The Duty of Kindness and Sympathy Towards Strangers and Foreigners | Abolish Foreignness

reblogged using Press This

The Duty of Kindness and Sympathy Towards Strangers and Foreigners

Paris in the 1900s

It is hardest to write of those things about which we feel most deeply. Today I wish to write about someone whose words and life have profoundly influenced and inspired me. That person is Abdu’l Baha: the son of the founder of the Baha’i Faith and its leader from 1892 to 1921. I wish to address particularly what Abdu’l Baha had to say about the issue of ‘foreignness’.

One hundred years ago, on 16 and 17 October 1911, he gave his first recorded talk to the people of Paris. The theme of his talk was “the duty of kindness and sympathy towards strangers and foreigners”.

What did Abdu’l Baha see when he arrived in that centre of civilisation that led him to conclude that the first thing of which he should speak should be the relationship between natives and foreigners?

He did not however speak of borders or political theories. Nor did he speak of sovereignty or cultural difference. He spoke to us as individuals asking us to reflect on the way in which we treat strangers and foreigners in our midst.

“I ask you not to think only of yourselves,” he said.

These simple words seem to me to address the very heart of the divisions on which the exclusion of non-citizens is built.

read more The Duty of Kindness and Sympathy Towards Strangers and Foreigners | Abolish Foreignness.


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About Mavadelo

Dutch, Pothead, Married since 1999, once homeless officially homed since uh...I guess somewhere around 2006. Music lover (anything but techno) Animal friend (in general, dogs and cats more specific, wolves rule though), Happy (most of the time) Pacifist, optimist but also sarcastic, cynical and philosopher (big word, if I find a better one....) oh... Gamer, PC freak, Software junky, bottom level hacker (lol i can "hack" some of my games but t.b.h others did the work, I just apply their knowledge) all around "can you fix my pc Martin" guy did I mentioned married?

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