You have all been asking about the rally and how did it go! Here is a brief report.
May 9th was a sunny Southern California spring day and the grass on the Walker Beach of the campus of Pomona College could not have been greener.Under the shade of an old oak tree we set up our tables and refreshments, cake, crackers, cuts of watermelon, bottles of water, markers, papers, etc. And then people came! Within a few minutes a large group of elementary and highschool students stopped by to learn of the story of the Baha’i children of Iran and with the guidance and help of their teachers and the college students, they sat at the tables, on the ground any where they could find and drew the pictures of their love and support for their Baha’i freinds whom they had never met. “It is so natural and uplifting when you extend and radiate love. Children benefit psychologically as well as spiritually when they express unconditional love and care” said one teacher holding my hand. “Please come and speak to our class” said another while giving me her e-mail and phone.
By their very developmental nature, children are self centered and what ever happens to others, in reality is happening to them. When they express care and love for others, they become a lot more resilient themselves, when they practice loving thoughts and actions towards others, they feel loved and uplifted themselves. As my friends Jack Canfield once said; “The love we give to others is second hand because before they become the recipient of it, we have benefited from it ourselves.”
There was not a single soul who happened to pass by and not join us and be glad to draw a picture of love and support for the Baha’i children of Iran. Defending the human rights and especially the human rights of children seemed especially resonate with these young students. In the meantime, those who had not heard about the Baha’i Faith wanted to know about it and became interested in its global message of oneness of God, oneness of humanity and the oneness of all religions of God. “It makes sense”, most of them did say.
One student who was absolutely passionate to hear the message of Baha’u’llah’s about the importance of unconditional universal love for all mankind, remarked; “We all need to wake up to His tune, our Titanic is sinking, the kind of mess we have made of this world and the kind of rift religious leaders, in particular, have caused for centuries has made our global village a frightening place. Nothing short of Divine intervention can fix this mess. Economists have failed us, politicians have failed us, religious leaders have failed us, no one has the remedy. We needs a new divine software and we need to clean the cache’s from the past downloads. In fact we need a new hard-drive. No more repairs or remodeling of the existing religious structures by self appointed wise guys!!”
Another student, said: “I am taking a break from preparing for my finals. Thank you for this refreshing invitation. I feel like I am helping to set people free. Last time I had this similar feeling was when I participated with a group of volunteers at a beach taking the tar off the feathers of birds who could no longer fly. It felt so good to help them fly. This feels just like it.”
The day also afforded the young and old playing and sharing. KC lead everyone in a participatory dance with hula-hoops. Even professor Kuhlwein took a swing and joined the hula-hoop crowd much to the delight of the students! People gathered around to hear the melancoly sound of Bryant Forseman’s bag pipes, young children played on their bikes. Roger Allen and his family joined us on their bikes. Many came and sat on the grass to hear the tar and settar of Iraj Kamal-Abadi accompanied by the daff played by Arsalan Geula in a sereis of Persian classical pieces.
Deborah Conow video taped the whole event and as soon as she finishes with the editing you will get to see her wonderful gift to the Baha’i children of Iran. Ben and Natalie made sure everything and everyone was taken care of. They had made posters with KC and printed a beautiful leaflet that gave information about Drawing the Circle of Unity campaign and our www.kidsidebyside.org. Many participants asked for their names to be written in Persian calligraphy on their leaflet by keyvan or Iraj. The organizing committee was so excited and was encouraged by the success of the rally that decided to repeat it on a regular basis perhaps once ever few months.
We all closed the day with uplifted hearts, having met a good number of new friends and supporters of the human rights of all children. We brought home a thick stack of love cards and drawing to add to our Drawing the Circle of Unity posts on our kidsidebyside web site.
we thank all those who worked hard to make this wonderful expression of love and support for the Baha’i children of Iran a reality. Let us keep them in our prayers and keep drawing over and over more Circles of Unity cards and pictures.