A Socially-Redeeming Ad?

adsI normally wouldn’t put an advertisement video on this blog…

My goal here is to bring social and cultural issues to light and attempt to raise them to the level of Principle…

Too often we take the facts of a situation and try to find a resolution at the level of the facts themselves. This rarely works since facts alone won’t reveal reasons and values and goals that the facts are merely pointing to…

Solutions happen when values are considered; especially if the solution involves more than one person…

So, all that said, here’s a Pantene commercial; yes, the shampoo. I wish more products had such socially valuable ads…

Spiritual Quote:

“See how, in this day, the scope of sciences and arts hath widened out, and what wondrous technical advances have been made, and to what a high degree the mind’s powers have increased, and what stupendous inventions have appeared.

“This age is indeed as a hundred other ages: should ye gather the yield of a hundred ages, and set that against the accumulated product of our times, the yield of this one era will prove greater than that of a hundred gone before. Take ye, for an example, the sum total of all the books that were ever written in ages past, and compare that with the books and treatises that our era hath produced: these books, written in our day alone, far and away exceed the total number of volumes that have been written down the ages. See how powerful is the influence exerted by the Day-Star of the world upon the inner essence of all created things!

“But alas, a thousand times alas! The eyes see it not, the ears are deaf, and the hearts and minds are oblivious of this supreme bestowal. Strive ye then, with all your hearts and souls, to awaken those who slumber, to cause the blind to see, and the dead to rise.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 111

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Videos For Social Good

Social_GoodFrom the social media guide, Mashable : “Web video can be an especially effective way for charities to get the word out about their cause….the most creative videos tend to be the most memorable and leave a more lasting impression.”

And, even though the world needs more organizations working toward social good, it’s becoming clear that there needs to be a stronger unifying force among these organizations—a wide and deep human wave of unified feeling—a stronger sense of the Oneness of Humanity…

While we’re all working to strengthen our sense of unity, let’s look at three of the videos from the Mashable  site that dramatically and effectively present their message.

The first is from DropTheWeapons.Org. This is an interactive video that let’s you decide which way the action goes…

This next video, from Green For All, uses creative sound to underscore the message…

Our final video shows two Nerdfighters who took over UTube to help charities raise money…

Spiritual Quote:

“Question. — Through what means will the spirit of man — that is to say, the rational soul — after departing from this mortal world, make progress?

“Answer. — The progress of man’s spirit in the divine world, after the severance of its connection with the body of dust, is through the bounty and grace of the Lord alone, or through the intercession and the sincere prayers of other human souls, or through the charities and important good works which are performed in its name.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 240

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Are You *Really* Educated?

educated_peopleYes! magazine is good for a lot of reasons…

One of the latest goodies on their site is a list of twelve things a really  educated person knows…

From the site: “You won’t find ‘takes honors classes’, ‘gets good grades’, or ‘attends only Ivy League schools’ on John Taylor Gatto’s list of qualities of an educated person.”

Do check out the full article but here are those points of real education:

1: Establish an individual set of values but recognize those of the surrounding community and of the various cultures of the world.

2: Explore their own ancestry, culture, and place.

3: Are comfortable being alone, yet understand dynamics between people and form healthy relationships.

4: Accept mortality, knowing that every choice affects the generations to come.

5: Create new things and find new experiences.

6: Think for themselves; observe, analyze, and discover truth without relying on the opinions of others.

7: Favor love, curiosity, reverence, and empathy rather than material wealth.

8: Choose a vocation that contributes to the common good.

9: Enjoy a variety of new places and experiences but identify and cherish a place to call home.

10: Express their own voice with confidence.

11: Add value to every encounter and every group of which they are a part.

12: Always ask: “Who am I? Where are my limits? What are my possibilities?”

Spiritual Quote:

“Bahá’u’lláh taught the Oneness of humanity; that is to say, all the children of men are under the mercy of the Great God. They are the sons of one God; they are trained by God. He has placed the crown of humanity on the head of every one of the servants of God. Therefore all nations and peoples must consider themselves brethren. They are all descendants from Adam. They are the branches, leaves, flowers and fruits of One Tree. They are pearls from one shell. But the children of men are in need of education and civilization, and they require to be polished, till they become bright and shining.

“Man and woman both should be educated equally and equally regarded.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá  in London, p. 28

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You Have A Genius…

Elizabeth_Gilbert

This woman faced down a pre-midlife crisis by doing what we all secretly dream of – running off for a year.

Elizabeth Gilbert is an extremely gifted writer. She also has well-grounded ideas about what “Genius” really  means! She soared into celebrity with her book, Eat, Pray, Love, “fueled by a mix of intelligence, wit and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible”.

The following video will show you her storytelling skills as well as her dedication to honoring the genius within every creative act.

Prepare to be surprised, delighted, and inspired:

Want to listen to Elizabeth read part of Eat, Pray, Love  and answer questions from some of the folks who work at Google?

Spiritual Quote:

“The confirmations of the Spirit are all those powers and gifts which some are born with (and which men sometimes call genius), but for which others have to strive with infinite pains. They come to that man or woman who accepts his life with radiant acquiescence.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 120

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Love Lost…

Love_Lost

Love

The most valuable yet misunderstood Power in the Universe…

Where do we find it?

Where does it find us?

~~~

‘Tis said, God is Love…

So, why do we, created in God’s Image, so often have love go wrong…?

What’s Your  Image of Love?

Enjoy this song—Exuberant Music, Tragic Lyrics…

By the way, the Lady and the guitarist in the blue plaid shirt are married…

There’s Some Techie Issue–So, Just click the Video, Then Click “Watch on YouTube”…

Spiritual Quote:

“I am lost, O Love, possessed and dazed,

Love’s fool am I, in all the earth.

They call me first among the crazed,

Though I once came first for wit and worth…

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Memorials of the Faithful, p. 22

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Money

money_world“There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.” ~ Andrew Carnegie

Carnegie is said to have amassed $298.3 billion in 2007 dollars.

He’s also quoted as saying: “I resolved to stop accumulating and begin the infinitely more serious and difficult task of wise distribution.”

Considering money in more general terms, there’s a wonderful and innovative four-part documentary on PBS called the Ascent of Money narrated by Niall Ferguson. Certainly not a dry documentary; more like a video novel…

The following Spiritual Quote  is a letter from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (a man poor in money yet vastly rich in spirit) written to Andrew Carnegie.

Spiritual Quote:

“O respected personage! I have read your work, The Gospel of Wealth [1], and noted therein truly apposite and sound recommendations for easing the lot of humankind.
[1] An article from Andrew Carnegie’s book The Gospel of Wealth  was published in England in the Pall Mall Budget  and called, also, The Gospel of Wealth, cf. Andrew Carnegie’s Autobiography 255n.

“To state the matter briefly, the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh advocate voluntary sharing, and this is a greater thing than the equalization of wealth. For equalization must be imposed from without, while sharing is a matter of free choice.

“Man reacheth perfection through good deeds, voluntarily performed, not through good deeds the doing of which was forced upon him. And sharing is a personally chosen righteous act: that is, the rich should extend assistance to the poor, they should expend their substance for the poor, but of their own free will, and not because the poor have gained this end by force. For the harvest of force is turmoil and the ruin of the social order. On the other hand voluntary sharing, the freely-chosen expending of one’s substance, leadeth to society’s comfort and peace. It lighteth up the world; it bestoweth honour upon humankind.

“I have seen the good effects of your own philanthropy in America, in various universities, peace gatherings, and associations for the promotion of learning, as I travelled from city to city. Wherefore do I pray on your behalf that you shall ever be encompassed by the bounties and blessings of heaven, and shall perform many philanthropic deeds in East and West. Thus may you gleam as a lighted taper in the Kingdom of God, may attain honour and everlasting life, and shine out as a bright star on the horizon of eternity.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 115

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False Religion

false_religionSo much hate being spread in the name of religion…

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, son of the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, once said:

“Any religion which is not a cause of love and unity is no religion.”

He also said, “A Bahá’í denies no religion; he accepts the Truth in all, and would die to uphold it.”

Recent events in Pakistan show the dark side of this issue:

From The New York Times: Hate Engulfs Christians in Pakistan “The attack in this shabby town in central Pakistan — the culmination of several days of rioting over a claim that a Koran had been defiled — shows how precarious life is for the tiny Christian minority in Pakistan.”

From CNN: About 200 arrested in violence against Christians in Pakistan “Seven people were killed and 20 injured Saturday when Muslim demonstrators set fire to houses in a Christian enclave…”

From Agence France-Presse: Pakistan Christian schools strike after killings “An angry mob of Muslims torched 40 houses and a church in the remote village of Gojra in Pakistan’s heartland province of Punjab…”

It’s no wonder more and more intelligent people can say things like, “I’m very spiritual but certainly not religious…”.

Spiritual Quote:

“…it is evident that the Divine religions are meant to create a bond of love among humanity, and to bind the people together for no other purpose than amity. Divine religion is not a cause for discord and disagreement. If religion be the cause of discord and difference, then no religion is preferable, for religion is meant to be life to the body politic. If it be the cause of death to humanity, then its non-existence is preferable. Therefore, in this day religion is to be sought, for religious teachings may well be likened to remedies. If a remedy be productive of worse symptoms, the lack or absence of the remedy is preferable.”
Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 312

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