hoppity hop

Today (technically last night) is my three-month anniversary of living in Victoriaville. It’s been three months since the feast of Jamál (Beauty) when I set foot on this blessed piece of earth to stay. I look back on it now and I don’t regret it for a moment.

My AOL access ran out today, so I’m back to using email at the library. It’s not so bad now, because it’s about a five-minute walk there. When I move it’ll probably be about ten minutes. Exercise! Gotta love it. My bike has a flat, apparently. I’ll have to work that out with the person who I loaned it to. Bicycles are indispensible. They save on gas and money, they help you get exercise and keep you healthy, and so on and so forth. If someone knows a good way to exercise one’s arms and upper body, please email me and let me know. I have to work on my upper body strength. My legs are fine because I’ve walked and run and cycled so much in my life, but I don’t often work with my arms and the rest. And my abdomen, too.

Spiritually, life is okay. I am really enjoying taking Ruhi Book 3. Like all the books, it’s not only useful for learning skills of service, but also for changing your own perspective on spirituality. Perhaps accepting to take on the role of servant for the Cause teaches you how to live a better life — the spirit of service animates and gives life to divine civilization. If only more people understood that, right? That’s why it’s our duty to teach the Cause as well as serve. I am in the process of learning how to teach people about the Bahá’í Faith. At first I didn’t really know how or why it’s done. But it must be important since Bahá’u’lláh has prescribed it as a duty to each and every one of us, no? Start from that fact and learn how to reconcile it with your life, and then learn how to carry it out.

I’m also starting to realize that the more I think of myself as being here to “educate”, “teach”, or “enlighten” people about life, the more I cheat myself of the vital experience of learning about life, which I desperately need. Perhaps I can teach people lots of things. But no man, except the Manifestation of God, is only a teacher. All of us are learning and sharing our knowledge and wisdom as much as we can.

Another thing I’m learning is that unity is so important. So much more important than everything else. It doesn’t matter if the way we work is inefficient or crazy or wrong — the fundamental prerequisite for any successful action is unity. And if we are united and we turn our faces towards God, then He will guide us and the truth will be unveiled. Personal confrontations, pet peeves, prejudices, none of it matters. All of it will fall away before the face of God. Having trust in God and complete reliance on Him is our duty, and this is His bounty to us.

Anyway my hour is up soon. I’m glad I’m back from New York. I don’t think I’m cut out for life in the big city. This place is so beautiful and so appealing.

Today I got a photo from the study circle in Ruhi Book 1 that Elham and I tutored back in February-March of this year. What a nice reminder of such a great experience. The participants were Persian students from the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education in Iran, the one that has weathered such severe attacks from the Iranian government recently. What a group of unforgettably friendly and spiritual people. It seems like the greatest thing about Bahá’ís is that no matter who you are or where you are in the world, if you can find a Bahá’í, then you’ve found a friend. Everyone should strive to attain that degree of selflessness and all-embracing love for humanity. Imagine the result!

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