In this issue – Work
3 Stories About Work
One day ‘a man passing by the gates of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s house in Haifa, carrying a basket, put it down as soon as he saw Him, saying that he could not find a porter and had to carry the basket himself. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá remarked afterwards that a man should not feel ashamed of doing useful work.’ (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 166)
During ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s last days at Green Acre He met many people, including one girl who said, “I have come to ask for your assistance. Please tell me what I am fitted to do so that I may occupy myself with it.” The Master asked, “Do you have trust in Me? She replied, “Yes”. He then said to her, “Be a perfect Bahá’í. Associate with Bahá’ís. Study the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. Then you will be assisted in whatever you undertake to do.” She then said, “I am a good Jewess.” The Master then said: “A good Jew can also become a Bahá’í. The truth of the religion of Moses and Bahá’u’lláh is one. Turn toward Bahá’u’lláh and you will acquire peace and tranquility, you will hear the melody of the kingdom, you will stir people souls and you will attain the highest degree of perfection. Be assured of this.” When she heard the Master’s words she was so impressed that she threw herself at his feet and wept. (Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 172-173)
A workman who had left his bag of tools in the hall was welcomed with smiling kindness by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. With a look of sadness the man said: “I don’t know much about religious things, as I have no time for anything but my work.” “That is well. Very well. A day’s work done in the spirit of service is in itself an act of worship. Such work is a prayer unto God.” The man’s face cleared from its shadow of doubt and hesitation, and he went out from the Master’s presence happy and strengthened, as though a weighty burden had been taken away. (Lady Bloomfield, The Chosen Highway)
Prayer for a Job
We ask God to … raise them unto a station where the world and the lordship thereof shall not turn them aside from looking toward the Supreme Horizon, and where anxiety for gaining a livelihood and providing household goods shall not divert them from the thought of that day whereon the mountains shall be made like carpets … By my Lord, were I given the choice between the glory and opulence, the wealth and dignity, the ease and luxury wherein they are, and the distress and affliction wherein I am, I would certainly choose that wherein I am today, and I would not now exchange one atom of these afflictions for all that hath been created in the kingdom of production! Were it not for affliction in the way of God my continuance would have no sweetness for me, nor would my life profit me … And in all this we give thanks to God, the Lord of the worlds, and we praise Him under all circumstances,—verily He is a witness unto all things. (Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 79-80)
For Baha’is, work done in the spirit of service to others is, as Abdu’l-Baha puts it, “the highest form of worship.” In this new series of 3 video essays from Baha’i Teachings, journalist Temily Tianmay explores the professions, occupations and crafts of various Baha’is, to see how they express the powerful injunction of Baha’u’llah that work equals worship
Work as Worship: Interview with Meena Datwani
Every individual, no matter how handicapped and limited he may be, is under the obligation of engaging in some work or profession, for work, especially when performed in the spirit of service, is according to Bahá’u’lláh a form of worship. It has not only a utilitarian purpose, but has a value in itself, because it draws us nearer to God, and enables us to better grasp His purpose for us in this world. It is obvious, therefore, that the inheritance of wealth cannot make anyone immune from daily work. (Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 192)
Work as Worship: Interview with Investment Counselor Peter Oldziey
Man’s merit lieth in service and virtue and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches. (Baha’u’llah: Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 138)
Work as Worship: Interview with Layli Miller-Muro of the Tahireh Justice Centre
It is enjoined upon every one of you to engage in some form of occupation, such as crafts, trades and the like. We have graciously exalted your engagement in such work to the rank of worship unto God, the True One. Ponder ye in your hearts the grace and the blessings of God and render thanks unto Him at eventide and at dawn. Waste not your time in idleness and sloth. Occupy yourselves with that which profiteth yourselves and others. Thus hath it been decreed in this Tablet from whose horizon the day-star of wisdom and utterance shineth resplendent…. Hold ye fast unto the cord of material means, placing your whole trust in God, the Provider of all means. When anyone occupieth himself in a craft or trade, such occupation itself is regarded in the estimation of God as an act of worship; and this is naught but a token of His infinite and all-pervasive bounty. (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 26)
Education holds an important place in the new order of things. The education of each child is compulsory. If there is not money enough in a family to educate both the girl and the boy the money must be dedicated to the girl’s education, for she is the potential mother. If there are no parents the community must educate the child. In addition to this widespread education each child must be taught a profession, art, or trade, so that every member of the community will be enabled to earn his own livelihood. Work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship. (Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 83)
The Calling: Master Getting and Giving in the World of Work
by Alice Bing
What is a career if there is no passion or fulfillment in what you do for others? Considering that the average person spends one third of their day working, the need for job satisfaction and reward is more pressing than ever before. No matter where you are in your professional life, The Calling will inspire you in your search for a meaningful and purpose-driven career. Whether you’re just entering the business world or you’ve found yourself mid-career looking to change paths, you’re sure to find inspiration on every page of The Calling.
Our Featured Author, Alice Bing, is also a consultant who makes finding joy at work easier. She helps you find the career that matches your unique profile, and helps you stay energized and effective in your professional life. She sees working as an opportunity to make something awesome happen. She believes we can gain self-fulfilment and make a difference by giving to others. She will help you reframe and re-imagine everyday subjects about work, to find the profound in the mundane, the significant in the trivial, and the unifying in the controversial.
Canadian entrepreneurs Zack Cooper-Black, Foster Rae, Danjuma Mba, Mia Ohki, Shane Green, Theo Tahririha and Autumn Rae have big dreams to help change the world by helping those who want a brighter future for others build the life of their dreams.
Lots of us want to help the world in many ways, like eliminating poverty or protecting an endangered species, but sometimes the funds to do so aren’t available, and big ideas die. These youth want to eliminate this financial barrier, so that the inventors, creatives, and dreamers can set their ideas loose, with nothing to stop them. They want the ambitious, motivated people in our society to get the support they need to make the world a better place.
Everything Proper Clothing and Apparel sells is unisex, and includes items such as ball caps, baseball jerseys, t-shirts and tank tops. They sell primarily through farmers markets and will soon have an online store.
By buying their clothes, you’ll be helping fund scholarships that targets people with goals bigger than themselves. When you wear their clothes, they want you to feel a connection to everyone that supports this idea.
Our Readers Write:
Thanks for sharing this dear Susan . I truly enjoyed Tom Price’s talk . It was only half an hour. Is that right? (Nooshi Samimi Saberi)
As far as I know it should be 1:47 hours. Hope you’re able to hear it all! It’s definitely worth it!
Thanks to all who write in! Your encouragement really keeps me going!
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See you next month! Hope it’s a month filled with all the names of God!