I do not have an article up for this week, partly because I am revamping my site goals, and partly because my 'real' life has gotten very busy the last couple months, which took time from my 'online' life.
Among the things which I did not get done this past year for the Bahá'í site at Bellaonline.com was to expand the newsletter to include links to examples from other places with interesting or supportive resources. Bahá'u'lláh tells us that with each new dispensation, God changes every atom and sheds new light upon all things. The whole of creation is reflecting this new age, and people are noticing. There are evidences everywhere, not just within religion.
Below are a few examples of what I mean.
In November, "Hear the Women Roar" - http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art30137.asp explored the idea that women of a certain age are now the largest demographic world wide, and what the result will be of such a dramatic change in human society. About a month later, Jane Fonda presented her research for the book, "Life, The Third Act," at the TED conference. Video of that talk just went up on YouTube: http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_fonda_life_s_third_act.html
"The Importance of Education to Bahá'ís" - http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art35740.asp quoted some of the Bahá'í Teachings on the purpose of life and the reality of human potential -- a potential that can only be developed with good education. Yet, here in the United States, there is much disillusionment with education, huge numbers of children never finish what is a free basic schooling, and parents are wondering why. Part of the solution may be in harnessing and utilizing new tools to inspire and motivate students to learn, in giving them not only a reason to study, but allowing them to do meaningful work as well.
Genius and original thinker, Clifford Stoll gave a talk at TED conference on the future, which illustrates both his wildly creative style and thinking, but somehow it all comes together. The video editors didn't know what to title his talk, but he was seriously concerned that the education of children be accessible and of use to them-not busywork: http://www.ted.com/talks/clifford_stoll_on_everything.html
One example of some interesting and innovative international gaming environment applications used to help children learn is Indiana University's AtlantisRemix development. Click on Dr. Sasha Barab's Big Thinker Series ten minute talk on the educational research and philosophy behind Atlantis Quest. http://atlantisremixed.org/ He emphasizes, among other things, the importance of understanding the purpose of failure in motivating towards success. "Failing to Grow" addresses the issue of failure as part of God's design which shouldn't be avoided at all costs. - http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art35663.asp
"The Purpose of Creation" - http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art33537.asp The Bahá'í Faith teaches that the purpose of life is to know and love God. Since it is impossible to 'know' an unknowable Essence, God made a Creation in which every atom is a sign and all created things contain attributes by which mankind can learn. Film maker, Louie Schwartzberg's latest project, Gratitude does a very nice mixed media presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXDMoiEkyuQ
"Creativity" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art41698.asp and "Joy and Laughter" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art37686.asp articles posited that these are good for us. If we are not in the habit of building them into our daily activities, we may have to write it on the todo lists, maybe even search the Web initially, till we start to see funny things everywhere. Here's a start, especially if you are a knitter: Knitting 101: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4_XNKOuODU&feature=related
Do let me know if there are topics, issues or history that you would like to see articles and links for. You are welcome to participate in free online discussions at the site's community forum located here -
I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I thrive on your feedback!
Cheryll Schuette, Baha'i Editor
One of hundreds of sites at BellaOnline.com