Thursday, January 13, 2011

Reflections on One Baha'i

Yesterday afternoon I noticed another comment on a post from over a year ago. Oh, the post was from over a year ago, not the comment. I do check a bit more often than that, thank you very much. What caught my attention was not the comment, nice as it was, but the fact that it was from an article so long ago. You know what this means, right? I think it means a few different things. First, that you folks out there, dear Readers, are actually going back and reading those earlier articles. I cannot tell you how much that is a source of encouragement to me. (Thanks.)

Another thing that these comments do is help me decide what I am going to write about. You see, I can actually look and see which articles have the most comments, or even the most views if I want, and that helps me see what you are all interested in.

And what have I noticed? Well, a few things. You seem to really like the metaphor game. I'm glad, because I do, too. (That's why I've played it for so many years.) There are many articles I have written with it in mind, even though I may not have actually named it as such. But that's what it was, to me. These would be articles like Sunflowers, Atoms and Apples, or other similar ones.

You also seem to really like the articles about the laws of the Faith. Well, that's encouraging, too, because it really helps me figure out how to apply this Faith of ours. Last year's articles about the Fast, or the Right of God, or even washing your feet every day (my personal favorite article, so far) have generated a lot of hits, as well as a ton of e-mail. (How much does e-mail actually weigh?)

The third type of articles you seem to like are those that look at the Administration, whether it's about the Unit Convention, Baha'i' elections or what have you.

The fourth are those that take an odd look at a common question, like the gay marriage issue, or animals and souls.

But most of all, you seem to like those with humour. (I won't even put any links here, for there are too many for me to choose.) (And hey, I have seen a number of write-ups about this blog and I love the fact that the two words that come up most often in those reviews are spiritual and humour. How cool is that?)

Now you may be wondering why I am sharing all of this, and I am, too. I expected to write a short piece about another random law from the Kitab-i-Aqdas, but got side-tracked on this, instead.

After sipping my coffee, and trying not to get too overheated by this annoying fireplace on my left (the only seat near a plug for my computer in this coffee shop was next to a fireplace), I realized that what my subconscious was trying to do was tell me to reflect. Funny that, for this has been my focus for days now with my cluster. In the recent message from the Universal House of Justice (28 December 2010), the first thing they ask the Counsellors to do is to get a clear vision on how to assist the friends in "expanding to other spheres of operation the mode of learning" we have been developing. In other words, to help us learn to how learn from our own actions.

This concept is so important that paragraph 7 of that same message seems to be dedicated to it. They clearly show how it all begins with a small group of people reflecting on their own actions. As this group learns how to analyze what they are doing, and learn from what they have done, they are growing in size. What begins as a few friends doing this, possibly in someone's living room, they join forces with other small groups doing the same thing, so that they can all learn from each other. Eventually the group becomes too big for this, and something more formal is needed. Hence the Reflection Meeting.

In a nearby community, they are beginning to learn how to do this effectively. They have a monthly public meeting at which they present a talk on an advertised topic. By reflecting on how many people have come since the beginning, and cross-referencing it with the topics advertised, they have noticed a few important, or at least interesting, things. They discovered that if they have a "Baha'i" topic, one that interests themselves, they show up. But nobody else does. If they have a topic that is relevant to the greater community, then that community shows up.  Great learning, that.

And now I have my title for this article. (You may not have noticed, but it was untitled until this point.)

Well, thanks for letting me reflect on this. I appreciate it.

You know, this afternoon I'm going to be meeting with some other friends with whom I share a blog spot in the local newspaper. We're going to go over things like this in order to better see how we can serve both the interests of the Faith and this newspaper. It should be interesting, and this has been a good beginning for me to try and get my mind around it.


Now, just in case you have any particular preferences, please let me know what you think. I'm only looking at the statistics gathered by the blog. But you, dear Readers, are the ones who really know what you like. (For all I know, you could have all logged into one article to show your friends and say, "See this article? It really sucks.")

So for now, I'll leave you with a silly joke. What kind of car did 'Abdu'l-Baha say we should travel teach in? The Honda Accord. After all, in His Will and Testament, He says that "all the friends and loved ones... (should) bestir themselves and arise with heart and soul and in one accord, to diffuse the sweet savors of God..."

1 comment:

  1. Mead that is so terrible I'm going to have to use it at the next feast here in Seoul.- George