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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We Really Are One Big Family

RwandaOne of the comments to our last post, from a good friend of mine from Japan, said I was being “timely” in posting about Women, Rights, and Water; then, she left a link for a delightful video which is below.

The video made me review my understanding of the
Millennium Development Goals.

Don’t know what they are?

They’re a huge commitment by lots of people to resolve a host of Our Family’s problems…

Below is a list of the goals and each listing is a link. Check out the one that attracts you most… Then check out the rest so you can tell others about them!
 

MILLENNIUM 
DEVELOPMENT GOALS

 

Spiritual Quote:

“The modern national state came into existence as a unifier of diverse races and peoples. It has been a social truce observed by or enforced upon communities previously separate, independent and hostile. Historically the nation represented a great moral victory, a definite and important stage in human progress. It has raised the condition of the masses of people, substituted constitutional law for the arbitrary authority of the tribe, extended education and knowledge, mitigated the effect of sectarian disputes, and enlarged the social world of the average man. It provided conditions under which natural science could develop, inventions be put into operation, and industrialization give man mastery over nature.

“The new powers and resources made possible by the nation could not be confined within the national boundary but produced an internationalism of cause and effect in social relationships which no nation could control. The national state has reached the limits of its development as an independent, self-directed social body. A world science, a world economy and a world consciousness, riding the wave of a new and universal movement of spiritual evolution, lay the foundations of world order. Conceived of as an end in itself, the national state has come to be a denial of the oneness of mankind, the source of general disruption opposed to the true interests of its people. From the depths of man’s divine endowment stirs response to the affirmation of oneness which gives this age its central impetus and direction. Society is undergoing transformation, to effect a new order based on the wholeness of human relationships.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1947 Feb, A Baha’i Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights

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What Will You Rebel For ?

bita haidarianIf three times is a charm, what’s four times?

A done deal?

I’ve posted about Bita Haidarian and her upcoming film, Finding Bibi, three times so far (check out the links for two trailers of the film !):

For this fourth post, since the Movement that’s evolving around the film is reaching a peak of excitement, I’ll publish the latest press release:

Finding Bibi
Austin, TX
New York, NY
www.FindingBibi.com
Founded by Bita Haidarian in 2009
Contact: Todd Brogan (todd@findingbibi.com), Head of Creative Expansion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 30, 2009

FILMMAKER’S FANS MAKE THEIR VOICES HEARD

Voters to Decide New Organization’s First Project

Iranian-American documentary filmmaker Bita Haidarian, whose work has been described as “the best hope for film and politics in Australia,” launched a groundbreaking organization in March, and her democratic approach is already bearing fruit.

More than 200 fans voted in round one to decide the organization’s first-ever project. The three winning submissions vary widely, though all share the stories of women striving for empowerment. One idea suggests providing cameras to individuals participating in empowerment programs, which they would use to create short films on topics of their choice. Another idea proposes that Finding Bibi organize “hijab flashmobs” as a show of solidarity with women discriminated against for wearing head coverings. The final proposal would have Finding Bibi recruiting young women and girls to become journalists, reporting on the status of women in their region and having those reports carried on major networks.

Haidarian and her volunteer staff closed the site to new submissions and reviewed the top three ideas. This morning, they submitted the proposals (with notes added) to fans for one last round of voting. The polls will close in two weeks, at which point Haidarian will announce the winning project and her plans for making it a reality. Fans can vote by visiting FindingBibi.com and clicking ‘Discuss’.

The project contest and the organization were announced in March, both rooted in the spirit of Haidarian’s upcoming film Finding Bibi, which follows her on a journey of self discovery and in search of a “great female story.” Haidarian, the daughter of Baha’i religious refugees from Iran, gave her fans a deciding voice in the new initiative from the start. Fans submitted 20 ideas using the ranking site Slinkset, similar to applications used in social bookmarking sites like Digg. They were then able to vote for or against each other’s ideas.

“We are inspired by so many of the ideas that were submitted, and we’re especially pleased with those that won the first round,” said Haidarian. “We’re hoping for more votes in the final round, and looking forward to input from an even more diverse crowd.” The website, FindingBibi.com, also features updates on the film and its most recent trailer, as well as regular blog posts on the constantly innovating organization. The film is slated for completion late this year.

### If you would like more information about Finding Bibi the film or organization, please direct all questions to Todd Brogan at todd@findingbibi.com.

Spiritual Quote:

“That men and women differ from one another in certain characteristics and functions is an inescapable fact of nature and makes possible their complementary roles in certain areas of the life of society; but it is significant that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has stated that in this Dispensation ‘Equality of men and women, except in some negligible instances, has been fully and categorically announced’.”
The Universal House of Justice, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 7

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The Girl Effect, Revisited . . .

image credit

Both images (the same person) are from National Geographic. The one on the left taken in 1984, the right in 2002, in Afghanistan.

The woman was interviewed in 2002. Here’s an excerpt:

Had she ever felt safe?

“No. But life under the Taliban was better. At least there was peace and order.”

Had she ever seen the photograph of herself as a girl?

“No.”

She can write her name, but cannot read. She harbors the hope of education for her children. “I want my daughters to have skills,” she said. “I wanted to finish school but could not. I was sorry when I had to leave.”

Education, it is said, is the light in the eye. There is no such light for her. It is possibly too late for her 13-year-old daughter as well, Sharbat Gula said. The two younger daughters still have a chance.

This is a story repeated far too often in our world but there is strong reason for hope!

One among many reasons for hope is a site called The Girl Effect and I can’t urge you strongly enough to click that link and at least watch the really awesome video !

Here is a PDF file of their Fact Sheet and here’s an excerpt from that Fact Sheet:

The Ripple Effect

• When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.

• An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.

• Research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers.

• When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.

Population Trends
• Today, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world.

Girls Count !

Here are two videos from their site:

Spiritual Quotes:
“The world of humanity has two wings — one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 288<

“As long as women are prevented from attaining their highest possibilities, so long will men be unable to achieve the greatness which might be theirs.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 133

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Finding Bibi

finding_bibiI covered this story in two previous posts, Women, Stereotypes, and Truth and Exuberant Emancipation !!!.

Not only is it a forthcoming movie about rational rebelling but it also deals with breaking down the barriers to equality for women.

I recommend you check out one of the previous posts to watch the first trailer; then, return to watch the one in this post—they’re similar but definitely not identical.

Also, check out news about the movement forming around the film and make your voice heard…

Spiritual Quote:

“…there must be an equality of rights between men and women. Women shall receive an equal privilege of education. This will enable them to qualify and progress in all degrees of occupation and accomplishment. For the world of humanity possesses two wings: man and woman. If one wing remains incapable and defective, it will restrict the power of the other, and full flight will be impossible. Therefore, the completeness and perfection of the human world are dependent upon the equal development of these two wings.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 317

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The Truth About Women

oppression_women

Peter and Leon were at the café discussing women:

Peter: “Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.”

Leon: “The second part is completely true, the first is conditional.”

Peter: “Whataya mean conditional?”

Leon: “Well, it’s conditioned on your attitude toward them.”

Peter: “Bullshit… Doesn’t matter what I do, they’re still impossible to live with.”

Leon: “Yet, you do live with them.”

Peter: “What’s your point?”

Leon: “Point? Kinda obvious, eh?”

Peter: “Is this one of your psychological tricks?”

Leon: “No, just the truth—men are born from women, men live with women, men oppress women, and… women continue to bear it all, with a lot more strength then the men have.”

Peter: “More strength?

Leon: “Obviously.”

Peter: “Might be obvious to you but the whole subject confuses the hell out of me…”

Leon: “So, you admit you misunderstand them. Do you realize you also underestimate them?”

Peter: “Misunderstand, maybe; frustrated, for sure; underestimate? I don’t see where you’re headed with all this, I just want a solution.”

Leon: “Solution, Peter? First, you have to practice three powerful virtues: humility—to soften your willfulness; honesty—to inform your conscience; then, Love—to give them a reason to reveal themselves to you.”

Peter: “Dude, you’re outta your mind…”

~~~~~~~~~

Yep, Leon was out of his mind and into his heart . . .

Here are some recent sources of information about how men are treating women:

From Time World: The Best Way to Curb Forced Marriages

From the Washington Post: For Kurdish Girls, a Painful Ancient Ritual

From the Washington Post: A Private Feud Turns Into a National Issue

From Rising Voices: Nari Jibon: End Violence Against Women

From the Guardian, UK: Saudi girl, eight, married off to 58-year-old is denied divorce

From OneWorld.Net: Giving Birth in a Congolese Refugee Tent

From The Bahá’í International Community: Beyond Legal Reforms:Culture and Capacity in the Eradication of Violence Against Women and Girls

From Inter Press Service: Q&A: Failure to Translate Women’s Legal Rights into Action

Spiritual Quote :

“…among the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh is the equality of women and men. The world of humanity has two wings—one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 302

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The World-Wide Gender Gap

gender_gapIn a previous post, Path Toward Peace – Step Seven, the concept of eliminating the denial of the equality of women and men  was explored. I thought it was time to take another look at the critical need for complete equality between women and men, world-wide. It’s fulfillment is crucial to global peace…

I consulted a document entitled, Global Gender Gap Report. It was published by The World Economic Forum with the aid of Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley.

It goes into extreme detail about many interactive factors measured for 130 countries to assess their accomplishments toward closing the gender gap.

Here are the top ten countries, those doing the best job of facilitating gender equality:

Norway
Finland
Sweden
Iceland
New Zealand
Philippines
Denmark
Ireland
Netherlands
Latvia

Here are the bottom ten countries, those doing the least to close the gap:

Bahrain
Ethiopia
Turkey
Egypt
Morocco
Benin
Pakistan
Saudi Arabia
Chad
Yemen

And, here’s part of the conclusion from the Report:

“The third edition of The Global Gender Gap Report calls attention to four essential facts. First, the Index provides a valuable snapshot of the current performance of 130 countries, representing over 90% of the world’s population. On average, over 97% of the gap on health outcomes, 95% of the gap on educational attainment, 62% of the gap on economic participation and 16% of the gap on political empowerment has been closed. No country in the world has achieved gender equality. The four highest ranking countries—Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland—have closed a little over 80% of their gender gaps, while the lowest ranking country—Yemen—has closed only around 47% of its gender gap.”

Much work to be done, eh?

Spiritual Quote :

“So it will come to pass that when women participate fully and equally in the affairs of the world, when they enter confidently and capably the great arena of laws and politics, war will cease.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, quoted in a document from the Bahá’í International Community, 1995 Aug 26, Creating Legal Institutional Structures for Gender Equality

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