- Oct 2011
Dear Frankly, I see deep thought and knowledge in your response, and yes my example of the stone was a little tongue in cheek, one action I would rarely use, and after using it I would have to embrace the other and explain that maybe their way is not good, as maybe also my response.It would be a treat were someone to go watch one of her TED talks and then try to engage this topic. Let me use something you said as an example of how this works Bill. You mentioned how you offer someone a stone when you feel they are trying to shame you. It seems simple for you. I could read your solution and feel ashamed of my inability to do the same. Or I could read it and think, he must have great authority and respect within his community to stop a shame spreader so easily. We often have no idea how our words impact others. It is probably an easier task to develop shame resilience, than it is to speak so carefully that we never offend someone else. A part of me feels wholly inadequate to stop some absolutely atrocious behavior of others, frustrated, angry, seething, sit by idly why yet another person is humiliated or say something and wind up taking the abuse for them.
I have witnessed displays of ego and judgment, from long time Baha'is, that look more like the temper tantrum of a 7 year old and no amount of clever comebacks will keep them from their mission of domination including the breaking of laws both Baha'i and civil. They are addicted to being right and no one has the fortitude or patience to put an end to the exact behavior I joined this faith to get away from. The ideal we strive for is one thing, the day to day reality too often something else, at least for me. It is one thing to read, understand, espouse and knock others over the head with the writings, it is quite another to live them!
There is a leadership vacuum, by design I think, in our faith, that psychopathic individuals try to fill with the old style cult of personality nonsense. The Baha'i ideal of consultation is a huge paradigm shift and obviously we are struggling to implement it.
These are very difficult discussions to have, how would one offered your stone not feel ashamed? We all make mistakes and in a culture that so highlights a fall from grace, many of us are just waiting to leap on those who do, thus the title of Brene's book. Daring Greatly. As Baha'is we need to step into the arena, try our best and be Ok with failure and error. Oh don't ignore our mistakes, just hold our heads up and keep on trying no matter what our critics might say. Usually we are our own worst critic.
So I notice you putting some of the pieces together Bill, such as our ability to try to say something that will induce shame in another. Ultimately Baha'u'llah's admonition that shame is our choice is profoundly wise.
We have to strive to live the life, as you say not an easy path, but we are to strive, put in action what we believe to be correct.
And I fully agree with what you say about some, and I repeat some long time Baha'is who still cling to old ideas. But if these people are causing problems then we can appeal to the institutions for guidance, as in the Assembly or the ABM,s, of course this is fraught with problems some times as they may not be up to the task either, so eventually it falls back to the individual, and how mature they/we are, to forget and forgive. And I am sure that I do not have to give quotes on how God, views this action, their is reward yes.
Have taken this path of going to the Institutions myself, even all the way to the UHJ. But I was very satisfied with the eventual outcome, and the wisdom of the advice I received.
And yes learning to work with and from within the institutions is a huge paradigm shift for most of us. But I feel when I look around at different countries we are slowly getting there, of course slowly sometimes too slow for some, but that is the way of the world is it not. Big loving smile.
I feel I must comment on this statement of yours "addicted to being right" yes and upon this idea many of us has fallen, I am sure, in the eyes of God. There are often times when we need to just forget about being right, and see the other person with love and accept that they will never back down, often a hard thing to do.
Loving regards to you.