75 Questions: Day 67

75  days ago, which then was the exact number of days before the opening of New Year 2017, according to the Gregorian calendar, was the start of the blog questions. The countdown began and now there are 8 more days until New Year (Monday – Sunday). Thus, the remaining blog postings will continue to ask you just one question.

The valued intent of all 75 questions is to probe, to prompt a reaction, to get you to stretch, to press beyond tradition or boundaries, to think broader, to break free, to face the fear, or to liberate you by confirming what you already know for sure. You are only asked to respond each day with a thoughtful answer to the question.

Each question, ultimately, gives you the intimate space to recover how to love yourself which universally expands to allow you to love and live with nobility. Noble thoughts = noble actions. Noble actions produce a noble life.

“Noble have I created thee…rise then to that for which you were created.” ~Hidden Words -Baha’ullah

These 75 question can precipitate change. The question is to be a inquiry into pathways of inner change that leaves you feeling more healthy, safe, in control, powerful, intrigued, and authentic.

When these awesome emotions are opened up within you (they already exist), you change and your world changes and the whole world changes with you.

Question 67: When are you noble?

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Unity In Diversity

America celebrates inclusion. Actually, dissatisfied citizens around the world watched the evidence of unity in diversity in America and join the celebrants in America. Millions of disenfranchised, oppressed or marginalized people, especially women, worldwide who long for a different world of inclusion see the possibility.

Unity in diversity embodies more than skin color; it is a pledge of the acceptance of human dignity. The idea of unity that includes the diversity of humankind, progressive thought and equal opportunity signals inclusion. It recognizes the deepest human longing – fairness.

Goodwill unifies. Equality unifies. Fairness unifies. People in every hamlet, village, town, reservation, or country in the world cry out for fairness. Goodwill does not bend to politics. Goodwill opens the mind to inclusion rather than exclusion because of gender, race, geography or economic status.

Mankind is one. Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, sacrificed much to free the people in her country.  Nelson Mandela sacrificed for the freedom of his people in South Africa. Shirin Ebadi of Iran sacrifices for justice in her land. President Obama in the United States of America, another Nobel laureate, believes “We will rise and fall as one nation, and as one people.” These Nobel peace prize laureates and many, many others struggle for fairness for all mankind across the world.

Women deserve dignity. The struggle for dignity extends to a former girl prostitute in India who was forced to sell her body. Sakena Yacoobi in Afghanistan fights to educate girls to fix the country’s severe gender imbalances. Layli Miller-Muro in the United States who protects immigrant women and girls fleeing the violence of genital mutilation champions dignity.   These conjoined problems of sex trafficking, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality all over the world depend on restoring women’s dignity.  Read Half the Sky

Unity in diversity is vital to the equality, dignity, goodwill and protection of all people.

Fantastic Friday: Bahai Fast

This is a Fantastic Friday for millions of Baha’is, and those who support the Faith, all over the world.   Baha’is around the world will arise for prayers before sunup on March 2, the first of nineteen days of fasting, as they begin their yearly fasting period – an annual renewal of faith.  It is a special time for prayer and also involves abstaining from food and drink between sunrise and sundown for 19 straight days. Members of the Baha’i Faith ages 15 to 70 observe the fast, which ends just before the Baha’i new year on March 21 unless you are exempt because you are traveling, nursing or ill.

Shoghi Effendi, the head of the Baha’i Faith from 1921 until his passing in 1957, described the fast in this way: “It is essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul.”

Baha’i fast is essentially a period of meditation and prayer.  During these days of cleansing and detachment – the essence of the fast – one is spiritually removed from the dross of this world by concentrating thoughts on peace, unity, sacrifice, service, humility, and gratitude for these days of enrichment.

Any person can participate during this fast period, in fact many people who accept these principles, join the Bahai’s during these days of serenity.

A prayer for fasting:

“This is, O my God, the first of the days on which Thou hast bidden Thy loved ones to observe the Fast. I ask of Thee by Thy Self and by him who hath fasted out of love for Thee and for Thy good-pleasure – and not out of self and desire, nor out of fear of Thy wrath – and by Thy most excellent names and august attributes, to purify Thy servants ….” (excerpt from a Baha’i prayer for fasting, page 260)