9 Steps To Perfecting A Better You: Practice Skills Meet Spiritual Principles
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Please God, the poor may exert themselves and strive to earn the means of livelihood. This is a duty which, in this most great Revelation, hath been prescribed unto every one, and is accounted in the sight of God as a goodly deed. Whoso observeth this duty, the help of the invisible One shall most certainly aid him. He can enrich, through His grace, whomsoever He pleaseth.
He, verily, hath power over all things. The most despised of men in the sight of God are those who sit idly and beg. Hold ye fast unto the cord of material means, placing your whole trust in God, the Provider of all means. When anyone occupieth himself in a craft or trade, such occupation itself is regarded in the estimation of God as an act of worship; and this is naught but a token of His infinite and all-pervasive bounty. The work done by the individual in trade, craft, art or profession is the core of his life and not merely the source of his living.
Work performed in the spirit of service can today be accounted as an act of worship. The obligation to work is essentially a moral obligation and one not discharged by possession of wealth. Thus the right to work, the right to contribute to society, takes on a spiritual dimension, and the responsibility to be productive applies to everyone. The Teachings are most emphatic on this matter, particularly the statement in the Aqdas to this effect which makes it quite clear that idle people who lack the desire to work can have no place in the new World Order.
It is the duty of those who are in charge of the organization of society to give every individual the opportunity of acquiring the necessary talent in some kind of profession, and also the means of utilizing such a talent, both for its own sake and for the sake of earning the means of his livelihood. Every individual, no matter how handicapped and limited he may be, is under the obligation of engaging in some work or profession. It is obvious, therefore, that the inheritance of wealth cannot make anyone immune from daily work.
Man must work with his fellows. If a man is successful in his business, art, or profession he is thereby enabled to increase his physical wellbeing and to give his body the amount of ease and comfort in which it delights. To engage in some profession is highly commendable, for when occupied with work one is less likely to dwell on the unpleasant aspects of life.
It has not only a utilitarian purpose, but has a value in itself, because it draws us nearer to God, and enables us to better grasp His purpose for us in this world. Ye are the trees of My garden; ye must give forth goodly and wondrous fruits, that ye yourselves and others may profit therefrom. Thus it is incumbent on every one to engage in crafts and professions, for therein lies the secret of wealth, O men of understanding! For results depend upon means, and the grace of God shall be all-sufficient unto you.
Trees that yield no fruit have been and will ever be for the fire.
Principles of the Program
You should also endeavour to engage in some useful occupation, or by training yourself to have such an occupation, as work in itself another means at our disposal, in accordance with our Teachings, to draw nearer to God, and to better grasp His purpose for us in this world. Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. The Universal House of Justice, Messages to , p. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone. The knowledge of such sciences, however, should be acquired as can profit the peoples of the earth.
Great indeed is the claim of scientists and craftsmen on the peoples of the world. One of the names of God is the Fashioner. He loveth craftsmanship. Therefore any of His servants who manifesteth this attribute is acceptable in the sight of this Wronged One.
Craftsmanship is a book among the books of divine sciences, and a treasure among the treasures of His heavenly wisdom. This is a knowledge with meaning…. Concerning the means of livelihood, thou shouldst, while placing thy whole trust in God, engage in some occupation. He will assuredly send down upon thee from the heaven of His favour that which is destined for thee. He is in truth the God of might and power. True reliance is for the servant to pursue his profession and calling in this world, to hold fast unto the Lord, to seek naught but His grace, inasmuch as in His Hands is the destiny of all His servants.
We have enjoined upon all to become engaged in some trade or profession, and have accounted such occupation to be an act of worship. Every man of discernment, while walking upon the earth, feeleth indeed abashed, inasmuch as he is fully aware that the thing which is the source of his prosperity, his wealth, his might, his exaltation, his advancement and power is, as ordained by God, the very earth which is trodden beneath the feet of all men. There can be no doubt that whoever is cognizant of this truth, is cleansed and sanctified from all pride, arrogance, and vainglory. It behoveth the craftsmen of the world at each moment to offer a thousand tokens of gratitude at the Sacred Threshold, and to exert their highest endeavour and diligently pursue their professions so that their efforts may produce that which will manifest the greatest beauty and perfection before the eyes of all men.
Having taken up an occupation, youth naturally try to contribute to their field, or even to advance it in light of the insights they gain from their continued study of the Revelation, and they strive to be examples of integrity and excellence in their work. If we are aware of this truth, we will be cleansed and sanctified from all pride, arrogance, and vainglory.
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When problems arise at work, and we want to overcome them, we need to first of all to centre our whole hearts and minds on service:. When this is done, the Hosts of the Supreme Concourse will come to the assistance of the individual, and every difficulty and trial will gradually be overcome. Shoghi Effendi, Living the Life, p. Then consult in a spirit of unity and love, without ego and without insisting on your own opinion:.
Strive with all your hearts and with the very power of life that unity and love may continually increase. In discussions look toward the reality without being self-opinionated. Let no one assert and insist upon his own mere opinion; nay, rather, let each investigate reality with the greatest love and fellowship. Consult upon every matter, and when one presents the point of view of reality itself, that shall be acceptable to all.
Then will spiritual unity increase among you, individual illumination will be greater, happiness will be more abundant, and you will draw nearer and nearer to the Kingdom of God. However, one of the most important attributes for one who earns his living is to be content and resigned to whatever God has ordained for him. In relation to your specific queries, the decision concerning the amount of time a mother may spend in working outside the home depends on circumstances existing within the home, which may vary from time to time.
Family consultation will help to provide the answers. Universal House of Justice, Compilation on Women. Mothers can now be the primary agents for empowering individuals to transform society. They alone can inculcate in their children the self-esteem and respect for others essential for the advancement of civilization. It is clear, then, that the station of mothers, increasingly denigrated in many societies, is in reality of the greatest importance and highest merit.
You ask about the admonition that everyone must work, and want to know if this means that you, a wife and mother, must work for a livelihood as your husband does…. You will see that the directive is for the friends to be engaged in an occupation which will be of benefit to mankind. Home-making is a highly honourable and responsible work of fundamental importance for mankind.
For many Muslims, i'thar must be practiced as a religious obligation during specific Islamic holidays. However, i'thar is also still an Islamic ideal to which all Muslims should strive to adhere at all times. Judaism defines altruism as the desired goal of creation. The famous Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook stated that love is the most important attribute in humanity. This can be altruism towards humanity that leads to altruism towards the creator or God. Kabbalah defines God as the force of giving in existence. Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto in particular focused on the 'purpose of creation' and how the will of God was to bring creation into perfection and adhesion with this upper force.
Modern Kabbalah developed by Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag , in his writings about the future generation , focuses on how society could achieve an altruistic social framework. Ashlag focused on society and its relation to divinity. Altruism is essential to the Sikh religion. The central faith in Sikhism is that the greatest deed any one can do is to imbibe and live the godly qualities like love, affection, sacrifice, patience, harmony, truthfulness.
The concept of "seva ," or selfless service to the community for its own sake is an important concept in Sikhism. The fifth Nanak, Guru Arjun Dev, sacrificed his life to uphold 22 carats of pure truth, the greatest gift to humanity, the Guru Granth. The ninth Guru, Tegh Bahadur, sacrificed his head to protect weak and defenseless people against atrocity. In the late seventeenth century, Guru Gobind Singh Ji the tenth guru in Sikhism , was in war with the Mughal rulers to protect the people of different faiths when a fellow Sikh, Bhai Kanhaiya , attended the troops of the enemy. Some of the enemy began to fight again and some Sikh warriors were annoyed by Bhai Kanhaiya as he was helping their enemy.
Sikh soldiers brought Bhai Kanhaiya before Guru Gobind Singh Ji, and complained of his action that they considered counter-productive to their struggle on the battlefield. The Guru responded, "Then you should also give them ointment to heal their wounds. You were practicing what you were coached in the house of the Guru. It was under the tutelage of the Guru that Bhai Kanhaiya subsequently founded a volunteer corps for altruism.
This volunteer corps still to date is engaged in doing good to others and trains new volunteering recruits for doing the same. Giving alms to the beggers or poor people is considered as a divine act or "Punya" and Hindus believe it will free their souls from guilt or "Paapa" and will led them to heaven or "Swarga" in afterlife. Altruism is also the central act of various Hindu mythology and religious poems and songs.
Swami Vivekananda , the legendary Hindu monk, has said -"Jive prem kare jeijon, Seijon sebiche Iswar" Whoever loves any living being, is serving god. Mass donation of clothes to poor people Vastraseva , or blood donation camp or mass food donation Annaseva for poor people is common in various Hindu religious ceremonies. Swami Sivananda , an Advaita scholar, reiterates the views in his commentary synthesising Vedanta views on the Brahma Sutras , a Vedantic text.
In his commentary on Chapter 3 of the Brahma Sutras, Sivananda notes that karma is insentient and short-lived, and ceases to exist as soon as a deed is executed. Hence, karma cannot bestow the fruits of actions at a future date according to one's merit. Furthermore, one cannot argue that karma generates apurva or punya , which gives fruit. Since apurva is non-sentient, it cannot act unless moved by an intelligent being such as a god. It cannot independently bestow reward or punishment. Altruistic acts are generally celebrated and very well received in Hindu literature and is central to Hindu morality.
There exists a wide range of philosophical views on humans' obligations or motivations to act altruistically. Proponents of ethical altruism maintain that individuals are morally obligated to act altruistically. The opposing view is ethical egoism , which maintains that moral agents should always act in their own self-interest. Both ethical altruism and ethical egoism contrast with utilitarianism , which maintains that each agent should act in order to maximise the efficacy of their function and the benefit to both themselves and their co-inhabitants.
A related concept in descriptive ethics is psychological egoism , the thesis that humans always act in their own self-interest and that true altruism is impossible. Rational egoism is the view that rationality consists in acting in one's self-interest without specifying how this affects one's moral obligations.
Effective altruism is a philosophy and social movement that uses evidence and reasoning to determine the most effective ways to benefit others. While a substantial proportion of effective altruists have focused on the nonprofit sector , the philosophy of effective altruism applies more broadly to prioritizing the scientific projects, companies, and policy initiatives which can be estimated to save lives, help people, or otherwise have the biggest benefit. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others. For the concept in behavioral ecology, see Altruism biology. Main articles: Altruism in animals , Evolution of morality , and Evolutionary ethics. See also: Public sociology. See also: Evolutionary origin of religions. See also: Ahimsa in Jainism. Main article: Altruism ethics. Main article: Effective altruism. Altruria Charity practice Charitable organization Comedy of the commons Consideration Earning to give Effective altruism Egotism Empathy Empathy-altruism Family economics Gene-centered view of evolution Giving Pledge , pledge by Gates, Buffett and others to donate to charity at least half of their wealth Inclusive fitness Group selection Humanity virtue Kin selection Misanthropy Mutual aid Non nobis solum Philanthropy Prisoner's dilemma Prosocial behavior Random act of kindness Reciprocal altruism Selfishness Social psychology Solidarity sociology Spite Tit for tat.
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