere and the planet everywhere.-Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, June 18th 2006.

I claim a membership in literature, John,
would you let me be a member, let me in?

Do you believe in the perfectability of man?
Without this belief a man has no dedication.

Yes, John, yes! I believe—and have these
many years-over 40 since you spoke them.

This assumption does not seem very realistic.
A lot of the facts seem to indicate otherwise.

That’s true, John, but it’s part of the Baha’i
vision of a golden age and far beyond, John.
It was part of my belief then, back in 1962
and it is still with me in spite of the tempest
that has afflicted these epochs of my life.