January 03, 2012

our life...a spiritual journey

the Douglas & Ramanujan families ready to play a game of soccer together
i would describe our family as Baha'i, middle class, educated and multi-racial.  we are Americans who live abroad.  we find joy in being together, sitting around the table eating and talking.  we enjoy playing soccer together and watching a movie together.  we enjoy being silly and playing games, reading and studying, drumming and singing.  we like traveling & visiting new places.  we mingle with all people regardless of class, race, nationality or creed.  we do not need to go shopping or be entertained.  we do not need to spend money or fill our lives with material pleasures..
dashiel, my grammum & me many years ago: 'speak no evil..see no evil..hear no evil'

we resolve conflicts through consultation -- a spiritual approach to talking through issues and difficulties in order to find a solution, create understanding, or make a decision.  sometimes we rely on prayer in the process; other times, we use the Baha'i Writings to help guide us.  we strive to train and teach our children to develop these skills when they are angry or hurt and feel like is unfair or unjust.  we focus on trusting in God and submitting to His Will which operates in our lives like the spirit flowing through our nervous system.  we ask forgiveness from each other and practice observing silence as much as possible instead of using our tongue in ways that create disunity between us and leave lingering scars in our hearts.
playing educational games with neighborhood friends

we are very focused on education and service.  we see that true education begins with a good character and a pure heart, and requires an unbiased mind and tireless effort.  we supplement academic education with study books that we've purchased and work with our children -- and children in the neighborhood -- to reach their unique potential for learning.  we integrate the days of our lives with the spirit of servitude -- service to others being the distinguishing feature in the life of a Baha'i, as we are evermore concerned with the welfare of humanity and not merely with ourselves.  it is a way of life..  as Baha'is, we '..live to do good and to bring happiness to others' and we strive to '..do some good to every person whose path he crosseth and be of some benefit to him.'

"The betterment of the world can be accomplished through pure and goodly deeds, through commendable and seemly conduct."    ~Baha'u'llah

we consciously strive to live a life of moderation whereby our thoughts, intentions, speech, deeds and actions are guided by limitations which protect us from excess.  we make many, many mistakes.  we fall short and struggle to overcome our weaknesses.  it is one ever-evolving spiritual journey of gradually acquiring and strengthening the virtues and attributes of God which enable us to live as spiritual human beings..
domani and poppy making silly faces

we are all much more than our nationality or class or race.  we are our character.  we are how we live our lives rather than what job we have or how much money we make or how we use our money.  we are more than our awards and accomplishments, achievements and degrees.  we are all souls on this spiritual journey called life..

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