Search This Blog

Saturday, February 7, 2009


What is your mission and vision?  Have you ever read mission and vision statements?  I find the words powerful.  There is a sense of purpose within the sounds of those words.  All at once I connect 'vision' to prophecies, tribal rituals made to bring a mystical connection to one's self, the ability to have keen insight for the remedies for illnesses, and simply an imagination of what can be.  The word 'mission' makes me think of a focused self-discipline that individuals can have when all energies are set towards to one goal.  Then I think of what is my mission and vision and what is the mission and vision of an education in light of the Baha'i writings.

Perhaps, it is simply to develop the virtues within such that we may promote, by actions, an ever-advancing worldwide civilization?  But I am getting ahead of myself.  What is a mission?  What is a vision?

Simply put, a vision is what an individual or group sees what it wants to become or what it wishes to make a reality in the future.  The mission is what that individual or group does on a daily basis to make the vision real.  These will change and develop over time, as the individual or group reflects on the current state of reality as related to its vision and how the individual or group is altered in the pursuit of that vision.

It is a powerful tool though, to lay before ones eyes the words that define his/her dreams.
If the Baha'i faith is to bring us together such that the banner of the 'oneness of humanity' and 'unity in diversity' are to be default truths of our common experience, then what mission statements help us reach them?

I have heard others state that the core of education is the traditional subjects - reading, writing, and math.  No, these are tools by which we can express our true selves - virtues.  An education that nurtures virtuous words and deeds, lifts each of us to a higher station that rids us of this earthly plain and makes all things new.  

"What is the purpose of our lives?" "To acquire virtues...We come from the earth...we step into the world of humanity and gifted with reason, the power of invention, and the forces of the spirit." - Abdu'l-Baha (From Paris Talks)

From the Tablet of Wisdom (Lawh-i-Hikmat)...
"O peoples of the world! Forsake all evil, hold fast that which is good.  Strive to be shining examples unto all mankind, and true reminders of the virtues of God amidst men.  He that riseth to serve My Cause should manifest My wisdom, and bend every effort to banish ignorance from the earth.  Be united in counsel, be one in thought.  Let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday.  Man's merit lieth in service and virtue and not in pageantry of wealth and riches.  Take heed that your words be purged from idle fancies and worldly desires and your deeds be cleansed from craftiness and suspicion.  Dissipate not the wealth of your precious lives in the pursuit of evil and corrupt affection, nor let your endeavours be spent in promoting your personal interest.  Be generous in your days of plenty, and be patient in the hour of loss.  Adversity is followed by success and rejoicings follow woe.  Guard against idleness and sloth, and cling unto that which profiteth mankind, whether young or old, whether high or low.  Beware lest ye sow tares of dissension among men or plant thorns of doubt in pure and radiant hearts."

A lot of things to reflect on, eh?  Now, it's time for me to reflect on how this can be put into practice in the field of education.  What mission statements come from this?  What will our reality be, if these loving commands were strived for by all?  What vision do you have of the future?  Lastly, check your local schools and ask them what their mission and vision statements are.  Do they compliment the Baha'i vision and mission of transforming this earthly plain into one where virtues are the core?  If so, are the daily deeds matching those words?

I would love to see some mission/vision statements from schools around the world (with links to the school's website).  Could you, would you share your school's?

No comments: