Worshiping with Popcorn

popcorn“Worshiping with popcorn?Has Alex run out of worthy blog topics?”

Nope, this may just be one of my best yet…

The country is Brazil. The protagonist is 36-year-old Valdir Novaki—used to be an itinerant farm laborer, a newsagent, then a car park driver. Now he’s a
Popcorn Entrepreneur.

Hey, Alex, what about the “worshiping”?

Worshiping?

Oh, yeah, in just a second…

On the site I discovered him, GlobalVoices, they say:

“Despite the fact that Valdir only had the opportunity to finish elementary school, he now coaches students and business people of all ranks. For just over a year, Valdir has travelled around Brazil giving motivational lectures, entrepreneurship tips, and maybe some inspiration.”

Vladir even has a website, PipocadoValdir. Check it out! This is no mere popcorn man. He even gives his customers a “hygiene kit” with a napkin, a toothpick and a mint candy.
hygiene_kit
You can also watch the five news videos about his business by clicking the Valdir na Mídia link; and, the real kicker is the slowmotion video of popcorn popping!!

Here’s my favorite quote from Valdir:

“Oh, every day I’m in a good mood. And the key thing is to look back in hindsight. If we look back in hindsight, you will see that there are people [living in] much worse [conditions] than us. I’m healthy, I’m working, my family is not in need… So, it is only joy! Thus we overcome difficulties! I have always a smile on my face because, as I always say, the smile is the shortest distance between two people. And for me to be a popcorn seller, I have to be happy.”

O.K., Alex, he’s a great guy who’s conquered many obstacles in life and maintained a happy attitude, he’s an innovative entrepreneur and respects his larger social responsibilities… What about “Worshiping”?!

Oh, right. Check out this quote…

Spiritual Quote:

“The man who makes a piece of notepaper to the best of his ability, conscientiously, concentrating all his forces on perfecting it, is giving praise to God. Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer. A physician ministering to the sick, gently, tenderly, free from prejudice and believing in the solidarity of the human race, he is giving praise.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 176

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Youth ~ Yes They Can !

youth_yes_they_canYouth have been mostly overlooked when adults consider solutions for critical problems.

Some typical responses are:

“They don’t have the experience or maturity to deal with major issues.”

“All they care about are watching videos and texting each other.”

“Youth? Their major interest is sex.”

“Help the world? Are you kidding?!”

Well, I happened on a video that shows a group of youth doing what most people consider an adult occupation.

In fact, they’re doing it just as well as the adults.

Mature? Capable? Informed? Organized? Disciplined?

Yes They Are!!!

Spiritual Quote:

“In spite of the encircling gloom….There are many notable signs of the awakening now in progress. Men and women everywhere, and the youth of both sexes in particular, are devoting their energies to the service of great ideals.

“National service in itself is a training for the reconstruction which must take place in the world…National service is great, but world service is greater.
Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway , p. 3

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Who Is Writing The Future ? – Part Five

writing_the_future-who_is_writing_the
The Writings of Bahá’u’lláh that have been discussed in parts One through Four of this series are challenging to say the least—challenging to current theories about how to solve our human family’s crises—challenging, as the document this series is based on says, to social schemes that deny “a moral intelligence inherent in existence”—challenging to anyone who thinks human nature isn’t truly spiritual at its roots…

Some of the sadly mistaken ideas that plagued the twentieth century and need eradication to enable humanity to move towards its impending maturity are: unbounded individualism, dis-unifying political and economic structures, and a mindset that sees conflict as somehow “natural” for humans.

Yet, one of the most important principles that needs vast encouragement and global implementation is Justice. Justice alone can ensure that individuals receive their due from institutions and governments. And, deeply important, is the growth of a sense of personal justice (replacing individualistic complaining) that lets people see with their own eyes, hear with their own ears, feel with their own hearts, and think with their own minds—knowing that imitation in any of these areas is deadly…

Another crying need is the continuing entry of individuals into the arena of Service—going beyond self—enlarging the boundaries of self to include more and more members of our very human family.

These ideas and many more are the legacy left to humanity by Bahá’u’lláh. He put forward ideas that, in the context of the 1800s, were unthinkable. In the last century and a half, His conceptions and counsels have been adopted by progressive individuals, most of whom have never heard of Bahá’u’lláh.

I urge you to read the original document that’s inspired me to write this series of posts, Who Is Writing the Future? Reflections on the Twentieth Century. Also, you can download a Word .doc or Adobe .pdf file.

Next post will wrap up the series…

Spiritual Quote :

“The central purpose of the divine religions is the establishment of peace and unity among mankind. Their reality is one; therefore, their accomplishment is one and universal—whether it be through the essential or material ordinances of God. There is but one light of the material sun, one ocean, one rain, one atmosphere. Similarly, in the spiritual world there is one divine reality forming the center and altruistic basis for peace and reconciliation among various and conflicting nations and peoples.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 98

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Regularizing…

Woo-Hoo !

Two more weeks of taking drugs, then a month or so to flush them out of my system, then I wait for 6 months to see if the virus actually went away—BUT—in two weeks, I stop taking these abusive drugs !!!

Today was my birthday and I unexpectedly gave myself a present I didn’t think I’d have for two more weeks—Internet in my apartment. It was really good to see how hard two men worked today to assure I had the Internet Today ! Not many cool service people left out there . . .

So, with the promise of more regular posting, I’ll leave you with the words that go with that image up there:

Rejuvenation

Restoration

Renewal

Re-Creation

Refreshment

Mending

And, this prayer:

O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá

(Compilations, Bahá’í Prayers, p. 150)