Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Examples of building-community

The Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program

Often also referred as the junior youth empowerment program or simply junior youth groups. This educational program typically engages older youth as animators of younger peers aged 11 to 15 to help them develop their powers of expression, capacities for moral reasoning, and an ethic of service to others. The program combines study, mentorship and social action.


Examples of Youth building their community:

Coming together as one
A life of service
Progress of civilization
Center of our lives
Positive and negative forces

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Human Being and Maturity


تقول حكمة صينية
  سنة واحدة ضرورية لكي تنمو بذرة قمح
, وعشر ضرورية لكي تنمو شجرة,
 ومائة ضرورية لكي ينمو إنسان,

Unprecedented symbolic act calls for religious co-existence in Iran

Ayatollah Tehrani presents this exquisite gift to the Baha'is of the world, particularly to the Baha'is of Iran, who he says "have suffered in manifold ways as a result of blind religious prejudice." He further states that this act is "an expression of sympathy and care from me and on behalf of all my open-minded fellow citizens."
In response, Ms. Dugal stated: "The Baha'i International Community is deeply touched by this act of high-mindedness and the sentiments of religious tolerance and respect for human dignity that prompted it."http://news.bahai.org/story/987

The text reads:1. Consort with all religions with amity and concord2. that they may inhale from you the sweet fragrance of God. Beware lest.....

Ayatollah Tehrani's hope is that this gift "which will be kept by the Universal House of Justice [the international governing body of the Baha'i Faith] will serve as a reminder of the rich and ancient Iranian tradition of friendship and of its culture of coexistence."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Age 15 in the Baha'i Faith

In the Kitab-i-Aqdas, Baha’u’llah refers to this significant milestone as the age of attaining spiritual maturity.

‘Abdu’l-Baha states that when one arrives at the age of maturity, one acquires “the capacity to manifest spiritual and intellectual perfections,” “the lights of comprehension, intelligence and knowledge become perceptible” and “the powers of [the] soul unfold.” (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha)

With this maturity come responsibilities, which the Universal House of Justice describes: 
“Fifteen is the age at which a child attains spiritual maturity, and thus it is at the age of fifteen that a Baha’i child assumes the responsibility for obeying such laws as those of fasting and prayer, and of affirming of his own volition his faith in Baha’u’llah.” (Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963 to 1986)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

New Ideas ??? Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha is an event that was founded in Tokyo in 2003 by Klein Dytham Architecture firm and started out as a night of local culture, entertainment, and mingling. 10 featured speakers have a shot at sharing what they are passionate about to present their ideas and inspire the audience. The rules? They can only show 20 images in which they have 20 seconds to talk about each, with a cap off at six minutes and 40 seconds.http://www.pechakucha.org

We attended one event where we listened to 10 speakers in 90 min total, 7 minutes each and 20 slides per presenter. The presenters were from all ages and back ground.... topics were: 
helping homeless in the city, 
Benefit of travel, 
Finding one's self, 
Marketing, community building, 
Education of Girls
Helping others would help your business
Healthy Living

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Can we compare our Society to a Human Body?

Society can be compared to the human body, which is comprised of different organs that promote the health of the body as a whole through cooperative and reciprocal relationships. The progress of society depends on balanced relationships between the individual, the community, and institutions, in which each has its own responsibilities and prerogatives in furthering social progress....
The Bahá’í teachings describe social transformation as a process that brings the spiritual and material requirements of life into dynamic coherence. True prosperity is advanced when we draw upon the knowledge of both science and religion to promote human welfare. Science offers insight into the material world and safeguards individuals from superstition, and religion helps to release the powers of the spirit and build the bonds of community.  The pursuit of knowledge, and its application to the needs of the community, is fundamental to the advancement of society.
“We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment outside us and say that once one of these is reformed everything will be improved. Man is organic with the world. His inner life moulds the environment and is itself also deeply affected by it. The one acts upon the other and every abiding change in the life of man is the result of these mutual reactions.” – Shoghi Effendi

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Egypt and Building the Future 2014

من رسالة  مفتوحة إلى كلّ المصريّين     

عند هذا المنعطف الدقيق، نجد أنفسنا إذاً أمام سؤال هام وخطير: ماذا نسعى إلى تحقيقه في هذه الفرصة التي سنحت وحصلنا عليها؟ ثم ما هي الخيارات المطروحة أمامنا؟ فهناك العديد من نماذج العيش المشترك معروضة أمامنا تدافع عنها وتناصرها جماعات من الناس مختلفة ولها اهتماماتها الخاصة. فالسؤال هنا: هل لنا أن نتّجه نحو إقامة مجتمع فرداني ومجزأ، حيث يشعر الكل فيه بأنهم أحرار في السعي في سبيل مصالحهم حتى ولو كان ذلك على حساب الصالح العام؟ هل سوف تستهوينا المغريات المادية الدنيوية وعنصرها الجاذب المؤثر والمتمثلة في النظام الاستهلاكي؟ هل سوف نختار نظامًا يتغذى على العصبية الدينية؟ وهل نحن على استعداد للسماح بقيام نخبة تحكمنا متناسية طموحاتنا الجماعية، لا بل وتسعى الى استغلال رغبتنا في التغيير واستبدالها بشيء آخر؟ أم هل سنسمح لمسيرة التغيير بأن تفقد زخمها وقوة اندفاعها فتتلاشى في خضم النزاعات الفئوية الصاخبة وتنهار تحت وطأة الجمود الإداري للمؤسسات القائمة وفقدانها القوة على المضي والاستمرار؟ وبالنظر إلى المنطقة العربية – وإلى خارجها في الواقع – من المنصف القول إنّ العالم، توّاق إلى العثور على نموذج ناجح بالاجماع لمجتمع جديرٌ محاكاته. ولذا لعله يكون من الأجدر بنا، في حال أثبت البحث عدم وجود نموذج قائم مُرْضٍ، أن نفكر في رسم نهج لمسار مختلف ونبرهن للشعوب بأن من الممكن فعلاً اعتماد نهج تقدمي حقيقي لتنظيم المجتمع. إنّ مكانة مصر الرفيعة في المنظومة الدولية – بما لها من تراث فكري، وتاريخ عريق وموقع جغرافي – يعني كل هذا بأن مصر إذا ما أقدمت على اختيار نموذج متنور لبناء مجتمعها، فلسوف تؤثر على مسار النمو والتطور الإنساني في المنطقة كلّها بل وعلى العالم بأسره.
إخوتكم وأخواتكم البهائيون في مصر    أبريل 2011

Religion in western societies

From a message of the Universal House Of Justice:

".... We live in an age when the role of religion in shaping human thought and in guiding individual and collective conduct is increasingly discounted. In societies that have bowed
to the dictates of materialism, organized religion is seeing the sphere of its influence contract, becoming confined mostly to the realm of personal experience. Not infrequently the laws of religion are regarded as arbitrary rules blindly obeyed by those incapable of independent thought or as a prudish and outdated code of conduct hypocritically imposed upon others by advocates who, themselves, fail to live up to its demands. Morality is being redefined in such societies, and materialistic assumptions, values, and practices pertaining to the nature of humankind and its economic and social life are taking on the status of unassailable truth.

Indeed, the expenditure of enormous energy and vast amounts of resources in an attempt to bend truth to conform to personal desire is now a feature of many contemporary societies. The result is a culture that distorts human nature and purpose, trapping human beings in pursuit of idle fancies and vain imaginings and turning them into pliable objects in the hands of the powerful. 

Yet, the happiness and well-being of humanity depend upon the opposite
cultivating human character and social order in conformity with reality. 
Divine teachings shed light on reality, enabling every soul to investigate it properly and to acquire, through the exercise of personal discipline, those attributes that are to distinguish the human being. “Man should know his own self”, Bahá’u’lláh states, “and recognize that which leadeth unto loftiness or lowliness, glory or abasement, wealth or poverty.” UHJ 2013