LESSON 20: THE BENEFITS OF CONSULTATION
True consultation leads to greater understanding and is a source of good and well-being.
iI is important to have frank and loving consultation on all matters, in the context of fostering unity in the Bahá’í community. Bahá’í consultation can be understood as the collective search for truth. Participants in consultation see reality from different viewpoints and, as these are expressed and discussed with the purity of motive and radiant spirits, clarity emerges. In this way, we are able to gain insight and understanding and find solutions to problems that we might not otherwise discover. Consultation provides the opportunity for us to approach situations and challenges in new ways and opens up
new possibilities for fruitful action. In this respect, whether concerned with reaching a specific decision, solving a problem, or simply analyzing an issue, consultation is one of the most powerful instruments for building unity, both of thought and of action.
For lessons 8 and 9 we will continue to memorize the prayer below
O my God! O my God! Thou seest these children who are the twigs of the tree of life, the birds of the meads of salvation, the pearls of the ocean of Thy grace, the roses of the garden of Thy guidance.
O God, our Lord! We sing Thy praise, bear witness to Thy sanctity and implore fervently the heaven of Thy mercy to make us lights of guidance, stars shining above the horizons of eternal glory amongst mankind, and to teach us a knowledge which proceedeth from Thee.
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The ideas below will assist you in explaining to the children the quotation they are expected to learn today:
We know that all of creation- the entire universe and all that is in it-is held together by the force of love. Everything is connected into a beautiful whole, and humanity is like one family. Unity and harmony are part of creation. And when we come together to consult and share ideas, we are able to understand the world around us better and better. We see its unity and harmony, and we become more and more united in our thoughts and understanding. Sometimes we may need to talk for a long while to see a united way forward; other times we see the path more quickly. And with our thoughts and views united, we are able to make better and better plans and to carry them out more and more effectively. We all understand what we need to do. That is how consultation enables great things to be achieved.
In the same way that the strength of several people, ‘Abdu’l-Baha tells us, is greater than the strength of one person, it is better to have the views and ideas of many people than just one. Through the coming together of views, solutions are revealed; truth can be seen. For example, ‘Abdu’l-Baha explains, if the people of a village consult about their affairs, the right solutions will surely be made clear to them. To help us remember that true consultation is the source of good and well-being, let us memorize the following quotation:
Say: no man can attain his true station except through his justice. No power can exist except through unity. No welfare and no well-being can be attained except through consultationBahá’u’lláh
MEANING OF WORDS
In some places, the king is considered the foremost person in the land. The king holds the highest station in the land.
To tell lies or speak badly of others is not noble conduct. It is beneath the high station that God has given us.
Lucien’s flashlight cannot give light without a battery. The flashlight draws its power from the battery.
The cart that Delara’s family uses to take grain to the market is very heavy and is pulled by two large horses. One horse alone does not have enough power to pull the cart.
A mother lion cares for her cubs. She shelters them, protects them, and teaches them to find food. She sees to their welfare until they are grown.
During the storm, the first thing Miad did was to make sure that all of the children were in a safe place. The welfare of the children was Miad’s first concern.
MEMORIZATION AID FOR QUOTE
PICTURES TO REMEMBER THE QUOTE HERE
A story about the benefits of consulting
Not long ago, in a country where many people farmed the land, heavy rains caused flooding across an entire region. The rivers overflowed their banks and the flood waters destroyed houses, bridges, schools, roads, and fields, sweeping away the crops that had been planted. When the floods were over, most people were left with nothing. They had no homes, and there was little food.
Now, the Bahá’ís who lived in other parts of the country, knowing that the people of the region were suffering, came together to consult to find a way to assist. They realized, of course, that the people needed food. But, as the Bahá’í friends discussed the matter, it became clear that it would not be enough to simply send food. It would be important for the people to be able to grow crops again. How could they help this to happen?
If they could only get seeds, the people of the region could farm and grow food for themselves as they had done before the flood. Everyone could see that this would be a good way for them to help. So what did they do? They decided to use money contributed by their community to buy many tons of corn seeds. Trucks were piled high with sacks of seeds and transported to the areas that had been worst affected by the floods. The people expressed joy and gratitude, singing and playing drums. With these seeds, they could start farming again, and in spite of the suffering caused by the floods, everyone felt hopeful, strong, and happy.
DOWNLOAD THE PDF OF THE STORY HERE
Draw any part of the story
DRAMA / GAMES
Begin this period by having the children do select warm-up exercises in their imaginary squares. You can then help them carry out a large-group improvisation, which will serve to strengthen their understanding of the nature of true consultation. First, ask each of the children to create a character by thinking of someone who might live in a village.
You can help them by asking each one, “Who are you? How old are you? What are you wearing? What are you doing?” Once they have all decided on a character, the story begins. It takes place in a village, and this is what happens:
The story opens with a scene from an ordinary day in the life of the village. The children pretend to carry out activities related to their characters. Everyone in the village is well fed and happy. They work hard and enjoy life.
Allow the children a few minutes to improvise the scene and then call out “Freeze”. You can then introduce scene two.
A fierce hurricane hits the village. Everyone runs for shelter. The children can pretend they are trying to save their possessions and help one another.
Again, allow the children enough time to elaborate on the scene, then call out “Freeze” and introduce scene three.
The hurricane has passed and the villagers emerge from their shelters. No one has been hurt but most of the village has been destroyed. The villagers try to salvage what is left of their belongings. Their efforts are in vain; almost everything has been lost. They are upset but do not bemoan their situation. They come together to consult about what to do next.
Encourage the children to remember their characters and to make suggestions about how to rebuild the village. Give them time to come up with different ideas. At the end of the consultation, they set about working to make the village even better than before.
After the children have improvised the scene, call out “Freeze” and present the final scene.
The village has been rebuilt, thanks to the hard work of all the inhabitants. And, to everyone’s delight, it is even better than they could have imagined. The villagers gather together and celebrate.
CONTENT COMING SOON
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BASED ON THE STORY:
We can also send seeds to people: try making some seed paper.
This website has good instructions
here is a video showing how to make seed paper
Based on the quote where we know that the strength of many is better than the strength of one:
- Get popsicle sticks (large ones are great).
- Write the name of family members, or community members or friends or any combination of these
- Decorate the sticks as you like
- Tie with a ribbon to symbolize we are held together with love
Based on Story: express your joy
In the story, the community expressed their joy by playing the drums. If you also like to express yourself with music, why not make your own instruments or even just drums?
See this website for easy-to-make instruments
Review the quotation from today’s lesson, and then remind the children of the qualities of trustworthiness and radiance and the quotations they memorized in Grade 1:
O Friend! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love . . .Baha’u’llah
Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himselfBahá’u’lláh
BRILLIANT STAR MAGAZINE
Nur’s Nook: Powerful Puppets Express yourself with puppets
Maya’s Mysteries: Gift of Listening Quiz yourself on listening skills
Picture of Unity — Consultation tips with missing words
Zeke & Rhombus: Talking Peace — Consultation tips in Zilizag code
Family Consultation — Practice consulting with your family.