“of paramount importance”


Even though children’s activities have been a part of past Plans, these have fallen short of the need. Spiritual education of children and junior youth are of paramount importance to the further progress of the community. It is therefore imperative that this deficiency be remedied. Institutes must be certain to include in their programmes the training of teachers of children’s classes, who can make their services available to local communities. But although providing spiritual and academic education for children is essential, this represents only a part of what must go into developing their characters and shaping their personalities. The necessity exists, too, for individuals and the institutions at all levels, which is to say the community as a whole, to show a proper attitude towards children and to take a general interest in their welfare. Such an attitude should be far removed from that of a rapidly declining order.

Children are the most precious treasure a community can possess, for in them are the promise and guarantee of the future. They bear the seeds of the character of future society which is largely shaped by what the adults constituting the community do or fail to do with respect to children. They are a trust no community can neglect with impunity. An all-embracing love of children, the manner of treating them, the quality of the attention shown them, the spirit of adult behaviour toward them—these are all among the vital aspects of the requisite attitude. Love demands discipline, the courage to accustom children to hardship, not to indulge their whims or leave them entirely to their own devices. An atmosphere needs to be maintained in which children feel that they belong to the community and share in its purpose. They must lovingly but insistently be guided to live up to Bahá’í standards, to study and teach the Cause in ways that are suited to their circumstances.

The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 157/2000, p. 8

the news so far

So our children’s class is now scheduled to start the weekend after (Canadian) Thanksgiving – October 14th. I’ve got a list of themes ready for the year, and I need to brainstorm some activities – if you can recommend some fun activities based around the first few books of the Furutan curriculum, that’d be really helpful – leave a comment on this post. There’s an information session at Ottawa’s newly renovated Baha’i Centre, and my co-teacher and myself will be speaking there about our experience teaching children from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds over the past year.

A nice and pretty French-language email is ready to send out announcing the class; the goal is to spread knowledge of the class among the Baha’is, in the hopes that they can forward it as an invitation to interested contacts. We’ll see how it works. Meanwhile, I’ll also need to put together a little sheet that explains all about the class and how it works.

That’s all for now – I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted much, but please be patient. This calm exterior belies hectic work!