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Old 11-19-2016, 10:51 PM   #1
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Thinking Local

I have a question that's been bothering me. Is there any concise collection of Baha'i teachings about how one should work to improve their local area? How about developing personal virtues that don't necessarily bring about a New World Order? I don't even need quotes from scriptures alone. I'd be happy with a letter or two from the UHJ or a NSA.

I ask this because it is incredibly easy to find high-minded Baha'i teachings about world peace, and unity between people and religions. The problem is, I really don't have much confidence in my ability to change the whole world. I can only act locally. It seems "thinking local" is almost a mere footnote in most of what I've read about Baha'i--unless, of course we're talking about teaching the faith. As important as I'm sure that is, I'm looking for more than that.

Among Baha'i communities, how have you witnessed the Faith bearing fruit? How has your local community taken Baha'i teachings and turned them into action? Over the years I've read several articles about Baha'is in developing nations and all the good they have done. That's great! But what about those of us in the "1st world" who don't plan to move to a developing nation? What should we be doing in our own communities? Is there any official guidance anywhere?

Just a final note: I am not officially a Baha'i, and have never gotten deeply involved with any local Baha'i community. To the best of my knowledge, there aren't many Baha'is in my area, so I'm sure there are limited resources. I'll be sure to ask them these questions the next time I may see them. For now I'll just turn to the internet. I am curious about what your Baha'i community has done, even with limitations.
 
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Old 11-20-2016, 02:26 AM   #2
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good question. I too like to see the answer though my own idea is that everything starts with the self, not with the local area or the world. if we can change truly and see the truth, the truth in us will shine upon everything. but still I like to see the guidance from Universal House of Justice of the scripture.
 
Old 11-20-2016, 05:03 AM   #3
Jcc
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From: Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
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You can see lots of examples of Baha'i activity to promote local development, like here:
Social Action | What Bahá

And here:
Frontiers of Learning


It may not be surprising that most of the examples shown are in "developing" countries. There are also small scale activities in "developed" countries also, such as junior youth getting together to clean up a park or street, etc., and many other examples.

Over 100 years ago, the Baha'is if Iran made great advances under the guidance of Abdu'l-Baha (even though still a prisoner in Palestine). The first school for girls in Iran was started by Baha'is, the literacy rate increased to well above the national average, they had improved farming techniques, so the Baha'i farms were successful, and by the mid-20th century, a disproportionate number of Baha'is were doctors, university professors, engineers, etc. Unfortunately, the government and religious leaders, especially after the 1979 revolution decided to shut down all Baha'i institutions, schools, hospitals, fire all Baha'i university professors or government workers, and prevent Baha'is from even attending university. Now they have to study secretly, but they still do.

#EducationIsNotACrime
 
Old 11-20-2016, 07:07 PM   #4
Kam
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From: Perth, Australia
Posts: 140
Please study the following document dear friend

Social Action

With loving regards
Kam

.
 
Old 11-20-2016, 08:07 PM   #5
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Luckily, it's a paper prepared by the Office of Social and Economic Development, not by the House itself. Otherwise, I'd hesitate to comment it. It's amazing that so much can be said, without once mentioning a single example. It should be possible to gather hundreds of examples from all over the world. We've been around for close to 200 years, so why not give down-to-earth examples?

The Ruhi courses, for example, stem from a local initiative in one country, after which they were adopted as a model for the rest of the world. There must be a multitude of other initiatives, from which one could draw inspiration.

Yes indeed, a 100 years ago, we did important things in Iran. And then? I want a list of things - schools, companies, social action, from all over the world. They do exist. So why not list them?

gnat

Last edited by gnat; 11-20-2016 at 08:14 PM.
 
Old 11-21-2016, 04:59 AM   #6
Jcc
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Joined: Mar 2013
From: Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Luckily, it's a paper prepared by the Office of Social and Economic Development, not by the House itself. Otherwise, I'd hesitate to comment it. It's amazing that so much can be said, without once mentioning a single example. It should be possible to gather hundreds of examples from all over the world. We've been around for close to 200 years, so why not give down-to-earth examples?

The Ruhi courses, for example, stem from a local initiative in one country, after which they were adopted as a model for the rest of the world. There must be a multitude of other initiatives, from which one could draw inspiration.

Yes indeed, a 100 years ago, we did important things in Iran. And then? I want a list of things - schools, companies, social action, from all over the world. They do exist. So why not list them?

gnat
Ok, here are more examples:
I was involved with this one myself in Brazil:
Sobre a ADCAM
Baha'i-inspired Development Websites - Rabbani Charitable Trust
Lide Haiti

And many schools around the world, and other projects.
Please add more to the list!
 
Old 11-23-2016, 01:40 PM   #7
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From: Quilimari,Chile
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Service

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribe View Post
I have a question that's been bothering me. Is there any concise collection of Baha'i teachings about how one should work to improve their local area? How about developing personal virtues that don't necessarily bring about a New World Order? I don't even need quotes from scriptures alone. I'd be happy with a letter or two from the UHJ or a NSA.

I ask this because it is incredibly easy to find high-minded Baha'i teachings about world peace, and unity between people and religions. The problem is, I really don't have much confidence in my ability to change the whole world. I can only act locally. It seems "thinking local" is almost a mere footnote in most of what I've read about Baha'i--unless, of course we're talking about teaching the faith. As important as I'm sure that is, I'm looking for more than that.

Among Baha'i communities, how have you witnessed the Faith bearing fruit? How has your local community taken Baha'i teachings and turned them into action? Over the years I've read several articles about Baha'is in developing nations and all the good they have done. That's great! But what about those of us in the "1st world" who don't plan to move to a developing nation? What should we be doing in our own communities? Is there any official guidance anywhere?

Just a final note: I am not officially a Baha'i, and have never gotten deeply involved with any local Baha'i community. To the best of my knowledge, there aren't many Baha'is in my area, so I'm sure there are limited resources. I'll be sure to ask them these questions the next time I may see them. For now I'll just turn to the internet. I am curious about what your Baha'i community has done, even with limitations.
Dear friend if you are lucky to have a loving local community and National Assembly, praise God, be thankful not all communities have this.
There is an old saying be the change you wish to see. This is most important, don't wait for others, you will likely be most disappointed.

Join any local organizations that are striving to help communities along Baha'i guidelines.
Look about find an elderly, ill or needy person, get to know them, perhaps become their meals on wheels, get to know their family remove any worries they may have that you are an unreliable person, move in and live with the person, plan a certain time, work with family assure them that their relative will be well looked after. Explain that you will not always pay rent but do repair work around the house in place of rent, the person you are helping supply them all there meals, do all cleaning etc for free, help the person in all ways, drive them about to shopping etc. Make sure a reliable relative collects their pension and checks your progress from time to time. Be careful in accepting gifts, we do not want gifts also accepting gifts will maybe cause suspicion, our service is our gift.
Now I feel you could easily add to this. Elderly people usually are lonely and most will enjoy this service, always remember you are Bahai' trustworthy, and honest to a fault. I have found that this service is noticed quickly no need to do anything your fame will rapidly spread. Plus there is little need to teach the Faith, you will be kept busy just answering questions. You can also through some organization volunteer to drive other elderly to destinations in town.

Sorry my old brain is fogging up.
love to you scribe
bill
 
Old 11-23-2016, 05:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
It seems "thinking local" is almost a mere footnote in most of what I've read about Baha'i--unless, of course we're talking about teaching the faith. As important as I'm sure that is, I'm looking for more than that.
To me, "teaching the faith" means primarily standing up for the principles of Baha'u'llah through word and deed. That is, stand up for the oneness of humanity and the oneness of religion. Don't allow people of another faith or belief to bully Mormons or Muslims or Christians or agnostics without defending the victim of oppression, even if it is "only" words written on the internet.

"The man who lives the life according to the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh is already a Bahá’í. On the other hand, a man may call himself a Bahá’í for fifty years, and if he does not live the life he is not a Bahá’í."

- Words attributed to Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London
 
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