“When woman’s point of view receives due consideration and woman’s will is allowed adequate expression in the arrangement of social affairs, we may expect great advancement in matters which have often been grievously neglected under the old regime of male dominance — such matters as health, temperance, peace, and regard for the value of the individual life. Improvements in these respects will have very far-reaching and beneficent effects.” ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Words and phrasing that stand out for me here include:
– due consideration
– adequate expression
– grievously neglected – and, of course
– far-reaching and beneficent effects.
What have these to do with my own choices – the powers of my own birthright? It can be so much easier to read a passage like this and feel thoughts pulled outward toward current conditions, and others’ behavior. Yet how does this all apply for me?
‘Abdu’l-Bahá also said:
“The world in the past has been ruled by force, and man has dominated over woman by reason of his more forceful and aggressive qualities both of body and mind.
But the balance is already shifting; force is losing its dominance, and mental alertness, intuition, and the spiritual qualities of love and service, in which woman is strong, are gaining ascendancy.
Hence the new age will be an age less masculine and more permeated with the feminine ideals, or, to speak more exactly, will be an age in which the masculine and feminine elements of civilization will be more evenly balanced.”
The reference for this, Star of the West, viii, No. 3, p. 4, notes that this is from a report of remarks he made aboard the S.S. Cedric upon arrival in New York, just after the Titanic had sunk. Although he was offered passage on the larger ship, he chose to travel instead on the humbler Cedric.
He shared these words at the entrance to New York harbor, the entrance point to a newer, freer life for so many souls, and the leading edge of his arrival in the West after nearly a lifetime of imprisonment based on religious persecution.
What part might such “feminine” ideals and qualities as “mental alertness, intuition, and the spiritual qualities of love and service” have played in his choice of the ship upon which he chose to travel? In his choosing to utter these words in that time and place?