I was away for a little over a week. Part of it I taught a class at Green Acre Baha’i school to a most enthused group of parents and spiritually invigorating adults. What a joy. It really brought the saying true that says; if you wish to be with God, be in the company of the lovers of God. The subject of the course was story and how and why story is so so much appreciated by the human soul. Also we explored how sharing stories is used throughout the ages to motivate, captivate, manipulate, transform and heal us.
I had many opportunities to share the stories of the Baha’i children in Iran with children, youth as well as adults. The story of the Havij (carrot), the birthday gift for Taraneh brought much tears to many eyes. The stories of the perseverance, audacity and courage of the Baha’i prisoners inspired and uplifted many.
The first day I arrived at Green Acre I met a young man who had recently left Iran. He had some horror stories about how he was humiliated and mocked by his teachers and classmates for being a Baha’i. With tears in his eyes, he talked about how frightening it was when his teachers spoke of Baha’i as spies, terrorists, infidels, God forsaken people who are the enemies of God. The trauma of his classmates turning around and looking at him with suspicion and contempt, still hunts him.
He also shared the stories of those courageous teachers who took their sacred task of education very seriously and made sure they stayed on the side of the angels of compassion and humanity and secretly showed their love and support for their young student’s so called non traditional beliefs.
His face had a most soul steering expression when he said he has mixed feelings about being in US. He said he is gradually getting used to feeling safe around other youths who do not share his beliefs. He is delighted to be able to discuss important issues from a Baha’i perspective with his teachers and classmates; hear their thoughts and share his about how religion can be the best and the worst. He said; “Can you believe it, I talked out loud in the class that Bahaú’llah teaches that if religion becomes the cause of disunity, have no religion. I could not believe my own voice!!”
He said: “I feel guilty and sad to have left my friends behind. I have a dear friend who was a most outstanding, bright and hard working student in high school and won a most difficult scholarship in a competition among thousands of students. The minute they found out she was a Baha’i she was disqualified. They told her if she denies her beliefs and go public on it, she will get the scholarship. She told them no thanks! It pains me deeply, every time I think of her not being able to go to university and her defeated look.”
Green Acre is such a magical place. I took advantage of being amongst people who love to make every wrong right and will gladly go many extra miles to make a difference. I got permission to go to the nine and ten year old class and share the story of the Baha’i children in Iran and Drawing the Circle of Unity campaign. The children gladly accepted to write and draw their special notes of love and support for their fellow Baha’i friends in Iran. You will be seeing their pictures as soon as I scan them.
The junior youth group gave a most special gift to the Baha’i students in Iran. They were studying Bahaú’llah’s Fire Tablet and used this opportunity to do a most impressive scroll of integrated drawings based on the themes of that most powerful Tablet. I am hoping to put their drawings also on the site so everyone can see it and be uplifted.
Yes, I do believe that the light of unity is powerful and eventually it will illuminate the whole world. We, however, need more, a whole lot more people to hold a candle for the oneness of all humanity burning bright.
To all the loving souls at Green Acre who heard the stories with all their heart, I offer my humble thanks.