Posted by Omid (220.127.116.11) on November 10, 2003 at 15:11:20:
Dear Baha'i friends,
As some of you may have noticed I am relativly new to this bulletin board. After looking through the archives of this posting arena, I have noticed all the way back to 1998 that most of you are middle aged scholars or professionals occupied and disscussing very broad and intersting subjects. Great and fine for expereinced academics. Im still in college and my constant pre-occupation is trying to figure out how and when is the best window for people to convert to The faith.
Sure we all hear stories about people who converted "all of a sudden". But in most cases the Faith takes many, many, hours to actually hook someone. I have showed the faith to many, many people here in my college. To my professors, to my fellow students, to administrators etc etc. I have received a number of responses. I asked my English professor to read some of the Guardians work in Advent of Divine Justice and tell me what she thought about his "style" of writing. The next day I went into her office and she called me a fanatic and sent what I had given her up to the dean. I was amused by her reaction and the reaction of several others. THEY ALL SAID I WAS FANATICAL. I laughed and now basically ignore her when she glares at me in the hall ways (im glad im not taking her this semester).
Anywho, for example before this incident I gave her the Ode of the Dove to read and asked her what she thought. Of course she loved that and spoke highly of it.
The point I am trying to get at, and the question maybe y'all can help me with is; is there any specific writings that are universal in the power to atract seekers? Sure there are lots of verses and pamphlets out there, but could we develop and promote a series of compilations that are targeted for certain ages and certain intrests? The Faith is broad in its scope and covers a number of subjects in all fields of thought and philosophy. Is there a verse or paragraph that (in the expereince of any who might read this posting) has always gotten positive and productive results? Almost every open minded person agrees with the tenets of the Faith but by that time the psychological "window of oppurtunity" has passed and the person has already re-inforced a life philosophy to which they adheare to. Religiously oriented or not. Conversion after 30 happens but not as often as it happens before.
SO, as psychological research shows, youth are most receptive to the new ideas in the world than any other age groups. Is this why there is so much emphasis on people like me? I mean lets face it Shoghi Effendi did not spend more time on adressing the 35-65 age bracket did he? The writtings are for everyone but there seems to be a underlying emphasis on youth. WHY? Could it be that activly campaigning for us to uphold and follow the most challenging laws of the faith (i.e. chasity and abstaining from alcohol and drugs) in the "wonder years" proves to be a most productive beacon for ourselves and for others. I dont know but I know a lot of Baha'i youth who are "naughty" and a lot who are not. SO given that we are in a time of "peer pressure" and most susceptable to outside influence etc etc, is not universal that the youth are the ambassadors to the future of the world and therfore should be the best they can be?
For non-Bahai youth it is the most fun/difficult/rebelious/best time of life. Why then does religion find its place at this "window of oppurtunity"?
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