EMBRACING THE NEW YEAR

  “Those virtues that befit dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion, and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth.”

                                 ~from   Baha’i Faith, Science and Spirituality, page 170

The year 2017 has already shown to have numerous challenges, and those challenges are clearly going to increase as the year continues.  The first response to these many challenges would likely be to get discouraged and just accept whatever comes.  But a more sensible response, one that involves personal faith, is to meet these times of stress and uncertainty with a sense of purpose and to act based on our highest values and with plenty of courage.

President-elect Donald Trump has already called for a new nuclear arms race, in which he seems to think that the United States would be the winner.  No such thing could be more dangerous than to go in that direction. A more appropriate response to statements of that kind should be to speak up and to take the necessary actions to prevent an arms race from happening.  As with the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline, if enough of us do speak up and get involved, many such unwise actions can be prevented.

People of faith have a special opportunity to take action together in times like these.  As with the Baha’i quotation at the top of this page, the qualities of forbearance, mercy, compassion, and loving-kindness are what can be most successful in changing the minds of those who would do harm to individuals and society.  This year appears to be the year when a lot of courage and other positive qualities will be needed to keep our society on a constructive path.  With that in mind, now is a good time to prepare ourselves for what is to come.

We do not need to spend the money to build a wall between ourselves and Mexico, and we are unwise to start making a list of Muslims who either should be deported or refused admission to this country just because they are Muslims.  Our diversity of race, culture, and religion are among our strengths as a nation, so it is not sensible to change that direction just because we have a different administration in Washington, D.C.

Instead, we would do well to more faithfully cultivate our spiritual practice and to meet with others in a spiritual community who are devoting themselves to building a deeper faith, as well as to become involved in the interfaith movement.   For those who are unfamiliar with the interfaith movement, it is gatherings of people of different faiths who come together to strengthen their spiritual practices and to serve the will-being of their community and the world.

 

Spirit is One; paths are many!

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