Virtues

Quit Playing Games

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It seems that from culture to culture, no matter if you’re from Seychelles or France, Nova Scotia or the Yucatan, certain things are universally appealing. The pursuit of love, of a relationship, sitting perhaps atop the list of things people are seeking. Since the appearance of humans on this planet, one could safely guess, we have been trying to woo one another or convince one another that we are worthy of being wooed.

Sure, things have changed quite dramatically over the last century. In some parts of the world, it’s now almost even acceptable for the woman to chase the man, or at the very least, not play so hard to get.

But the word “play” is an interesting one when it comes to relationships. As divorce rates are on the rise, couples’ therapy sessions grow in popularity, and dating “How-to” guides stalk the shelves of many a book store, it seems we humans haven’t quite figured out this romantic love thing yet. Everybody wants it, but many are clueless about how to get it.

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On synchronicity and an epiphany about vulnerability

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I have two ways of loving You:
A selfish one
And another way that is worthy of You.
In my selfish love, I remember You and You alone.
In that other love, You lift the veil
And let me feast my eyes on Your Living Face.
Rabi’√° al-Basra

Everyone has experienced synchronicity. You learn a new word and suddenly you hear it everywhere? You start thinking about a concept and people around you start bringing it up? Wikipedia defines synchronicity in a very succinct manner:

Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events which occur in a meaningful manner, but which are causally un-related. In order to be ’synchronistic’, the events must be related to one another temporally, and the chance that they would occur together by random chance must be very small.

I have come to believe, simply from my experience, that synchronicity is very often a divine message. A way of God and the Universe nudging you in the right direction. Although it may be perfectly explainable logically, it is anomalous in our perception. At the very least it cannot be ignored. In my life I have one great experience of synchronicity. Throughout the months before I discovered the Baha’i Faith, while still in a limbo of developing panentheism from my atheism, I kept thinking that a religion ought to be founded that united the Abrahamic Faiths and took the attitude of Islam to other religions (Every people being sent a Prophet). During this time, the Baha’i Faith popped up quite a few times in my life. So, from my experience in life and the experiences of others relayed to me, I strongly believe that synchronicity at least demands our respect and attention.

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How Do You Say "Baha'i" In Sign Language?

As far as I know, there is no official way to sign “Baha’i” in sign language.

Stephen Bedingfield offers the suggested sign - to the left - for the deaf and hard of hearing community to represent the word “Baha’i”. If I’m blessed enough to have any readers from that community, I’d appreciate their input.

This reminds me of a story: One day I was dining at an outdoor cafe with a Baha’i friend when we were approached by a deaf person who simply placed a small, well-worn card on our table and walked away to do the same to the other tables.

When I picked it up I read that he was asking for money and explaining that he was deaf. When he returned to our table, my friend surprised him by speaking to him in sign language. At first he was shocked because she was not deaf but had by choice learned sign language.

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Vulnerability, unity and justice

In "Unity Through Vulnerability," Gerald wrote:

"Expect more posts from me on vulnerability."
{josquote}It seems wrong to me to want our castaways to practice fellowship with people on our bandwagons, without addressing the abuse and injustice at the same time{/josquote}

I hope he will post more on vulnerability. The idea of vulnerability as a part of unity intrigues me. It might be a way of approaching humility and unity without getting lost in some popular misconceptions about them. I'm thinking also of "meekness."

In my "Deeds Not Words" blog I wrote about working to improve my conduct, and learning from others. This might be a good place for me to start. I've been thinking of Gerald as an example of not drawing lines, and exploring this idea of vulnerability with him might be a good way to learn from him.

In a comment to that post, Brendan wrote:

"What makes unity so really hard is that you still have to find a way to challenge and to oppose perceived injustice without a sense of separation from those you perceive as the agents of that injustice."

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Unity Through Vulnerability

{josquote}When we are vulnerable, we are dependent on others and unity necessarily comes.{/josquote}

I want to thank my friends and fellow Baha’i bloggers George and Jim for referencing me in recent posts¬† (Here & here) on their great blogs. George is an old favorite of mine, a king among Baha’i bloggers and an example to us all; Jim is newer to me, but I keep running in to him online and being thoroughly impressed. Both of them commented in a way on my wariness to draw or focus on lines between groups of people. I recently saw a great documentary on homosexuality in American Christianity. A cleric in this documentary said, criticising the homophobic strains of American Christianity ‘”The oldest way to create group unity is to create an ‘other’”. He proposed that homosexuals are the newest in a long-line of ‘others’. I believe the faith teaches that the creation of ‘others’ is the least effective and most fickle way to bring about group unity. My love for the Faith, my wish to ensure it’s unity and bring about through it worldwide unity, demands that I neither create ‘others’ or subscribe to pre-existent definitions of ‘us and them’.

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