Unanswered Posts

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brettz9
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Unanswered Posts

Postby brettz9 » Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:24 am

Dear all,

Bahá'u'lláh commands the following:

"Whensoever ye be invited to a banquet or festive occasion, respond with joy and gladness, and whoever fulfilleth his promise will be safe from reproof. This is a Day on which each of God's wise decrees hath been expounded." (Kitáb-i-Aqdas, paragraph 156)

Although this is written in a different context, I wonder whether we here might consider whether the same concept applies to those inviting us to respond to a post of theirs at such forums as these--which can be like a banquet of ideas, one might say. The Qur'án similarly indicates that we ought to respond to a greeting with a greeting which is at least equal to the one received: "When ye are saluted with a salutation, salute the person with a better salutation, or at least return the same; for GOD taketh an account of all things." (4:86). Although it is obviously not suitable for everyone to respond to a given post, and sometimes we do not have the time to respond, I would think common courtesy, especially in light of the above references, might prompt us to not leave a voice unanswered, not only in person, but also online, if even to simply say "can you explain your idea more clearly?". It otherwise it might seem like the "Sounds of Silence" to the individual when no one posts anything. We should try to express ourselves with "exactitude and eloquence", as 'Abdu'l-Bahá indicates to respect the courtesy of our hearers, but in such cases, or in other cases, if no one else is responding, we might at least inform them after some time at least why we ourselves have not done so.

Just something to think about...
Brett

richard
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Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:38 pm
Location: Michigan, by Canada

Re: Unanswered Posts

Postby richard » Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:03 pm

Hello Brett,

Ironic, and sad, that you never received any replies to your post regarding a shortange of replies in this cyber space. I have noticed it since i have been dropping in from time to time for some time now.

I think Jim has a handle on the problem, but has not yet stated it as succinctly as needed to catalyze a discussion on the lack of discussions here.

In my case, I have just chalked it off as to be expected by a non-Baha'i member among Baha'is. Which is also ironic, given the Faith teachings of spiritual unity among all persons and religions.

I really think the problem, as with most all religions, is that the orientation is theologically "intellectual," rather than spiritual. Given our human pride and ego, which is unspiritual, we too often think it is important for us to be "intellectuially right", rather than spiritually good; and of course, if we truly are spiritually good, godly, and loving, we will be sincerely motivated to also be wise and true in our relationships with others.

Also ironic is the most recent unanswered post from Bob, who is having difficulty getting any replies from his inquiries to other Baha'is and Baha'i groups.

I have learned not to expect replies, let alone discussions, but there sure is a strange un-dynamic energy in our midst.

Perhaps the influence of interlopers and spammers has taken more of a toll than any of us realize... And, as always, Brett, God bless you and your loved ones today, and forever, by His Grace... richard

brettz9
Posts: 1360
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Unanswered Posts

Postby brettz9 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:46 pm

Hi Richard,

I'm sorry that you have had this experience at our (and your!) forum, and am especially sorry for my own part in not responding to your thoughtful points raised for discussion. However, it certainly has nothing to do with you being a non-Baha'i!

I think, despite my comments, that with peoples' busy lives, and the new age of the internet whereby there are SO many choices, SO many discussions and so on, it is really not possible to expect the same kind of responsiveness as one might find by dropping in on a group of friends, a local Baha'i community, etc. Other discussion forums, of whatever type, face the same issues. I'm not sure how long you have been on the net, but I know when I first started in the online world in the early 90's, I remember wishing that certain discussions were more well-attended (not Baha'i ones), but over time just got used to the nature of the medium.

I think one common factor in many posts not getting answered relates to the nature of the posts. If the post is to raise a general discussion, I believe without certain individuals eager and willing to be daily caretakers for the board, these posts are easy to go unaddressed. Jonah and myself are quite busy, and I have my own issues with chronic fatigue, etc., which makes concentrating on certain topics difficult. I know other frequent contributors here, like BB, may be students, and just have time to drop in on occasion, probably to take a break, so functioning as a caretaker (in the thorough sense I am referring to here) would not work easily for them either. Certain topics might also be too abstract, or conversely, too emotional for some people to consistently sustain participation, again, especially with other commitments.

While it would be ideal to have such caretakers, I would just like to see all of us try to take enough ownership to try to at least briefly address posts which ask questions (and for Baha'is, ideally I'd say, to base their answers to questions asking for a perspective of the Faith on a little searching of the Writings)--especially questions for which there is a ready and brief answer (one reason it's taking me a while to get to Jim's post, for example), and if not, in such cases at least, to give some kind of reply.

That is my feeling at least.

By the way, while it does seem a little ironic about my post not getting any replies, I really wasn't bothered by it, since again, this was just a general discussion post, not something for which I needed an answer, etc.

best wishes,
Brett


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