Spiritual leaders answer: This week’s subject — justice

Editor’s note: Every Friday a question is printed at the end of this column inviting a response. If you are a religious leader on Kaua‘i please send in your thoughts or suggestions for future topics. Next week’s subject is on reflection. The suggested topic at the end of the column is for the following week.

by Pam Woolway – The Garden Island

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Koloa

Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, said; “The best beloved of all things in my sight is Justice.” Based on his central theme of the oneness of humanity, Baha’u’llah established principles of social justice within the faith, such as the eradication of prejudice of all kinds, the elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth, the promotion of equal status for women and men, and the independent investigation of truth.

To be just we must independently investigate reality in order to recognize truth. A statement made by another may only be his or her opinion or an incomplete understanding of a situation. In our interpersonal relationships we must be careful when we hear gossip nn those “he said, she said” wildfires. Rumors require investigation. Likewise, it is unjust to talk behind someone’s back because the person being talked about doesn’t have the opportunity to speak.

“Justice must be sacred, and the rights of all the people must be considered. Desire for others only that which you desire for yourselves.”

-— Abdu’l-Baha

Paris Talks, p. 159

“The kingdom of God is founded upon equity and justice, and also upon mercy, compassion, and kindness to every living soul. Strive ye, then, with all your heart to treat compassionately all humankind — except for those who have some selfish, private motive, or some disease of the soul. Kindness cannot be shown the tyrant, the deceiver, or the thief, because, far from awakening them to the error of their ways, it maketh them to continue in their perversity as before.

No matter how much kindliness ye may expend upon the liar, he will but lie the more, for he believeth you to be deceived, while ye understand him but too well, and only remain silent out of your extreme compassion.”

— Selections from the

Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

“O Son of Spirit! The best beloved of all things in my sight is justice; turn not away there from if thou desirest me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is my gift to thee and the sign of my loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.”

— Baha’u’llah

“The Hidden Words”

Next week’s question:

• Will you speak to us on prayer/meditation?

• Spiritual leaders are invited to e-mail responses of three to five paragraphs to pwoolway@kauaipubco.com

• Deadline each week is Tuesday, by 5 p.m.


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