Friday, November 30, 2012

On Don't Take the Bait: Children's behavior that doesn't 'work' will stop

This is science --  behavioral science, based on decades of research. Source of this excerpt: a 2011 handout for parents for distribution by therapists trained here in Washington State in Cognitive Behavior Therapy Plus (CBT Plus). -gw
Almost all behavior is caused by an interaction between children and their environment. Humans learn by testing out different behaviors and finding out what happens—what do people do, or not do, in response? It is normal for children to want to get what they want immediately and normal for children to want to avoid unwanted situations or consequences. However, part of growing up is learning to be patient, ask nicely, share, and handle frustration or disappointment without making a huge fuss or being destructive. Children must also learn to separate from caregivers, take on age appropriate responsibilities, and consider other people’s feelings and wishes. These are the normal tasks of child development. The key teachers are caregivers and teachers, and it is NOT always easy!
Children sometimes learn lessons that we don’t want them to. For example, almost all caregivers have had the experience of young children whining or throwing temper tantrums to get attention or something they want at home or at a store. And almost all caregivers have the experience of children dawdling, delaying or not doing what they are told because they don’t want to stop an activity such as watching TV or talking on the phone. If children’s behavior (e.g., tantrum, yelling) “works,” meaning they get what they want (or get out of doing what they do not want to do) children will keep using the behavior, hoping it will “work” again.
There is an explanation for this pattern of behavior. The basic rule is that all behavior has a function or purpose. Behavior is intended to get something children want or get out of something children do not want. Children might want attention, power over their situation, or specific rewards (e.g., allowance, privileges). They might want to get out of chores, doing homework, or trouble. This rule is not just true for children, it is true for everyone. People go to work to get something such as a pay check and self esteem; people don’t answer the phone or sometimes tell small lies to avoid being hassled or hurting someone’s feelings. 
Sometimes it is hard to understand what the function of a behavior really is. For example, negative behaviors such as whining, pleading, temper tantrums, picking a fight, slamming doors, and even yelling or throwing objects are ways of getting attention. Even though the attention is negative, it is still attention, which is something children crave especially if they are not good at getting positive attention. When there are a lot of negative behaviors, often negative behavior is the only way children can get attention because caregivers and others are so frustrated.
Some behaviors are really upsetting even though it is fairly easy to see what the function is. For example, aggression is a way to get others to give in or go along through intimidation. Sometimes children see adults doing this and they copy what they see “working”. Another really difficult behavior is lying. Lying either gets children something wanted (“I already did my homework”) or gets children out of something unwanted, like consequences for misbehavior (“Ididn’t take the money”). Caregivers are often especially upset about or bothered by lying. Most caregivers teach children that even if they make a mistake it is better to take responsibility than lie, but children may operate in the moment and just want what they want, or want to get out of punishment.
The reason that behavior problems persist is because they are “working.” The key to changing behavior problems is changing reactions to the behavior so it doesn’t “work” anymore. This can be really hard once a negative behavior has become a habit in children. But behavior that doesn't "work" will eventually stop. 

Ignore annoying but not dangerous behavior (e.g., whining, begging, tantrums, eye rolling, attitude, etc): A lot of irritating, obnoxious behavior is to get attention. Don’t take the bait. Ignore even if it is hard. It might increase in the beginning because it has worked before. The behavior will eventually stop once it doesn’t “work.”

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On the Faith of God Runs on Two Lines: Like a train

My dear friends, the faith of God runs on two lines just like a train. Two lines, not one line. One is institutional, one is individual. Both are meant to work together. They are not meant to cancel each other. No. They are meant to complement each other. Not cancel each other. Not nullify each other. There should be coherence. Coherence means one side should be coherent, considerate, consistent about the needs of the other. And this one should also be consistent about the work of the other. The two work together.

Reportedly the words of Ali Nakhjavani at a conference in Germany

A train rides on wheels on both sides, not one. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On a Free iPhone App Baha'i Songbook: In "lead sheet" format

Hi George, 

I imagine most already know of this but I found a free iPhone app that is a Baha'i Songbook.  It is published by a Robin Losey.  I've found Baha'i songs on the net elsewhere but they did not have the melody lines written in standard notation.  So, if you don't already know the song it would be impossible to play correctly.  The cool thing about this "app" is the songs are published in "lead sheet" format so each song contains lyrics, melody notes, and chords.  A great resource. 
Please pass this on to whomever may be interested.
Best wishes to you and Bonita!
I didn't know that, Tom. -gw

On Solid Ground: My feet are growing roots....

Gwen brought this song to our community. Kids love it. Adults love it. I love it. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Hang Around With Good People: As a friend sharpens a friend

With all his heart should the seeker avoid fellowship with evil doers, and pray for the remission of their sins. 

"Iron sharpens iron as a friend sharpens a friend." What odes this proverb mean?
The first portion is interesting, when you consider the time of this quote. At that time, iron tools were available, but bronze ones were much cheaper. If you wanted to sharpen an iron tool, you needed an iron file to sharpen it with. A bronze file would be badly damaged by an iron tool, and the tool would be no sharper.
When put together with the second half of the quote, it takes a person of superior character to help sharpen the character of a friend, and bring it up to that level. In other words, if you wish to have a sharp iron character, or the best possible character, you should hang around with others of iron character, not those with merely bronze character, as they will be of little help to you.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Thursday, November 29, 2012

On Music the Great Unifier: A natural cultural development to be kept free

I've had such great times at Thursday night devotionals past with music an integral part.-gw

Music, as one of the arts, is a natural cultural development, and the Guardian does not feel that there should be any cultivation of ‘Bahá’í Music’ any more than we are trying to develop a Bahá’í school of painting or writing. The believer is are free to paint, write or compose as their talents guide them. If music is written incorporating the Sacred Writings, the friends are free to make use of it, but it should never be considered a requirement at Bahá’í meetings to have such music. The farther away the friends keep from any set forms, the better, for they must realize that the Cause is absolutely universal, and what might seem a beautiful addition to their mode of celebrating a Feast, etc., would perhaps fall on the ears of people of another country as unpleasant sounds—and vice versa. As long as they have music for its own sake it is all right, but they should not consider it ‘Bahá’í Music’. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On Beyond the Gray Sky by 311: This plane a firecracker flash of light

It is a gift, I know
A moment of bliss that we hold
A firecracker flash of light then on
To the next plane, soul remain
311 – Beyond the Gray Sky
Life on this plane of existence is over in a flash. -gw

As we almost never attain any spiritual goal without seeing the next goal we must attain still beyond our reach, he urges you, who have come so far already on the path of spirituality, not to fret about the distance you still have to cover! It is an indefinite journey, and, no doubt in the next world the soul is privileged to draw closer to God than is possible when bound on this physical plane.
Shoghi Effendi, letter of 3 March 1955

On Looking Toward the Good: Trying to punish failure with criticism doesn't work

People don’t behave badly because they lack information about their shortcomings. They behave badly because they’ve fallen into patterns of destructive behavior from which they’re unable to escape.
Human behavior flows from hidden springs and calls for constant and crafty prodding more than blunt hectoring. The way to get someone out of a negative cascade is not with a ferocious e-mail trying to attack their bad behavior. It’s to go on offense and try to maximize some alternative good behavior. There’s a trove of research suggesting that it’s best to tackle negative behaviors obliquely, by redirecting attention toward different, positive ones. ...
Lure people toward success with the promise of admiration instead of trying to punish failure with criticism. Positive rewards are more powerful.

Great article by David Brooks of the New York Times. He covers politics where people hit each other over the head with their words all the time. But he argues, correctly, that change in people comes not through tirade and chastisement. -gw

Abdu’l-Bahá tells us:—
To be silent concerning the faults of others, to pray for them, and to help them, through kindness, to correct their faults.

To look always at the good and not at the bad. If a man has ten good qualities and one bad one, to look at the ten and forget the one; and if a man has ten bad qualities and one good one, to look at the one and forget the ten.

In Baha'u'llah and the New Era

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

On Hot Instruments: Didg and Uke

Among some of the nations of the Orient, music and harmony was not approved of, but the Manifested Light, Bahá’u’lláh, in this glorious period has revealed in Holy Tablets that singing and music are the spiritual food of the hearts and souls. In this dispensation, music is one of the arts that is highly approved and is considered to be the cause of the exaltation of sad and desponding hearts. 

What are the most popular instruments to take up these days? By my unofficial, unscientific survey, it's gotta be the didgeridoo and the ukelele. Shawn regales the Area Teaching Committee with his didg music on occasion. Tom plays uke at a lot of his gigs around Tacoma. And at work, there is this guy who plays both. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Standards: Society's vs Baha'u'llah's

The light of the Revelation is destined to illumine every sphere of endeavour; in each, the relationships that sustain society are to be recast; in each, the world seeks examples of how human beings should be to one another. We offer for your consideration, given its conspicuous part in generating the ferment in which so many people have recently been embroiled, the economic life of humanity, where injustice is tolerated with indifference and disproportionate gain is regarded as the emblem of success. So deeply entrenched are such pernicious attitudes that it is hard to imagine how any one individual can alone alter the prevailing standards by which the relationships in this domain are governed. 

Universal House of Justice, April 21, 2012 

This helpful chart was up on the wall at Matt and Christy's for use by the Tigers junior youth group, I presume.  -gw

As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessings be. This is the standard — this is the standard — this is the standard. ('Abdul-Bahá, Bahá'i Scriptures, p. 503 )

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Take Pictures: There's a world of people who may want to come see

I love the Internet. I love Flickr. Our main computer is down at the house, and I haven't posted anything for a week. We can't even access Facebook at the moment. Yet for some reason we have been having visitors to our Flickr site at an amazing clip. Our average for the month is above 3000 total views each day -- yesterday 7,582. Take pictures, try to tell an interesting story --for example,the Baha'i story -- put the pics up on a cloud for the world to see, do it consistently, and people will come.

Maybe our hard drive is going out. If it were to die, and we couldn't access what's on it, what would we lose? Well, 95% of the pictures on it are on Flickr. As for the music, I got the original CDs. Hey, I'm kinda backed up. -gw

Flickr is a great example of cloud computing as a service. While Flickr started with an emphasis on sharing photos and images, it has emerged as a great place to store those images. In many ways, it is superior to storing the images on your computer.

First, Flickr allows you to easily access your images no matter where you are or what type of device you are using. While you might upload the photos of your vacation to Greece from your home computer, you can easily access them from your laptop while on the road or even from your iPhone while sitting in your local coffee house.

Second, Flickr lets you share the images. There's no need to burn them to a compact disc or save them on a flash drive. You can just send someone your Flickr address.

Third, Flickr provides data security. If you keep your photos on your local computer, what happens if your hard drive crashes? You'd better hope you backed them up to a CD or a flash drive! By uploading the images to Flickr, you are providing yourself with data security by creating a backup on the web. And while it is always best to keep a local copy -- either on your computer, a compact disc or a flash drive -- the truth is that you are far more likely to lose the images you store locally than Flickr is of losing your images.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On Thankful You Are Here: To attain the all-highest Garden of His good-pleasure

THIS Religion is indeed, in the sight of God, the essence of the Faith of Muḥammad; haste ye then to attain the celestial Paradise and the all-highest Garden of His good-pleasure in the presence of the One True God, could ye but be patient and thankful before the evidences of the signs of God.
Thanksgiving is probably the favorite national holiday for Baha'is. Bonita and I attended Chris & Shadi's Thanksgiving devotional last night. I felt thankful seeing Rocky, Kim, Trejon, Gilmar, Sean, Amanda, Anthony, and Asean there, among many others. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Eat Ye That Which God Hath Made Lawful: As a token of His grace

After we got home from Shadi's Thanksgiving devotional, Bonita and I watched a new episode of "Alaska: The Last Frontier" that included a segment on killing two turkeys, "Thanksgiving" and "Christmas," for food for winter. That segment made me think of the video clip below, I recorded a year ago. There are no dietary restrictions in the Baha'i Faith. Want ham for Thanksgiving? No problem. Turkey? Have at it.
Eat ye of that which God hath made lawful unto you and do not shun meat. God hath, as a token of His grace, granted you leave to partake thereof save during a brief period.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

On Babies Require Small Clothes: Then they get big

Babies come in small packages. They require small clothes. Then they get big, move out, but come back when hungry. -gw
O Lord!  Make these children excellent plants.  Let them grow and develop in the Garden of Thy Covenant, and bestow freshness and beauty through the outpourings from the clouds of the all-glorious Kingdom.
O Thou kind Lord!  I am a little child, exalt me by admitting me to the kingdom.  I am earthly, make me heavenly; I am of the world below, let me belong to the realm above; gloomy, suffer me to become radiant; material, make me spiritual, and grant that I may manifest Thine infinite bounties.
Thou art the Powerful, the All-Loving.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Stuck in Europe On This Google Earth: In warm places with sunshine

I tell Bonita there are plenty of other places in the world to go visiting via Street View on Google Earth besides Europe, and she says she gonna, but the reality is she is still "stuck" in Europe -- at the moment, in warm places with sunshine, not all that unusual, considering the overcast weather here. -gw
A man who tries to worship God without turning to His Manifestation is like a man in a dungeon trying through his imagination to revel in the glories of the sunshine.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Young and Old Together: No evidence of age-stratification in our community

If you're old, it is such a joy to be with the young, and, I presume, vice versa. The Baha'i community abounds in opportunities for inter-generational friendships. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On a Walk in the Rain at Dusk: Ever on the face of the earth somewhere rain is pouring down

Revelation may be likened to the rain. Can you imagine the cessation of rain? Ever on the face of the earth somewhere rain is pouring down.
According to Cliff Mass on radio the other day, we're entering the rainiest period in the entire year for Western Washington. No matter that it was raining and approaching dusk, Bonita, the kids and I went out for a walk in the rain Sunday. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Monday, November 19, 2012

On a Spiritual Life Is a Community Life: He that shutteth himself up in a house is indeed as one dead

Say: O concourse of monks! Seclude not yourselves in churches and cloisters. Come forth by My leave, and occupy yourselves with that which will profit your souls and the souls of men. Thus biddeth you the King of the Day of Reckoning. Seclude yourselves in the stronghold of My love. This, verily, is a befitting seclusion, were ye of them that perceive it. He that shutteth himself up in a house is indeed as one dead. It behooveth man to show forth that which will profit all created things, and he that bringeth forth no fruit is fit for fire. Thus counseleth you your Lord, and He, verily, is the Almighty, the All-Bounteous.
Some people don't get out very much. They live in isolation. To live a spiritual life requires living in community. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Trying To Get In: Standing in the precincts of the Fortress to gaze at the windows of His prison cell

It was as if there were a moat around the apartments and we couldn't get across. The front door was locked, there was no buzzer to let us in, we didn't have Kim's cell phone, and Kim's pre-pilgrmage party was already underway. We could see the friends seated inside through the bay windows of the historic Tacoma apartment building, but we couldn't get in. Bonita looked forlorn as she stared up at the windows, reminiscent of a believerr who came within "the precincts of the Fortress to gaze at the windows of [Baha'u'llah's] prison cell" in Acca. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


On the Baha'i Faith as an Organized Religion: But it ain't a bad thing

I've blogged about this before. Organized religion does not have a good rep. The Baha'i Faith is organized. I would argue it is the most organized of all religions, but in a category by itself, because its organization is not onerous. Baha'is are in a learning mode. And are they learning! These photos are from a post-expansion phase meeting of the Area Teaching Committee with Cluster Institute Coordinators and assistants- gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Monday, November 12, 2012

On Overflowing With Songs in Cluster 19: Heck yeah, we export songs

The choir continues to practice, despite a packed schedule. OK, there is no choir per se. And, seriously, there are no practices, only performances by this audacious group. Dare I say, every gathering of the friends involved in Tacoma's Eastside Initiative starts not only with prayers, but songs. It's true. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On If You Know Who Your Beloved Is: What would make your heart happy?

The Tiger's football season is over. So what do Tigers' players do? Play football. Then it's time for junior youth group. After that there is a meal that Matt and Christy have lovingly prepared. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Preventing Bullying & Teen Suicide: Junior youth program can make a difference

The amazing testimony comes from a newly declared Baha'i in Tacoma, who has repudiated a life of gangs and drugs. The Baha'i-inspired Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program has the power to save lives -- literally. JYSEP is still in its infancy in many communities, but it's potential is so great. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Links to the Holy Land: Some Baha'is are on pilgrimage at this very moment

The links to the Holy Places are direct for Baha'is. Their hearts are connected. Memories of pilgrimage linger a liftetime for those who have had the privilege of going. The thought of pilgrimage inspires those who have yet to go. Some dear souls are on pilgrimage at this very moment. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On at Campaign Central: Who else but God can bring such a cross-section of humanity into one room?

The 27th intensive expansion campaign ended last week for the Baha'i friends in Tacoma after 16 days of "straining every nerve." The consolidation effort that follows it is highly organized and intense in its own way. Here are images from the evening at "Campaign Central" last Saturday. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On at Campaign Central: Who else but God can bring such a cross-section of humanity into one room?

On the Excellence of So Great a Revelation: Family honored

Christy has a knack for decoration. Her home reflects her love of family. Her family strives for excellence. -gw
From the excellence of so great a Revelation the honor with which its faithful followers must needs be invested can be well imagined. By the righteousness of the one true God! The very breath of these souls is in itself richer than all the treasures of the earth. Happy is the man that hath attained thereunto, and woe betide the heedless.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Take Thou Firm Hold on His Cord: A cord which none can sever

Cling thou to the hem of the Robe of God, and take thou firm hold on His Cord, a Cord which none can sever. Beware that the clamor of them that have repudiated this Most Great Announcement shall not deter thee from achieving thy purpose. Proclaim what hath been prescribed unto thee in this Tablet, though all the peoples arise and oppose thee. Thy Lord is, verily, the All-Compelling, the Unfailing Protector. My glory be with thee and with those of My loved ones that associate with thee. These indeed are they with whom it shall be well.
Liam shows us how to take firm hold. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Thursday, November 08, 2012

On God Don't Make No Junk: Most "junk DNA" consists of regulatory proteins

A repudiation of the idea of "junk DNA" has been all over the science news recently. (Music lovers may remember the a certain music album linked below that incorporates the idea in a well-known colloquial expression.) Speaking on maternal mental health, here is Shawn Elmore, PhD, Associate Professor, Psychology and Community Health, University of Washington, speaking on "junk DNA" at the Symposium on Infant Mental Health in Mukilteo WA last month. -gw
God Don't Make No Junk (1994) is the name of the first album recorded by the American group The Halo Benders.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

On the Sun Shines On Both the East and the West: And controversies still reign

How many times has the weatherman told you stories that made you laugh?
You know it's not up to the politicians and the leaders, when they do things by half
Who gets the job of pushing the knob?
That's what responsibility you draw straws for if you're mad enough
Politics and a failure of leadership have been a source of controversy in both the West and the East throughout the past century and longer.  -gw 
... urge them ... to refrain from entering into the tangled affairs of political parties and to have neither concern for, nor involvement in, the controversies of politicians, the wranglings of theologians or any of the ailing social theories current amongst men.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

Sunday, November 04, 2012

On the Lives of Baha'is: Blog profiles

Lately I've been creating new blogs to profile souls who are dear to me, built around photos I have been taking of them over time in chronicling Baha'i community life here. I've just made a beginning, but here are two examples. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Baha'is In Church: Not always greeted warmly

Christy recounts a story of a Baha'i youth who visited a neighborhood church and was told that her faith was "of the devil." I witnessed evangelizing by a zealous Christion to Baha'is gathered at a funeral at his church. The Baha'i way is to walk in fellowship with other Faiths. -gw
Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship.”

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Images from Tacoma's Expansion: Relaxation and reflection at the end of Day 13

Step into Matt and Christy's humble home, location for morning preparation and evening reflection weekdays during the second week of Tacoma's Eastside expansion, and you saw a coordinator engaged in planning, a junior youth sharing proudly the A he earned at school, kids listened to music and dancing, a child still in costume from Halloween the night before, and the friends engaged in fervent prayer and personal sharing. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

On Mauricio Leads Tacoma's Junior Youth in Song: If thou lovest Me, turn away from thyself

Day 15 of Tacoma's expansion effort on the Eastside has the friends in fine form. Their songs of preparation help to center them on the Word of God, in this case, a spiritual verity from Baha'u'llah's Hidden Words. -gw
If thou lovest Me, turn away from thyself; and if thou seekest My pleasure, regard not thine own; that thou mayest die in Me and I may eternally live in thee.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views