These, indeed, are the days when heroism is needed on the part of the believers. Self sacrifice, courage, indomitable hope and confidence are the characteristics they should show forth, because these very attributes cannot but fix the attention of the public and lead them to enquire what, in a world so hopelessly chaotic and bewildered, leads these people to be so assured, so confident, so full of devotion? (From a letter dated 26 October 1941 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, in Living the Life, p. 17)
When Shoghi Effendi wrote these words in 1941, the world was in a very different place. When I think of heroism, I often think of the soldiers fighting in World Wars 1 and 2, or the firefighters who rushed to save people on 9/11. So many acts of bravery and heroism that came out of those times.
In this wonderful age, we’ve been given a new definition of heroism. Today’s heroes are the community builders, who sacrifice their time, money, and sometimes even their educations and careers to focus on engaging the wider community and winning the goals of the plans.
I’ve learned just how much courage is needed for me to step outside my comfort zone to invite people to participate in the core activities. I have faith, hope and confidence in the plans set before us by our beloved Universal House of Justice, and somedays I can even reach between the veil of now and the future, and see people engaged in all the core activities in every street of my neighborhood. I long to find the stamina needed to help these community building initiatives keep going, sometimes in the face of the world’s indifference and contention.
I’m thrilled to see in learning sites all over the world, Baha’is and non-Baha’is are working together for the betterment of their communities, and to witness first hand how these activities act as magnets, drawing the confirmations promised by the Central Figures. In communities such as these, we see first hand how the general public are wondering what leads these people to be so assured, so confident, so full of devotion, in a world so hopelessly chaotic and bewildered and long to join in.
Knowing what it takes for me to be a hero in today’s world, and seeing heroes all over the world, I am grateful!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Getting to Know Your Lower Nature