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Inviting Others to Help with Decision Making

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A Bahá’í who has a problem may wish to make his own decision upon it after prayer and after weighing all the aspects of it in his own mind; . . . he may prefer to seek the council of individual friends or of professional counselors such as his doctor or lawyer so that he can consider such advice when making his decision; or in a case where several people are involved, such as a family situation, he may want to gather together those who are affected so that they may arrive at a collective decision. There is also no objection whatever to a Bahá’í asking a group of people to consult together on a problem facing him.  (The Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 179, #589)

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE this Faith?  Quotes like this remind me of the principle of moderation in all things; and how every principle is treated on its own merit; and how many ways there are of looking at issues and solving problems.

I especially like the reminder to pray, which gives us access to the entire Company on High and allows us to find solutions we might never have thought of on our own.

I remember at one time in my recovery from childhood trauma, misunderstanding “Thy Name is my healing”, thinking all I had to do is pray, yet here we’re told it’s OK to seek counsel from professional people.  I also like the idea that family members can consult together with those who are affected by a decision, which brings in the idea that younger family members have rights too.

There are pros and cons for making decisions on my own vs. with others.  On my own, I risk making ill-informed decisions; if I involve others, I risk wasting time.  Because Baha’u’llah puts so much value on consultation, I’m reminded that sometimes the process is more important than the outcome.  Sometimes the act of consulting prayerfully with others can have consequences that have nothing to do with the decision that has to be made, such as strengthening family ties; or work teams.

Knowing the options in front of me when I need to make decisions, I am grateful!

What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation?  I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!

If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Learning How to Consult Effectively

 

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Consultation Needs Several Voices

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The purpose of consultation is to show that the views of several individuals are assuredly preferable to one man, even as the power of a number of men is of course greater than the power of one man.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, p. 176, #580)

Being both single and self-employed, I’m used to making decisions alone.  Even when I could consult with others, I’ve always thought it was easier and faster to do it myself.  When I became a Bahá’í and saw the importance of consultation I had to change my views.  I’ve come to appreciate that when a diverse group of people who understand and respect each other’s differences and contributions consult together, more can be accomplished much more efficiently.  It’s not always easy to recognize the important contribution towards the performance of the team that different members bring to the table and it’s not even easy to see the contribution I bring, when I’m used to doing everything myself.

The nine kinds of people who work best together on a team are people who:

  1. come up with ideas I might not have thought of
  2. assess the risks
  3. focus on details and logistics
  4. come up with all the reasons something won’t work
  5. are skilled in listening between the lines and hearing what isn’t being said
  6. provide motivation and encouragement
  7. are willing to do the work
  8. support and step into any gaps that might arise
  9. won’t give up when the going gets tough

When I look at this list, it’s easy to see my strengths and weaknesses, and relax into the idea that I don’t have to do everything myself, and I am grateful!

What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation?  I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!

If you liked this meditation, you might also like my newly published book Learning How to Consult Effectively

 

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