The consultative process itself promotes personal growth and collective solidarity, indispensable elements in true development. (Bahá’í International Community, Report on Rural Poverty Alleviation Efforts in Asia and the Pacific, Focusing on Activities for Disadvantaged Women, paragraph 6.1.2.)
As someone committed to personal growth, I found this quote linking consultation to personal growth and its indispensability to the community development work fascinating. True personal growth is not about buying a book and letting it sit on your shelf at home or attending a seminar and feeling like you’ve accomplished something. The Faith teaches us that growth is so much more than that. Transformation involves the knowledge of God and acquiring virtues. The closer we come to God, the more severe our tests become and continuing to make a commitment to staying close to the Covenant and committing to make each day better than the day before can be difficult, especially if we allow ourselves to get distracted by the changes and chances of a rapidly declining old world order.
I’m coming to really appreciate how prayerful reflection in consultation with others can help us take our spiritual growth to the next level, by helping us set realistic and attainable goals, create plans to achieve them and identify and resolve problems as they arise. Consultation can help us recognize and describe our feelings, give and receive feedback and recognize assumptions. Consultation helps us explore our identity, talents and potential, as well as dreams and aspirations. It develops us physically, mentally, spiritually and intellectually. The more we improve and the closer we come to God, we will eagerly want to use our full potentials to benefit ourselves and others. New skills and talents will be discovered. Old relationships will be strengthened and new ones easily formed. All of this works together to give us a boost in self-image and self-confidence.
Personal growth expands our frame of reference to include the people around us instead of becoming more self-centered. As our world expands, so does our awareness of the possibilities and opportunities around us. This possibility mindset fills us with an attitude of eager anticipation as we start each new day.
Knowing the benefits of consultation to growth and development, 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