One aspect of religion and faith that is at the core of many institutions is that of service. The Baha’i Faith is no exception. In fact, service and community involvement rests at the core of Baha’i values–not as a front for the propagation of their religion–but as a form of worship of God.
Therefore strive that your actions day by day may be beautiful prayers. Turn towards God, and seek always to do that which is right and noble. Enrich the poor, raise the fallen, comfort the sorrowful, bring healing to the sick, reassure the fearful, rescue the oppressed, bring hope to the hopeless, shelter the destitute. This is the work of a true Baha’i.
–Abdu’l’Baha in Paris Talks
Abdu’l’Baha seems to have left no stone unturned regarding our options to serve humanity. Baha’u’llah, who was born into a rich and noble family, cast off his birthright to serve God and Man–even though it meant spending much of his life in prison or exile. Indeed, he was called “Father of the poor.”
To honor my adopted Baha’i family, I’m now exploring different ways in which to serve my community. I happen to live in a high poverty/crime area, so one way I thought I could help was to organize a small-scale food and resources drive. Right now I’m using a “wish list” template from several non-profits in the area in order to gather the most needed materials for people in this area. This includes non-perishable food, blankets and clothing for the homeless, as well as books and pencils/craft materials for children who are victims of domestic violence. I’m also looking into volunteering my time at a local non-profit or service organization.
These are just some ideas I’m hammering out as of…15 minutes ago. I only have two weeks left in the month so I have to hit the ground running. That isn’t to say this will be the last time I participate in a service capacity, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
So here’s my challenge to all of you. The readership of Project Conversion represents people from all over the world. It’s really amazing to see the list of places. What can you do in your community to serve others–with no motivation other than to bring a spark of light to a life who, at the moment, is in darkness? It doesn’t have to be huge, just give your time, your resources, your compassion. Start a movement, and remember, an avalanche is achieved one snowflake at time. Be a snowflake.
I’d like to hear some of your ideas, your plans…maybe you’ve had some great service experiences in the past. Send those along too. Be sure to post them in the comment section below so that all can see and be inspired by your work.