27 September 2022
Fidál, 01 Mashíyyat (Will), 179 B.E
The sun behind clouds and blue skies makes the magnolia and maple branches and leaves into beautiful silhouettes:
It’s been two days since I participated in the IEF 26th Annual Conference by Zoom. I still can’t get over how much time members spoke about the need for change but told so few stories about doing it. As a new member, I found it difficult to know how to get involved in a meaningful way.
How could one redesign such a session to have a more productive outcome? I’m not sure I know. But I’m committed to seek alternatives, beginning with five basic questions:
- What is a preferred outcome of such a session? (What changes as a result?)
- How does the agenda lead to the preferred outcome? (How does it focus attention on changing something?)
- How do participants prepare beforehand to contribute to the agenda during the session? (How does their input advance conversations about making change happen?)
- How does technology support participants to make their contributions in the session? (How does it assist the lowest-common denominator among participants in their technology savviness?)
- How does this session fit into a framework of ongoing change? (How does it not become a standalone or one-off event?)
I’m not exempt from being part of the problem. I write too much and what I write is too difficult to read and understand. That doesn’t help anyone. If my writing is worth reading, then I should write so as many readers as possible can get what it means and act on it.
To that end, I’ve written this section using the Hemingway Editor. This section is 260 words at Grade 6 readability. Seems to have gone OK.
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What are the fruits of the human world? They are the spiritual attributes which appear in man. If man is bereft of those attributes, he is like a fruitless tree. One whose aspiration is lofty and who has developed self-reliance will not be content with a mere animal existence. He will seek the divine Kingdom; he will long to be in heaven although he still walks the earth in his material body, and though his outer visage be physical, his face of inner reflection will become spiritual and heavenly. Until this station is attained by man, his life will be utterly devoid of real outcomes. The span of his existence will pass away in eating, drinking and sleeping, without eternal fruits, heavenly traces or illumination—without spiritual potency, everlasting life or the lofty attainments intended for him during his pilgrimage through the human world. You must thank God that your efforts are high and noble, that your endeavors are worthy, that your intentions are centered upon the Kingdom of God and that your supreme desire is the acquisition of eternal virtues. You must act in accordance with these requirements. A man may be a Bahá’í in name only. If he is a Bahá’í in reality, his deeds and actions will be decisive proofs of it. What are the requirements? Love for mankind, sincerity toward all, reflecting the oneness of the world of humanity, philanthropy, becoming enkindled with the fire of the love of God, attainment to the knowledge of God and that which is conducive to human welfare. 1
- ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 336. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/26#332670787 [return]