April 29, 2019-
Today was the Ninth Day of Ridvan, the period of time when Baha’u’llah and His family/friends gathered in a garden north of Baghdad, preparing to leave that city, for an overland journey to further exile, in Constantinople (now Istanbul). We Baha’is commemorate this Day, as it was one of the days that He first spoke more clearly of His Mission to the world.
I wish to share, and to examine closely, a quotation found on page 285 of a compendium of His Writings, itself entitled Gleanings From The Writings of Baha’u’llah. I find it a good daily guide to my own behaviour, which has a long ways to go. Then again, isn’t that the whole point of this life- to develop our spiritual qualities before we head for the next level of existence?
“Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.”-Baha’u’llah
It’s easy to give, when we have lots. Giving, though, is too easily seen only in terms of money. Hardly a day goes by, that I don’t see someone standing on a corner, holding a sign, get a message from someone far way-begging for my financial help or get an e-mail from someone with a money-making scheme. My generosity, though, is most often put to use, providing someone with information that they can use to help themselves, or extra items that I don’t need, or a connection to resources here in town. The other gift I can many times offer, is that of time and energy. Being thankful in adversity: Well, as I have often done for myself, the thankfulness comes from being able to draw a lesson from the trouble.
Trustworthiness has been the source of a few bumps in my road, in the years immediately following Penny’s passing. Trust, though, comes from self-knowledge, and self-acceptance. No one who doubts one’s own worth is going to go the extra mile for another. It took me a few years to get back on that highway. I have, however, taken ownership of every single hiccup. The sanctity of my pledge is again true.
I will look at sentences 5-8, in the next post.