A new friend recently moved into our community from across the globe. How could we connect and what could be the cement of our connection? I have learned that I cannot take any assumptions I might make as facts. Every individual is unique and has unique issues, joys and concerns. My first step is to call, to show interest to know and to get engage in conversation about what they care. The rest will happen in an organic process of give and take.
I have learned from my own work that personal connection in order to listen first and then talk about how we care about the other and what is important to them, is one of the most powerful cements that bonds the hearts and creates a wave of good will.
The Baha’i community at large is preparing itself for one of its most timely teachings; living the oneness of humanity and learning in its process.
In an article by the Baha’i International Community published Dec 3, 18 called:
The following statement grabbed my attention: “No matter the setting, Baha’is are learning to contribute insights and experiences that are relevant to the profound challenges facing humanity today. In so doing, they strive to adopt a posture of humility, engage in genuine conversation, generously contribute relevant Baha’i principles, and learn with and from other like-minded individuals and groups.”
In the absence of the role and position of clergy in the Baha’i Faith, the task of nurturing personal connection deserves examination and conversation. The Baha’i community has an opportunity as well as a challenge to create frames that every individual feels a sense of belonging and being loved for what ever contribution they might bring to the community. How can we conduct ourselves that every person feels celebrated, loved, cherished, treasured and important? That to me as a Baha’i psychotherapist who is privileged to hear the cares and concerns of the community at large, is the question.
The word Shepard is associated with Guiding, protection, nurturing,
Both Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha referred to themselves as a father figure. Shoghi Effendi signed his letters as your true brother Shoghi
As Baha’is who are we to each other? what are the job description for who we claim to be? What is our expectation from our friends, community, institutions and what role we play in this organic global community. Do we feel united? Do we feel loved? How do you show you care? When do you feel others care?
Like every thing man does, our conversation has two important parts: The form and the spirit. The form is the word, the spirit is about the heart, whether our words are fragrant or they stink!!
When it comes to communication, there are lots of things to consider, like body language, facial expressions, tone and pitch of your voice, the time and place to talk, the capacity and readiness of the person who hears you and how people feel when you talk and do they want to hear you and what you have to say. This talking and listening course will guide you, step-by-step, through the whole process.
Baha’u’llah guides humanity in this crucial process:
“Utterance must needs possess penetrating power. For if bereft of this quality it would fail to exert influence. And this penetrating influence dependeth on the spirit being pure and the heart stainless. Likewise it needeth moderation, without which the hearer would be unable to bear it, rather he would manifest opposition from the very outset. And moderation will be obtained by blending utterance with the tokens of divine wisdom which are recorded in the sacred Books and Tablets. Thus when the essence of one’s utterance is endowed with these two requisites it will prove highly effective and will be the prime factor in transforming the souls of men. This is the station of supreme victory and celestial dominion. Whoso attaineth thereto is invested with the power to teach the Cause of God and to prevail over the hearts and minds of men.”
(Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 198-199)
Now this is what I call power only unique to human kind!
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