I've been feeling a lot of guilt about my attention deficit for this site, especially since it was my initial foray into the world of blogging on the Internet. But quite a few of you haven't forgotten about it, and for that reason, this four year old mashup of my foibles, reflections and always evolving perspective of the Baha'i Faith was voted as one of the top 100 Baha'i blogs by Online University.
When I was notified of the award, I was bit mystified--I hadn't written anything on this site since last February. How could this blog be anything close to the "top"? (I'm not getting into a literary aesthetic/definition debate over the terms "top" or "best" or any other superlative; I did that ad nauseum during graduate school.) Besides, there are MANY excellent blogs written by Baha'is these days, how could anyone decide which are the "best"? Do you see where I'm going here? This how my mind spins around, constantly! I make myself dizzy with my breaking-the-sound- barrier thought speedway!
What it comes down to is that I am both surprised and humbled by the recognition. This is what Amy Wilkes of Online University emailed to me:
Congratulations! Amy here, and your blog, Yeah..and so, anyway, was
determined to be an essential part of our resources, and has received our
Top Baha'i Blogs award presented by Online University!
You can see your name amongst our winners here at: www.onlineuniversity.org/top_bahai/#Yeahand_so_anyway
Our unique learning system uses the resources available on the blogosphere
as our teaching tool, as you are smarter than us when it comes to your topic
of interest, and this is why you have been awarded as a top blog.
So, this blog is an essential part of their educational resources. Wow! I never expected that when I started this blog in 2006. In fact, I didn't know what I was doing back then. But the site has evolved to become a place where I can write about the Baha'i Faith and how being a Baha'i affects different aspects of my life. Since this is more or less my personal opinions (in sharp contrast to what I write on the Sacramento Baha'i Examiner, which is primarily written in the neutral third person), the idea that "Yeah..., and so anyway... is considered an educational resource is astonishing to me. And it is challenging. I do feel obligated to provide accurate information to readers, regardless of what I'm writing about. I was trained in the old school of journalism--"just the facts, madam, just the facts." I can write about myself and my observations of life as merely my opinions, but when it comes the Baha'i Faith, it's important to me to as objective and truthful as I possibly can.
In fact, journalism is the ONLY profession that has been specifically addressed in the Writings of Baha'u'llah (all other professions are referred to in a general way as "the arts", "the sciences", "crafts" or "trades". Here's what Baha'u'llah has to say to people who work in the news business (which was limited to the production of books, magazines, newspapers and pamphlets in the latter part of the 19th century):
In this Day the secrets of the earth are laid bare before the eyes of men. The pages of swiftly-appearing newspapers are indeed the mirror of the world. They reflect the deeds and the pursuits of divers peoples and kindreds. They both reflect them and make them known. They are a mirror endowed with hearing, sight and speech. This is an amazing and potent phenomenon. However, it behoveth the writers thereof to be purged from the promptings of evil passions and desires and to be attired with the raiment of justice and equity. They should enquire into situations as much as possible and ascertain the facts, then set them down in writing.
(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 39-40)
My goal and my prayer is that when I sit in front of my computer to write, I will be purged from the promptings of evil passions and desires, and "be attired with the raiment of justice and equity." These are my instructions, my "marching orders". Yes, I do take these words written by Baha'u'llah very seriously. To best of my ability, I hope I can deliver words that reflect justice and equity to my readers.
Thank you, everyone, for reading my blog and I promise to update it more often!
Oops--a clarification--I am going to have a very complicated surgery on my right foot on September 1, 2010. I can probably grind out one more post before then, but I will be completely out of commission and on non-weight bearing status for about two months after surgery. You can read more about the procedure (if you are morbidly curious or have nothing else to do right now)on my other blog, BerthaButtNoMore.
For now, I leave you with the words of 'Abdu'l-Baha':
I supplicate God that ye may become the army of that kingdom, in order that by the power of the Most Great Name, the friends of God may conquer this world through love, friendship and the strength of the Kingdom of peace; the human race become compassionate, and bloodshed and carnage be completely effaced from the universe.
The spirit of truth is soaring on the supreme apex, like unto a bird, in order that it may discover a severed heart and alight therein and make its nest.
I hope that all the friends become manifestors of knowledge and the centers of merciful feelings. Each of them become like unto an angel and radiate heavenly deeds, thoughts and actions.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 409)