O SON OF SPIRIT!
My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.
Dr Abdu’l-Missagh Ghadirian is a Professor at McGill University, Faculty of Medicine in Montreal. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He served for many years as a member of the Continental Board of Counsellors in the Americas. As an author and researcher he has published extensively and spoken in many universities around the world. He is author of several books, the most recent of which are Alcohol and Drug Abuse: A Psychosocial and Spiritual Approach to Prevention (2007) and Creative Dimensions of Suffering (2009). He is particularly interested in exploring the interrelationship of science and religion in society and the progress of civilization.
BW: Congratulations on the publication of your latest book, Materialism: Moral and Social Consequences. Why did you write it?
A.M. Ghadirian: My interest in writing a book on materialism was twofold: I noted a widespread sense of discontent and unhappiness in people of different walks of life, including the affluent, on the one hand and on the other, an insatiable craving for material things to quench a thirst for happiness. This was particularly striking in the industrialized countries of the world.
BW: Living in a material world, no one can escape from being materialistic to some extent.
Let’s be diplomatic and not reveal exactly how long Karen Webb has been a Baha’i, but if you want to do the math, she’s been a Baha’i roughly twice as many years as she spent in the Roman Catholic/Lutheran synthesis of her youth. She and her husband Paul have been married nearly as long as they’ve been Baha’is (they became Baha’is independently within about six months of each other and met providing music for a fireside given by a mutual friends). They finally have a teenager in the house (Karen was hoping someone would have perfected cryofreeze by now and she could skip over her son’s teen years. Unfortunately for her but fortunately for the Faith, he’s the best teacher in the family!) Zayne was adopted from another Baha’i family; she sometimes feels this was more a matter of the birth family adopting her and her husband than the two of them adopting a son. (For couples seeking a child, she extends thoughts of hope: “Keep on praying and turning over stones, but don’t try to force the Universe into the mold you want it to have. Baha’u’llah will send you what you need; your job is to recognize it and embrace it when it comes.)”
Justice St Rain has been designing, writing and publishing materials to serve the Bahá’í Community since the day he became a Bahá’í in 1974. He founded the company Special Ideas in 1981. Among his better known works are Falling Into Grace, Why Me?, My Bahá’í Faith, and The Secret of Happiness. He is also responsible for countless teaching materials and dozens of Bahá’í slogans, including “Uniting the World One Heart at a Time,” “No Room in My Heart for Prejudice” and “Celebrate Oneness.”
He is a graduate of Earlham College where he studied art, education and psychology. He has served on a dozen Bahá’í institutions in six states and has travel-taught in some thirty states. He currently lives with his wife and two children on a 60-acre farm in southern Indiana where they raise chickens, day lilies and blueberries.
BW: Reading Why Me? I came across many interesting topics. Let me start by asking what prompted you to write this book?
Heather Cardin holds degrees in Arts and Education from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master’s degree in English from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. She has published three books and has another forthcoming. She and her husband Bernie have settled in rural Saskatchewan, Canada after living for lengthy periods in British Columbia and Quebec. Their three children are now grown up.
First I’d like to thank you for agreeing to give this interview. Congratulations on the recent publication of Mind, Heart, & Spirit: Educators Speak, an interesting read. Let me start by asking what was the motivation to write this book?
Heather: You are more than welcome. Thank you for asking me! Honestly, for the book, I thought that in many societies, I hear teachers being blamed for a lot of the problems of the world, or the children’s problems, and my experience with working in several schools was that most of the teachers I knew were completely committed to excellence in their work. So I thought that to showcase some of that work would perhaps help the people who read the stories to see what excellent work most teachers were doing, often in very challenging conditions, and to counteract some of the teacher blame.