Financial Strain

debtThose posts on the United Nations are still in the works but another Internet friend shared a song with me today and, in light of the global financial situation, I want to share it with you.

First, let me share the lyrics she uses:

“Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more.”
Bahá’u’lláh, The Arabic Hidden Words, #52

I want to hazard an interpretation but be aware, when distilling the meaning of holy text, the ultimate interpretation comes from your  heart…

Rejoice not if prosperity blossoms because it can swiftly pass away.

Grieve not if you slip into abasement because you can swiftly rise.

Basically, to me, the words convey a need to remain detached from material circumstances; certainly, we need to pay attention and work toward our goals but we also, to remain spiritually whole, need to keep our hearts beating far above the twists and turns of mundane happenings…

The song is by Elika Mahony. Here’s a clip from her bio: “Vocalist, composer, pianist, and artist, Elika considers herself a world citizen; her parents are from Iran, she was born in the US, raised in Kenya, and now lives in China. Elika’s love of music began when she was a child growing up in Africa. In between she has lived in Israel and Hong Kong. Her music beautifully expresses the diverse cultures that have been a part of her upbringing, blending and reflecting the influences of this varied background, drawing upon classical Western structures but incorporating instrumentation and styles from Iran to Ireland and China to Spain.”

Enjoy her angelic vocal rendition of Bahá’u’lláh’s Words:

Please leave your thoughts and feelings in the Comments.
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A Little Help Can Go A Long Way

Not much of my own comment in this particular post. I’ll let the news sources and websites inform you about this Wonderful concept. As always, though, there will be a spiritual quote at the end…

From OneWorld.Net: Microloans Pay Off for Planet, Investors
“Mohammed Yunus, an economics professor from Bangladesh, is considered the father of microfinance. In 1983, Yunus founded the Grameen Bank to make small loans to impoverished entrepreneurs. Grameen Bank now has over 7 million borrowers. Yunus and the Bank received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.”

From Wikipedia: Microcredit “Microcredit is the extension of very small loans (microloans) to the unemployed, to poor entrepreneurs and to others living in poverty who are not considered bankable….Microcredit is a part of microfinance, which is the provision of a wider range of financial services to the very poor.”

From Business Week: Micro Loans, Solid Returns “With about $200 of his own money and a $1,500 loan, Vahid Hujdur rented space in the old section of Sarajevo and started repairing, then reselling discarded industrial sewing machines. Eight years and several loans later, Hujdur now has 10 employees building, installing, and fixing industrial machinery.”

From the KIVA website: We Let You Loan to the Working Poor “Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. The people you see on Kiva’s site are real individuals in need of funding – not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs’ profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.”

“The increasing disparity between the rich and the poor is a major destabilizing influence in the world. It produces or exacerbates regional and national conflicts, environmental degradation, crime and violence, and the increasing use of illicit drugs. These consequences of extreme poverty affect all individuals and nations. Increasingly we are becoming aware that we are all members of a single human family. In a family the suffering of any member is felt by all, and until that suffering is alleviated, no member of the family can be fully happy or at ease. Few are able to look at starvation and extreme poverty without feeling a sense of failure….

“A new economic order can be founded only on an unshakable conviction of the oneness of mankind. Discussions aimed at solving problems related to extreme poverty based on the premise that we are one human family rapidly expand beyond the current vocabulary of economics. They demand a wider context, one which anticipates the emergence of a global system of relationships resting on the principles of equity and justice.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1993 Feb 12, Human Rights And Extreme Poverty

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