Spring: A Time to Renew Our Commitment to Justice

Spring is a time of renewal. The dead things on the earth are blooming again, heavy hearts are becoming alive again, and the cold and darkness of winter’s sleep is being awakened to a new freshness and aliveness. The Fast generated heat and kindled the fire of love required to burn away all things not approved by God. During the last 19 days preceding Spring, the portals of bounty and grace were opened wide and each longing and receptive heart received their portion. We prayed to align our will with the Will of God, so we should expect great change.

So what is the Will of God? Bahá’u’lláh is very clear.

The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.

“The best of all things in His sight is JUSTICE Bahá’u’lláh taught us. He warned us to TURN NOT AWAY” if we desired Him, and to “NEGLECT IT NOT”, if we wished Him to confide in us. Perhaps we should meditate profoundly on “confide.” When someone confides in you, they trust you and believe in you. He also teaches us to become worthy of the trust of our neighbors. I don’t know about you, but there can be no greater honor than to be worthy to have God’s Messenger for our Day confide in us. We have been given free will. We have a choice to follow our own desires or have faith in God’s guidance and to be obedient to His ordinances. Ponder this statement in The Seven Valleys And the Four Valleys —“A servant is drawn unto Me in prayer until I answer him; and when I have answered him, I become the ear wherewith he heareth….” 

‘If thine aim be to cherish thy life, approach not our court; but if sacrifice be thy heart’s desire, come and let others come with thee. For such is the way of Faith if in thy heart thou seekest reunion with Baha; Shouldest thou refuse to tread this path, why trouble Us?….. Begone!

(The Dawn-Breakers) ( P.137-8)

IS SACRIFICE YOUR HEART’S DESIRE? Now is the time to translate that which hath been written into reality and action, strive to become the best version of ourselves, and dedicate our lives to “the betterment of the world.” This can only happen if we choose to live in the spirit and practice great love towards all without prejudice. The Guardian warned Sadie Oglesby that it was already late in 1927, yet the things we were admonished to do regarding justice still remain largely unfinished and in some cases have become worse.

“The need of the Cause in America is the call of the heart, that can be given no one, save those who have suffered and been trained in the road of sacrifice and humility.”

No one can give you heart or make you care about justice. America has a great need that only pure hearts can hear the call. This warning from the Guardian spells out the criteria for being able to hear. It is for those who have suffered, and been trained in the road of sacrfice and humility, and not those commenting on the sidelines. America had spiritual problems in 1927 during Jim Crow, and those spiritual problems have morphed and mutated like a virus similar to what the Covid virus is doing now. We now have a new Jim Crow.

Read Michelle Alexander’s book if you want to serve those who are suffering and know of your own knowledge. America is trying to retreat and return to those days of legalized oppression. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, over 400 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions. These bills restrict voting access for poor, black, and brown people, denying them the right to participate in this dying democracy and have a voice in creating the laws that impact their health, education, safety, and well-being.” And in 2022, 22 states have introduced or carried over 250 restrictive bills.

So many tend to turn away from the justice conversation but love to speak of love while not actually practicing this great force, power, and law. Can we be truly loving if we participate in, ignore, or tolerate injustice? That is what Abdu’l-Baha desired for us to do — to commit to love each other sincerely. Because when we truly love, we put another’s needs before our own, like a mother does for her suckling child, that would die if not nurtured and nourished.

Remember Abdu’l-Baha is our example. That was his name and sole aim and we have no claim on the name Bahai if we do not serve humanity with both heart and soul. It cannot be an unpleasant duty.

So in this new year, we must decide what our aim will be. The Great Being is calling many, few will be chosen. Few will be willing to put their personal needs aside. Remember, you can be the answer to someone’s prayer. Wounded, desperate, and hopeless souls are calling. Will your heart answer like Abdu’l-Baha would?

Remember, only a few are chosen. Fortunately, we are given the criteria for being chosen — must have suffered, and been trained in — sacrfice and humility. So the questions are:

1. Will you humble yourself before God?

2. Have you suffered from bringing together the black and white?

3. Are you willing to suffer like His chosen ones suffered, putting the cause of unity, justice, and peace for humanity first?

4. Have you already been trained (in the road), or on the job experiencing sacrifice and humility?

5. Will you arise sacrifically to the occasion?

How can we get the power to follow the right path?

By putting the teaching into practice power will be given. You know which path to follow: you cannot be mistaken, for there’s a great distinction between God and evil, between Light and darkness, Truth and falsehood, Love and hatred, Generosity and meanness, Education and ignorance, Faith in God and superstition, good Laws and unjust laws. (ABDU’L-BAHA, ABDU’L-BAHA IN LONDON, P. 63)

We must be active to receive the divine confirmations!

There is nothing that brings success in the Faith like service. Service is the magnet which draws the divine confirmations. Thus, when a person is active, they are blessed by the Holy Spirit. When they are inactive, the Holy Spirit cannot find a repository in their being, and thus they are deprived of its healing and quickening rays.  From a letter dated 12 July 1952 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)

I leave you with a story Abdu’l-Baha shares about a conversation the Buddha had with his disciples:

Buddha had disciples and he wished to send them out into the world to teach, so he asked them questions to see if they were prepared as he would have them be. “When you go to the East and to the West,” said the Buddha, “and the people shut their doors to you and refuse to speak to you, what will you do?” — The disciples answered and said: “We shall be very thankful that they do us no harm.” — “Then if they do you harm and mock, what will you do?” — “We shall be very thankful that they do not give us worse treatment.” — “If they throw you into prison?” — “We shall still be grateful that they do not kill us.” — “What if they were to kill you?” the Master asked for the last time. “Still,” answered the disciples, “we will be thankful, for they cause us to be martyrs. What more glorious fate is there than this, to die for the glory of God?” And the Buddha said: “Well done!”

“The teaching of Buddha was like a young and beautiful child, and now it has become as an old and decrepit man. Like the aged man it cannot see, it cannot hear, it cannot remember anything. Why go so far back? Consider the laws of the Old Testament: the Jews do not follow Moses as their example nor keep his commands. So it is with many other religions.” Abdu’l-Baha

Like Spring, everything has been renewed. Even the Holy Bible confirms the problem with putting new wine in an old wine skin: “Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” We can look forward. We now have new wine (knowledge) and a new wine skin. Ponder on that.

Until next time,

Are You Drowning in A Thimble?

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Once after a talk, I had just given,  a lady came up to me and said, “I thought I was drowning in a ocean, but after hearing your story, I realize that I am just drowning in a thimble.”  She explained,

“I’ve magnified my problems in my mind to such an extent that I’ve felt like I’m drowning in an ocean and I now realize they aren’t as big as I’ve made them out to be. Thank you for helping me put things into perspective.” 

What she meant was that her problems (from her new perspective) were minuscule or thimble size in comparison to mine. I had an impact on her that day and she in equal measure, had an impact on me.  Just as her problems paled in comparison to mine, so do my problems when compared to others. So let’s put things into perspective.  Some people are dying; others are homeless or refugees; many have mental or physical illness; some are jobless!  Some are losing a loved one, a home, or a marriage today. Others are losing their freedom, their ability to walk, see, or hear.  All of us I suppose tend to make our situations worse than they really are by focusing on the worst outcome.  But, in all cases, our stories (trials, tribulations, or woes)  when compared to others may not be that bad.

It Could Be Better, but It Could Be Worse

I felt like I too was drowning in a thimble after hearing a prison account of a young girl in Iran who was imprisoned because of her faith in God. Imagine this: A young girl was imprisoned for three years simply because she was trying to teach the youth around her about God.   She was only able to get 30 minutes of sunlight a day and lived in isolation, no refrigerator, no mirror, no one to talk to.  And yet her account of the experience was filled with gratitude.

She faced each day prayerfully, reciting “Is their any remover of difficulties save God…” over 1000  times a day!   And, the brief time she was out of prison, she was comforting families of the imprisoned, typing her notes so that she could share her prison accounts,  and getting books so that she could continue to learn.  She was a Baha’i in a Muslim country teaching the youth to love everyone, that there was only One God, One Human Race, and One Unfolding Religion, from time immemorial.  For wanting to promote unity, she had all of her freedoms stripped away from her.All I can say is, “What a jewel.”  I pray that God continues to protect and bless her and keep her strong.

Put Things into Perspective

When I heard her story, I too had had to put things into perspective.  For while I too had felt that I  drowning in a ocean, her story helped me to see that it was only a thimble.   What a wonderful message of faith, patience, radiant acquiescence, and service she taught me by her encouraging words written from that prison. Many of us think we have a reason to complain. And we begin and end our days spreading our pain, gloom and doom.   But when we hear a story of adversity, like the one of this young girl, all of our problems pale by comparison. We can change our perspective IF we choose  to. Now today, you have a choice on how you will choose to view the world.  Will it be from a perspective of gratitude, hope, or power?  We can spend the day parroting bad news or we can focus our thoughts on the good around us.  You can choose to view your circumstances as an ocean and picture yourself powerless, sinking, or  drowning OR view yourself and your God as powerful and put all of what you are going through in perspective.  Ocean as a thimble?  Your choice will impact your joy, happiness, and that of those around you.

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out my promo sheet or visit  my website.



To some, the traditional definition of winning is the one who gets the prize, get’s there first, or who demolishes the opponent.  They might also argue that there can only be one winner and that makes everyone else by default, a loser. Now let me define winning.  Everyone who takes a chance on their dream is a winner.  Anyone who has courage to get in the race is a winner.  Anyone that believes enough in their dreams to at least try is a winner.  Anyone that doesn’t give up or make excuses even though the odds are not in their favor is a winner.  Anyone who chooses to believe that the journey is just as important as the destination is a winner.  So, I choose to define as winning any effort that gets me closer to my goal, teaches me important life lessons, increases my faith, makes me serve more unselfishly and more courageously, and also expands my horizons.

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Be Prepared for Emotional Hijackings!

An emotional hijacking occurs when we find that our joy is being controlled by others.

FAITHGIRLBeware of Potential Emotional Hijacks

My number one tip for today and every day is to, “Get prayed up!” BEFORE you face your day because you never know what life will greet you with. Some days are just perfect and everyone makes joyful positive deposits into your emotional account. Other days, it’s like an unrelenting torrential downpour of other people’s distracting, destructive, or draining energy. Each of us has some of our own internal negative chatter going on and that’s natural.  But, when our own fears, worries, and doubts intertwine with the barrage of negative input and sorrow that’s everywhere, an emotional hijacking can occur quickly.  The problem is that when this happens we are no longer in full control. We lose much of our power, perspective, and feeling of self-control temporarily much to our own detriment. Emotional control is critical if we are to make the most  of our days and the most out of our lives.

I’m a motivator by choice, chance, and career.  And, even I find it hard to maintain that joyful inspiring energy some days.  But in everything there is a lesson to be learned and I am determined to learn it and to share it. I’ve been pondering lately the amount of energy it takes to keep myself and others motivated especially during the trying times that so many people are experiencing. We can’t bottle joy and drink it when we need it, but we can find in on our knees (in silence) and in exciting goals and purposeful work.

And, That’s What We Call Life.

Life presents us daily with new lessons. We can’t control the tests and difficulties, but we do chose the lab in which to learn the lessons that we were each put here to learn. It may be through our jobs, our relationships, or other pursuits. Our ultimate job,  journey, and mission is to do what we must to stay our own course despite what occurs around us. Things will always occur and distract and drain our power if we let them.  At the same time, there are ALWAYS positive empowering people, messages, and energy all around. We just need to recognize when it is happening and learn how to redirect our focus more quickly on input that fuels us and makes us stronger!  Truly what we focus on multiplies in our lives, so we must be careful to keep our own emotional tank full. This is even more critical when we are the one that people tend to call on when their emotional tanks are low or empty.


I share my personal formula for success often. G+E+T!  And today I had to remind myself of it. Yes, it’s a given that we must goals (G) and time (T) to achieve those goals, but equally important and perhaps more important is the E (emotional energy) that jump starts us into action and keeps us moving in the direction we choose. Prayer, meditation, sunlight, empowering people and messages, and joy and laughter fuel me and keep my emotional tank full. Negativity, complaining, stressful competitiveness, judgmental people, injustice, insensitivity, selfishness, and unkindness drain me.  You and I have to recognize what fills our tanks and  that which drains it, so that we do not run out of energy in this journey we call life.

Emotions get us INTO motion and KEEP us in motion.  They even have the power to thwart our intended motion and render us impotent or in a state of lethargy.  We are always in motion, either going towards that which we want or drifting or remaining stuck with that which we don’t want). And, be clear,  we do it both in our minds and bodies.  In conclusion, just remember that you are in charge and do what you must to keep your emotional tank full so that you have the energy you need when you need it to help yourself and others! Emotional hijacking affect us must less when our tanks are full, so “get prayed up” and “stay “prayed up!”


Wake Up!

Each sunrise is a gift. http://www.barbaratalley.me

Each sunrise is a gift. http://www.barbaratalley.me


You can’t wake anyone else up if you are asleep yourself. Signs of being awakened are love, kindness, appreciation, gratitude, and joyousness.  Complaining, backbiting, and pointing out other people’s shortcomings are signs that we too are not fully awakened to your reality and power.  Awakened people understand that the thoughts we hold take hold of us, and so we consciously choose to live in a positive state.  Awakened people realize that negative displays don’t make things better, they just waste their valuable time and energy.  Sadly, most of humanity is asleep to their identity, power, connectedness, responsibility and capacity.  Most think we are just a higher version of the animals destined by some unknown fate. We are so much more!  If only we could see our own nobility and power and that of others, we’d instead focus on educating, encouraging, and envisioning a better future for us all.

When people know better, they do better.

It is irrational to expect people to make changes when they are still asleep and unaware of their power. Mindfulness, alertness, and self awareness are essential gifts that are available to everyone. Unfortunately, so many people are mentally asleep, unaware of their gifts and powers, or are too busy scurrying about to notice the magnificent blessings all around us.  Life itself is a blessing!  Awareness is a blessing!  To have the power to create or re-create reality is a blessing.

We have to train ourselves to be in the NOW, to be aware of the present moment, and to notice what is happening right now.  The majority lives in the past or the present, and so few live in the present.  And the  irony is, CREATION ONLY OCCURS IN THE CURRENT MOMENT! If we want to change our circumstances, we can only do it in the current moment.  But to change, we must be present in the current moment.  Just start noticing and appreciating more and you will become more aware.  You  can train yourself to become more aware by beginning to habitually notice a simple sunrise.

The sunrise is just the beginning of the gifts that the aware will notice throughout their day. The Creator paints the sky each morning and evening with a fresh picture and in beautiful breathtaking colors to remind us that we too are creators and that we are loved and valued.  With each step we take during the day we can learn to appreciate the ability to move.  With each sound we hear during the day we can be grateful for our hearing.  With each smile we give and receive we can be thankful for our ability to touch others and feel their warmth and love.  With each thought we choose, we can be thankful for our ability to create new realities.  Haven’t we been taught that the reality of man is his thought?   With each word utter we can be mindful of its power to influence and we can willing choose the words that encourage others instead of those that depress or sadden them.  We can mindfully choose to spread hope and joy instead of fear and doubt.  As humans, we must always remember that we have a choice, AND that’s what makes us human.  But, with this choice and OUR innumerable blessings come great responsibility.  We are here to grow, mirror the qualities of God,  and make things better.  Today is a wonderful new day and it’s ours to do as we wish.  I’m determined to make mine magnificent, you can too?