The Story of Four Falls

As many people know I fell about 10 years ago, 10 feet, approximately. I was working on a construction site, and perhaps I didn’t set the ladder up correctly or it was just bad luck, but the ladder slid out from under me and down I went. That fall messed me up, Permanently. As much is I gripe and complain about it I know for a fact I’m in the lucky to be alive department. One day in the store I met a man he had a prosthetic leg and hoping I wasn’t too far out of line I cracked a joke about the other person, he laughed a little, and we started talking and he told me that he had fallen 200 feet in a paragliding accident, Wow. Put my 10 foot fall to shame. Then we talked a little bit about injuries and such and walked away.

We both walked.

I have a friend who wasn’t so lucky, on vacation in Mexico he took a wrong step off of a porch took a 3 foot tumble partial sever of the spinal cord, he was in a wheelchair. It took him some time and work to learn to walk again.

I went with him to Craig Hospital in Denver – they specialize in spinal cord injuries. A woman who was there had a story- one early morning in the usual way, she leaned over to kiss her husband good morning, and as blankets do they collected on the floor and she tripped. Complete sever of the spinal cord she will never walk again.

These were four falls and four injuries. We were all hurt permanently but the most severe of which was the most minor and common place of falls and that will never heal.

This is a story of privilege.

We have living around us people of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and personal temperament. The thickness of skin can differ, what can we let roll off our backs, what hurts us to the core.

Ways of saying we are each unique in our handling of situations.

The word you say to someone can be just as paralyzing as a complete server to the spinal cord and just as painful.

Dandelions

a month so hard

so many failures

rejection

depression

stops me from moving

forcing forward

walk

past plastic grass

Dandelions growing

in plastic grass

Joy

Be the Dandelion

In the face of rejection

Be the Dandelion

In the wind

Be Hope

Am i a Bahá’í?

Every time I begin to have problems in life and with the community, The Friends, and my faith shaken, the words spoken at a youth camp when I was 14 years old ring through my head,

“a Bahá’í youth is popular, a Bahá’í youth is a leader, a Bahai Youth does well in school, you must strive to be a Bahá’í youth“

I was none of these things, slow, very unpopular in school and in the youth group, and anything but a leader.

Was I a Bahá’í?

At 15 I signed my card, and national lost it.

Was I a Bahá’í?

Now older still i am none of this, am not popular, I have very few to no close friends, communication is very difficult for me, i don’t see things the same as the rest of the Bahá’ís, often feeling unwelcome and excluded.

But i am a Bahá’í!

The Fast

tests come in waves

like the pruning shears of the gardener

cutting away old habits

impurities

dead branches that don’t serve us anymore

habits

no longer useful

prune away

attachments

rip out the imaginations

vanities

of our own greatness

left feeling tiny small

no shade from the

Sun

Convenience

We know that to help the poor and to be merciful is good and pleases God, but knowledge alone does not feed the starving man, nor can the poor be warmed by knowledge or words in the bitter winter; we must give the practical help of loving-kindness.”
(Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 60)

When I was at Baha’i youth Hands Across America was a nationwide event to bring awareness to hunger in America. The Baha’i youth wanted to participate, and I convinced my parents that we should do that too.

The Baha’i’s were going to go downtown and join the line. However my father said if you look there asking for people out by the mesa’s outside of the cities, that was the greatest need.

My father took this opportunity to teach me a lesson about service.

Service isn’t going to where it is convenient for you, it is about going where the greatest need is within your capacity.

In October I gave a presentation at World Hunger Day hosted by the Interfaith Hunger Coalition on an agricultural cooperative I was working for and it’s relevant to the Baha’i faith and me. There I met a Imam from the Lighthouse mosque. they had been feeding the homeless sack lunches on Thursday evenings for the last year and was giving a presentation on that trying to gain support from other faith organizations. When we spoke to him he probably invited the Bahá’ís to join him, saying that the divide between the two faith communities was the old world, we are Americans, we need to act Unified.

two weeks prior by Thursdays cleared up, I was actually looking forward to having a day off, LOL!

A reflection on hearing loss

I grew up with disabilities pertaining to communication.

Speech impediment, auditory processing disorder and dyslexia what fun!

There still with me today of course, but I have always felt limited by them, inferior, and with less of an ability to contribute to the transformation of humanity than others. My contributions were limited by my disability.

That is what we are taught by the this dying order of our culture, you must fit into the perfect form, you must be “eloquent in your speech” to be a full contributor and to be respected.

When I Was first diagnosed with hearing loss my first thought was “oh God one more thing I can’t communicate as it is now I can’t hear them as well as I understand them.”

Why do i fall for this false paradigm?

Unity in diversity, not uniformity, is the goal, it is the Law.

Each person is different we all have abilities and we all have disabilities depending on who makes the decision.

Perhaps you can lead a group discussion, talk at ease in a crowd, remember every detail and i can’t. So I’m not eloquent in my speech, I say things wrong on a regular basis, I don’t always read well and I read very slow, and now I can’t quite hear what you say. So what. You can’t do everything I can do, and my contributions matter.

Maybe there is something i can do you cannot or maybe not but it doesn’t matter because my contributions to this Cause matter, or i would not have been summed to It.

Thy letter was received. Thou has written ‘I am not worthy.’ Who is worthier than thee? Hast thou not been worthy, thou wouldst not have turned to God and wouldst not have wished to enter the Kingdom.

Thy worthiness has guided thee until this blessing and bounty have encompassed thee.

Abdul-bahá Fire and Gold pg 212

Humility

I am sitting here studying humility and habits of humble people as reported in Forbes and research. Going over it, studying it and how do I make myself more humble assume “The Humble Posture of Learning” that we are supposed to aspire to; and then I realized the first step towards humility is the realization that Yes you are worthy of what you have been called to do; Yes you have a contribution, and No you don’t need to prove to anyone what you know or what you can accomplish you just need to act in the best way possible.

To work with diligent patience.