Exuberant Emancipation !!!

finding_bibiWe often feel paralyzed when it comes to taking action on social issues, even when we feel passionate about them.

Common excuses are:

~ I’m only one person…

~ I don’t have enough information…

~ I don’t know the right people…

~ What would my friends/family think of me…?

Filmmaker, Bita Haidarian, probably felt all these excuses raise their heads but she stood up, faced them, and found solutions. That’s her in the picture but, from what I’ve found out, I feel it’s a parody of her—who she may have been before she found her Mission.

Her film, Finding Bibi, is best introduced by the words from the site that’s forming a full-blown Movement around the experience:

“Bita Haidarian, an award-winning Iranian American filmmaker fresh out of film school, sets off on a journey around the world to answer the big questions—who am I, where do I come from, and where can a girl find a good laser hair removalist?

“Born in America to Bahá’í refugee parents from Iran, Bita tells the tragic-comic story of her family coming to America, her childhood in Texas, trying to fit in, and competitive cheerleading—all part of the quest of a girl who knows more about MTV than Al Jazeera.”

The movie’s name comes from part of Bita’s search for identity—finding Mukhtaran Bibi, a Pakistani woman who suffered a gang rape as a form of “honour revenge”, a custom of local tribesmen. Also by custom, she was expected to commit suicide. “Instead, she spoke up, and using word of mouth, took her case to court where her rapists were arrested and charged.”

The introductory trailer for the upcoming movie is both educative and hilarious. Bita’s interviews with intoxicated fans at a football game, first in her American clothes, then in robe and veil, are at once humorous and chilling. When she goes to Pakistan and introduces her “Lower Your Gaze” glasses so men won’t be tempted to look at a woman’s face, she instructs while instilling trans-cultural good-will.

It’s all about spirited empowerment—irreverent respectfulness. In a word, Amazing!

Spiritual Quote:

“Through your letter to the Universal House of Justice of 14 January you requested a copy of a purported Tablet of Bahá’u’lláh on the subject of humour, and we are instructed to inform you that no Tablet by the Blessed Beauty on this subject is known. However, in a Tablet Bahá’u’lláh states that one of the Names of God is the ‘Humourist’.

“The Tablet mentioned above is revealed in the Arabic language. It has not to date been translated into English. Though it begins with the words, ‘In My Name, the Humourist’….it is a serious mystical poem, revealed in the form of a prayer. The text does not illuminate the reference to the ‘Humourist’. It is, however, interesting to note that, while dealing with an exalted theme, the language of expression is, unexpectedly, that of the common people —light, simple, and even colloquial.
The Universal House of Justice, 1997 Jan 12, The Humourist, p. 1

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Gaza, Israel, and Justice

You can read all our Gaza posts heregaza_israel_justice

Aaron and Julia at the Café


A: You’re totally mad !

J: Why, thank you, sir. It’s been said that to be crazy in an insane world is healthy…

A: The world sure is acting insane but a world government? Let’s just make the elite class even stronger and all become slaves.

J: I’m not talking about a dictatorial government; more like one that the whole human family elects. Just look at Gaza and Israel and the United States and Egypt and a few others. All those people in all those governments talking about justice and the citizens still suffer. The balance of world powers is off and trying to regain equilibrium by violence or embargoes or political fiat won’t ever make the scales come even.

A: Big dreams sweetie but nobody will ever be ethical enough to run a world government and the people won’t ever be smart enough to participate in a global election process.

~~~~~~~~~
Aaron and Julia talked for another hour and didn’t come to an agreement…
~~~~~~~~~

Outside my imaginary café people are saying very similar things and it’s fairly obvious the balance of global power is off-kilter and the citizens of many countries are steaming mad.

Consider the following news items:

From Al Jazeera: Fear and trauma in Gaza’s schools – An article about the adjustments in Gaza’s youthful population

From Bloomberg: Americans Sympathetic Toward Israel on Gaza in Poll – Opinion from the other side of the Big Pond

From The New York Times: The Bullets in My In-Box – A reporter discusses how he tries to maintain a balance within a highly polarized situation

The Gaza Conflict is just the latest in what seems to be an upward spiral of violent conflict and contention. It seems clear to me that the current systems of governance are not bringing us closer to global, or even local, peace.

What if there could  be an organization of human affairs that included all, enslaved none, and truly set the human spirit free?

The Bahá’ís say they’re working toward that dream and that their Universal House of Justice (which happens to be in the country of Israel) is the most important human step yet taken to lead to global peace.

By way of introduction to my Spiritual Quote for this post, I’ll let a Bahá’í poet have her say:

Look to Haifa, all Israel;
~~Look to Israel, Haifa, from Mount Carmel.

Look to Israel, all people;
~~Look to all people, Israel, from The Universal House of Justice on the holy mountain.

Look to the House of Justice, all lands and earth;
~~Look, lands homeless, hopeless, to the hope of justice in the house of man.

Susan Marie Le Mar, PsalmSpeak

Spiritual Quote:

“The physical unification of the planet in our time and the awakening aspirations of the mass of its inhabitants have at last produced the conditions that permit achievement of the ideal, although in a manner far different from that imagined by imperial dreamers of the past. To this effort the governments of the world have contributed the founding of the United Nations Organization, with all its great blessings, all its regrettable shortcomings.

“Somewhere ahead lie the further great changes that will eventually impel acceptance of the principle of world government itself. The United Nations does not possess such a mandate, nor is there anything in the current discourse of political leaders that seriously envisions so radical a restructuring of the administration of the affairs of the planet. That it will come about in due course Bahá’u’lláh has made unmistakably clear. That yet greater suffering and disillusionment will be required to impel humanity to this great leap forward appears, alas, equally clear. Its establishment will require national governments and other centres of power to surrender to international determination, unconditionally and irreversibly, the full measure of overriding authority implicit in the word ‘government’.

“This is the context in which Bahá’ís must strive to appreciate the unique victory that the Cause won in 1963, and which has consolidated itself over the years since then. A full understanding of its meaning is beyond the reach of the present and perhaps of the next several generations of believers. To the extent that a Bahá’í does grasp it, he or she will hold nothing back in a determination to serve its unfolding purpose.

“The process leading to the election of the Universal House of Justice—made possible by the successful completion of the three initial stages of the Master’s Divine Plan under the leadership of Shoghi Effendi—very likely constituted history’s first global democratic election. Each of the successive elections since then has been carried out by an ever broader and more diverse body of the community’s chosen delegates, a development that has now reached the point that it incontestably represents the will of a cross-section of the entire human race. There is nothing in existence—nothing indeed envisioned by any group of people—that in any way resembles this achievement.

“When one considers, further, the spiritual atmosphere that pervades Bahá’í elections and the principled conduct called for in even their simplest operations, one is humbled by a much greater awareness. In the raising up of the supreme governing institution of our Faith, one is witnessing a striving to the utmost of human capacity to win the good pleasure of God, a united and ardent determination that nothing whatever, in either cultural conditioning or the promptings of personal desire, should be allowed to stain the purity of this ultimate collective act.”
Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice, Century of Light, p. 92

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