Balance in life, and pioneering versus getting an education
by / on behalf of Universal House of Justice1994-09-04
Dear Bahá'í Friend,
Your letter dated 30 June 1994 has been received by the Universal House of Justice, and we have been asked to provide the following comments.
You have asked about finding a balance between being spontaneous, sincere and easy-going and also attending seriously to one's responsibilities and obligations. There are many factors, both external and internal, involved in forming one's character and learning to cope with the exigencies of life. Ultimately, each individual must work out a pattern for living, according to his understanding of the Teachings and the dictates of his conscience. One should seek to identify practical steps in each important area of one's life and then make a plan to effect these, resolutely surmounting obstacles, which can breed a sense of frustration and paralysis. According to one's position in the life cycle, certain activities will naturally be accorded a higher priority at a given moment than others, as each season offers possibilities that must be seized. You should have no undue anxiety about having to prioritize your time in this manner. Gradually, as one cultivates one's abilities and polishes the mirror of one's soul through prayer, meditation, and service, an underlying rhythm of life begins to emerge. Shoghi Effendi, in a letter written on his behalf to an individual, offered a valuable insight into the kind of life to which Bahá'ís ought to aspire:
The great thing is to "live the life"-- to have our lives so saturated with the Divine teachings and the Bahá'í Spirit that people cannot fail to see a joy, a power, a love, a purity, a radiance, an efficiency in our character and work that will distinguish us from worldly-minded people and make people wonder what is the secret of this new life in us.
Regarding the need to acquire education and a profession, versus the call to arise and serve the Faith directly, there is no essential conflict between these two necessities of Bahá'í life, but the issues involved must be weighed carefully by the individual concerned in relation to his own personal circumstances. The considerations to be borne in mind by anyone contemplating pioneering for the Cause are the undoubted wisdom of obtaining qualifications which will enable him to be self-supporting wherever he may go, the general needs of the Cause, any specific very urgent needs, and his own predilections.
For Department of the Secretariat
Note from Recipient of this letter: