April 30, 2019-
I spent a few hours, this morning, with a small group of people whose world view is something of a throwback to the time when Big Band music was de rigeur and good manners were the bedrock of society. They are finding it hard to deal with the unraveling of society, viewing liberalism as the cause. In my view, it is simply one reaction to the upheavals, rather than being causative.
Yesterday, I introduced Baha’u’llah’s prescription for the individual. Today, let us look at sentences 5-8, of the Tablet: “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.”
The people to whom I refer above would strike some as antiquated in their views. As many of you know, I associate with many types of people, across the political spectrum and of all ethnicities and Faith groups. Being fair in judgment so often requires one to hold the tongue- so being guarded in speech is a very critical trait, one on which I had to work very hard. It does not mean suffering calumnies against other groups or rosily accepting what ever comes out of the person’s mouth, without challenge. Nonetheless, a person does not do well to “shoot his mouth off.” Justice shown to one man should not preclude justice to others. Such would be a false justice. Meekness- that is something of which I have often been accused. So, it’s ironic that not being meek was cited as the grounds for my recent change in employment status. No one can claim perfection. I do, however, strive for humility, in my dealings with others.
Comfort and defense, both to myself and to those around me, have indeed been primary goals, and these make sentence #7: “Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness……..”, that much more cogent, the last clause being the driving force behind my having become a counselor and child advocate. Integrity has been huge; so that even when I have failed in the matter of uprightness, the ownership of those failures has had to be indelible.
So onward I go; forward we all go. Even when change is difficult to face, let us apply those values we hold dearest, to the resolution of the challenges we face, such as we will ever face.