Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thoughts on Mercy

So far I have written about two virtues, trustworthiness and forbearance. Those are two of five virtues that have been pointed to as "virtues that befit human dignity." Tonight I am going to write about the virtue known as "mercy."

Mercy goes beyond justice. A merciful person is willing to give a person, or an entire nation of people more than they would seem to deserve. In the presence of mercy, there would be little reason for any country to stir up a war or other confrontation, based on the religion or the cultural beliefs of another nation, or of those people who do not share the view of the majority.

Mercy calls on people to display a willingness to start anew, after an argument or battle has ended. Mercy means wiping one's mind of past grievances against one person, or against an entire nation. A wise leader uses mercy and diplomacy in dealing with other leaders. Only if some leader fails to learn from merciful actions do other leaders attempt to exercise some form of justice.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Thougts on Forbearance

Four days ago I shared some thoughts on trustworthiness. That is one of the five virtues that I mentioned in my blog entry for April 19, 2010. In that entry, I said that the five named virtues were the ones that world leaders would need to demonstrate, if they hoped to move our planet closer a certain ideal. the ideal of becoming a more peaceful world.

Tonight I am going to write about a second virtue--forbearance. A leader that demonstrates forbearance acts in a manner that allows him or her to become a shining example of patience and tolerance.

A patient person is someone who is willing to endure a troublesome situation. That does not mean a total acceptance of that situation. A patient person can attempt to bring about change, but he or she exercises patience, when promoting any idea that calls for a sweeping change.

A tolerant person manages to sort out things that need changing from things that are of little importance. A tolerant person learns to accept those things that are "not worth fighting about." A tolerant person exercises flexibility. He or she finds a way to live with a situation until a path for changing that situation has been made clear.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thoughts On Trustworthiness

Today, Earth Day, I am going to write about the first of the five virtues I mentioned in my earlier blog. I feel that a willingness to practice trustworthiness would not only help to push us closer towards a more peaceful world, it would also help us to create a more litter free world.

Trustworthiness means that you can be counted on. When you are trustworthy, then you keep your promises. You show determination, reliability and truthfulness, as you set about doing what you promised to do.

Without an display of trustworthiness agreements and promises have little meaning. President Obama expects the trustworthy leaders who attended his meeting to follow through with thei promises. The pleas her today regarding treatment of the environment seek trustworthiness from every member of society. Each person is expected to do what they claim they will do.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thoughts on a More Peaceful World

One week ago today, President Obama began a special summit meeting, one designed to reduce the amount of "loose" nuclear material in today's world. Right now a second group of leaders is holding a second meeting on nuclear proliferation. This second meeting is taking place in Iran.

I find it interesting that both of these meetings are being held in April. In April of 1912, one Persian gentleman stepped off of a boat in New York's harbor. He told news reporters that he had come to the United States in order to promote efforts for world peace.

Abdu'l-Baha's writings formed the basis for many of the opinions put forth in the book The Promis of World Peace. The final chapter in that book suggests five virtues that show a respect for human dignity. The authors of this book maintain that a willingness by leaders to adhere to those five virtues can help to push along the slow progress that the world is making, the progress towards world peace.

I plan to offer insights on those five virtues in my coming blogs.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thoughts on Teaching Children

Tonight I watched the Larry King Show on CNN. The host was interviewing Bill Cosby. He was answering questions about bullying.

Cosby pointed to the failure of teachers and administrators to identify bullies before they could do great harm to any student. His comments brought to mind a quote from Abdu'l-Baha. I had read that comment just this past Saturday, while at a Baha'i program on spiritual parenting.

Here is that quote:
"Childern are een as a branch that is freah and green; they will grow up in whatever way ye train them. Take the utmost care to give them high ideals and goals, so that once they come of age, they will cast their beams like brilliant candles on the world, and will not be defiled by lusts and pasions in the way of animals, heedless and unaware, but instead will set their hearts on achieving everlasting honour and acquiring all the excellences of mankind."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thoughts on Religious Grounding

Yesterday, I heard that President Obama had spoken at a prayer breakfast. He had pointed to the important role that his religion had played in his life. The religious teachings of his father, Baha'u'llah played an important role in the life of Abdu'l-Baha. Here is a quote from the writings of Abdu'l-Baha:

The blessings of Bahá'u'lláh are a shoreless sea,
and even life everlasting
is only a dewdrop therefrom.