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When I first started attending university I didn’t know how dance and psychology were going to go together. Through the Baha’i Faith’s perspective on coherence, I’ve been able to put dance and psychology together to create a framework that benefits society.

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Before the Baha’i Faith reached the indigenous population, the indigenous population didn’t know about material or spiritual education. In fact, there is a saying in the indigenous community: as one of the bounties of the new Manifestation of God is that, in this current time, we will see a significant result in our community.

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I was born into a Baha’i family in the serene country of Lesotho. Growing up, being a Baha’i was the constant driving force that shaped my identity. My Iranian father and Filipino mother pioneered to a number of African countries before settling in Namibia which is where I spent my childhood. We lived in Southern Africa during the apartheid era where it was normal to be profiled according to your race. I remember, despite growing up in Namibia and speaking the local languages, being viewed as a foreigner and being ‘different’. I remember not knowing which box to tick on university and job applications when asked what race I was: white, black, coloured or Indian. Having lived in various countries and now in a small garden city in the United Kingdom and married to a French Peruvian, if you were to ask me where I was from, I can tell you that I’m really not sure. Despite not being sure, being a Baha’i has given me a deeper perspective on the concept of unity and that the earth truly is ‘but one country and mankind its citizens,’ regardless of race, creed, ethnicity or background.

The Revelation of Baha’u’llah has changed my life by giving me a framework to align myself with the Teachings and given me a purpose to my life which is a focus on service. Through that I’ve been able to make really good friends not based on superficial things but on deeper connections. I’ve met people from all over the world and I’ve been able to connect with young kids, old people, people from all different religions on the basis that we’re all one and we’re here to serve one another and that’s how we serve God... There are so many blessings that I’ve seen when the centre of your life is service and that’s able to inform all of your decisions in life.

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The [Baha’i] Faith is the foundation of how we deal with every situation in our family. It allows us as husband and wife to be united and agree on family priorities. It is a common language in our household and it allows us to understand each other’s views because we share the same point of origin. It also brings happiness and joy to our family because of the love we have for Baha’u’llah. I am very grateful for the Faith and its Teachings and for being able to pass these to our own daughter.

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When I think of the Revelation of Baha’u’llah one of the first things I think about when it comes to bearing on me, personally, is the standard of it. The high standard of it. And the high station of humanity, and human beings, and the station that we are called to live up to and discover [...] we have to strive to live up to these standards by ourselves, in a way, and we only have the sustenance of the Revelation, of studying the Writings, and of prayer to Baha’u’llah.

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I became a Baha’i because when I read “Thief in the Night” as a Christian, I realized that a dilemma was being presented to me. If I was Jewish during the time of Jesus, would I have become a Christian? Well that is exactly what happened to me when I heard the Writings of Baha’u’llah, and I had no option but to accept them.

Throughout my life I had to face a lot of challenges that tested my character. The Baha’i Faith always helped me to stay true to my character and to my soul. When I had to make a decision that was difficult, I would think to myself - what would Abdu’l-Baha do? There is a Baha’i quote that says: ‘if someone gives you poison, offer them honey.’ A lot of the times when people hurt you, the majority of us have this feeling that we want to inflict that pain onto them as well, but personally when I remind myself of this quote I have this stronger feeling to show them that the answer isn’t pain. This doesn’t only uplift my soul but uplifts theirs.

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What stands out for me about the Faith is the neutrality with which one assumes daily life. In my case as a Christian, and for those of us who come from Christianity or who have religious concerns, how natural it is to accept Jesus’ teachings and then to see how Baha’u’llah confirms everything that He said. And the guidance is for life, for your everyday living. It is a religion that accompanies you every moment of your day. One could say it’s an introspective religion. What I really like about the Faith is that it’s more about a direct personal relationship with God rather than a relationship through so many intermediaries.