Sunday, December 02, 2007

On Shy Baha'is: ASK ME - I WON'T SAY "NO" - HOW COULD I?

No lie, this is my favorite song of The Smiths. -gw

Shyness is nice, and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
You'd like to

So, if there's something you'd like to try
If there's something you'd like to try
The song comes to mind as I think about our incredibly wonderful Cluster Reflection Meeting yesterday during which we studied from the "Reflections on Growth" of November 18th, 2007, specifically the subject of finding receptive souls and teaching them directly.

You see, we have a shyness problem, we Baha'is. We are often afraid to ask people if they'd, to quote the lyrics above, "like to try" Baha'i. We're afraid we'll ... "bomb" (see the video). We are too comfortable with teaching indirectly, rather than directly. Yet if we were to take heed of The Smith's advice with friends, neighbors and colleagues, we would hear these same dear souls say to us, "ASK ME - I WON'T SAY 'NO' - HOW COULD I?"

As Shoghi Effendi wrote, direct teaching is:
"an open and bold assertion of the fundamental verities of the Cause"

Indirect teaching is:
"a less less direct and more cautious method of teaching [consisting of] presenting some humanitarian or social teachings or the Cause"
Direct teaching, we learned, is presenting the message of Baha'u'llah directly in a fireside, a home visit, or other personal encounters, as we are out and about, in the grocery story, on the street, or in a park, and putting aside our shyness. -gw

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