Ten weeks into writing my new blog I needed to express my thanks to all the new readers this obscure newcomer had attracted, receiving over 1,600 hits, and from places as far away as Iraq. What a powerful reminder of the great new world we live in!
It took countless years for the story of Adam and Eve and the teachings of Abraham and Krishna to reach today’s world, and like the old game of Chinese Whispers, it changed over the years in many ways, but the underlying message remains the same.
I wish I could thank my first ever teacher, Mrs Melrose who, with my mother, began a whole lifetime of learning for me. She would be supplanted in the years to come by Mr. Tibbits, Mr Elliot, Mr Whitmore and others, culminating finally with dear Miss Smith.
Each built upon the knowledge acquired from previous teachers.
Over these same years, on Sundays I was learning about other teachers like Moses and Christ.
In the 'hippy' years to come I learned about Krishna and Buddha, and in the atheist years that followed, of C.S. Lewis and Bertrand Russell, about whom my father and I would exchange passionate, contrary yet respectful views over Sunday lunch.
These lengthy and pleasurable conversations were made even more so because, my being otherwise occupied with a subject both parents approved of, the brothers would be asked to wash dishes in my place as the only girl in the family.
After all those year’s study of both religion and science I became despairing of anything better to follow atheism, and threw myself into feminism with a vengeance. However, whilst continuing with a lifelong belief in the equality of the genders, beneath it all my heart remained dissatisfied.
Eventually I found myself by choice living in a lowly council flat, rubbing shoulders with a diverse group of people I’d never had an opportunity to meet previously.
I was teaching a small group of 4 ‘special class’ or developmentally delayed children from Samoa, Tonga, Nuie and Maori backgrounds.
Whilst it was every teacher’s dream to have only 4 pupils, this was a group unlike any previously experienced, who dispensed hugs, kisses and bruises in equal measures, and whom I will never forget for the very best of reasons.
On the floor of the dusty cupboard lay a small book left by the previous teacher entitled 'Guidance for Today and Tomorrow' by an author unknown to me; Shoghi Effendi. And, just as its title promised, that long-searched-for guidance was just what I found.
This experience marked the beginning of a whole new life for me.
'The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and centre your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.” - Baha'u'llah
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