With the ever increasing sophistication of social media and its many dimensions and affiliates, how foreign must be the concept of consultation at a period of time when personal conversation is becoming non-existent, starting within homes where each occupant communicates through individual types of mobile phones from earliest childhood. Through such societal advancement(?) the art of mere conversation has become extinct with family members constantly scurrying in all directions, gathering at dining tables, the former single opportunity for family conversation, only on holidays or other special occasions.
Yet despite its apparent dwindling in modern society, the stronghold of consultation in administrative orders is being strongly reinforced through the spiritual institutions of the new Revelation of Baha’u’llah, (the Baha’i Faith) throughout which no single individual has any administrative title or authority of any kind on any level. Nor is anyone paid for services rendered upon being elected to any of its Administrative Bodies (of 9 elected members-–with NO campaigning) on local, state, regional, national or even international level at the World Center in Haifa, Israel-– the embryonic Administrative Order of World Peace.
Consultation is also especially effective in other problematic situations–among which racism remains “the most challenging issue confronting America.” To continue “to ignore the problem is to expose the country to physical, moral and spiritual danger… America’s peace, prosperity, and even her standing in the international community depend on healing the wounds of racism and building a society in which people of diverse backgrounds live as members of one family,” from a statement issued by the Baha’i National Spiritual Assembly nearly 30 years ago. Forewarning of such danger, however, is insufficient in itself. It must be accompanied by voluntary action (through consultation) by an increasing number of diverse people on every level of society.
One such very impressive effort was instituted shortly thereafter by a Jewish Baha’i among the college campuses of the nation entitled “Institutes for the Healing of Racism. A division was even instituted here in Roanoke that began instead in the Downtown Public Library before moving to the Unitarian Universalist Church under the pastorate of Rev. Kirk Ballin and finally into The Roanoke Tribune building for a combined most effective 10-year+ combined stint.
Each weekly meeting was prefaced with “Concepts” of the definition and devastating effects of racism upon society as a whole and on perpetuators and victims alike in particular. Guidelines were also laid prior to each meeting creating a safe, loving and respectful atmosphere for the racially, culturally and religiously diverse people who attended to feel comfortable to express our own prejudices while trying to understand our part as well in the problem. Many lasting friendships were made and professional as well as personal prejudices exposed during the rewarding multi-year experience.
Unfortunately the constantly escalating unrest and violent situations of today seem to be crying out for renewal of such humbling and unifying effort. Should enough interest be expressed-–through contacting The Roanoke Tribune (540-343-0326) or by email, (email@example.com), an Introductory Session, date, time and place can be arranged and publicly announced.
We can’t start changing the world by first changing others–over whom we have no control! It’s time to take the first step in collectively trying to take an honest look first at our own attitudes and subsequent actions through the divine art of consultation–and start leading by EXAMPLE and not by demonstrations and force. (Investigate!)