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My husband and I have just been back from a short break in Italy. We both love Italy very much and spend most of our holidays there. But this short break was even more special. We first spent two days in Acuto attending a business conference organized by EBBF and then went to Rome for another few days.

 

For anyone who is not familiar with EBBF, it stands for the European Baha’i Business Forum and is a nongovernmental organization that attracts people who are interested in bringing ethical and moral values into their workplaces. Although EBBF is inspired by the teachings of the Baha’i faith, it does not promote any particular belief system.  Its goals and objectives are solely to promote moral and ethical values in the business world. I like to refer to this organization as AB or Absolutely Brilliant.

 

This was my second EBBF conference and I thoroughly enjoyed it. People who attend these conferences come from all over the world.  Participants come from a wide range of professions and belief systems but they all have one thing in common and that is the language of values.

 

 The programs consist of workshops, consultations, projects and success stories. It is a great place for networking, knowledge sharing and learning from others who have had to resolve similar issues as those that you may be facing.

 

The conference is always held in beautiful and tranquil surroundings. This time it was in Acuto up above the mountains in the hotel ‘ La Panoramica ’, overlooking the picturesque hills and villages below.

 

Acuto - photo from Wikipedia by Ryesiloglu

Acuto - photo from Wikipedia by Ryesiloglu

As well as the beautiful scenery, the company, the delicious Italian food and a relaxing atmosphere, it was also very uplifting to listen to other participants and know that many people around the world follow the same code of conduct in the workplace. One gets the feeling that there is a wave of change rising above us which will soon swallow the whole humanity and all that we do.

 

Participants often share their success stories of how against all odds, they stood for their beliefs and in the end not only won their moral battles but also benefitted tremendously by gaining experience, respect and admiration. The stories are encouraging and heart warming.

 

The topic of the conference this time was ‘Living Values’, and included workshops and discussions about what values are and how they can be implemented.  After one of the talks, the discussion turned to the origin of our values. Some identified religions as the origin of values whilst others said that values were made by thinkers and philosophers.  The contribution of one of the participants made a great deal of sense to me. He said that values are hardwired into every component of Nature.  I thought this explanation was spot on. After all isn’t it in the nature of the river to flow and the forest to grow? Don’t birds fly and fish swim? And what happens if they are prevented from doing what they are inherently designed to do? Well I think they become very sad, sick and diseased. If we prevent the river from flowing, it becomes stagnant. If we prevent a plant from growing, it will eventually die. By the same token, as humans, we are designed to be noble and live with certain values. If we fail to do so, we become sad, depressed and diseased. Our world and our societies also become effected and eventually diseased. It is very easy to see this in today’s world with all the afflictions that the humanity is facing.

 

Our visit to Rome was a continuation of our learning. First we had the theory in Acuto and then we saw the implementation of those values.  St. Peters Basilica is a brilliant example where every tile, brick, statue and part of the church is a testimony of human nobility.  Rome is like a stage where the sacrifices of many noble people for their beliefs are on show.

 

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica

I only wish that we had more time to see Rome and its wonders.

 

O SON OF BEING! 

With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light.

Be thou content with it and seek naught else, for My work is perfect and My command is binding.  

Question it not, nor have a doubt thereof.   

 

O SON OF SPIRIT!

I created thee rich, why dost thou bring thyself down to poverty?

Noble I made thee, wherewith dost thou abase thyself?

Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from anyone beside Me?

Out of the clay of love I molded thee, how dost thou busy thyself with another?

Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.

 

O SON OF SPIRIT!

Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.

 

O SON OF BEING! 

Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee.

Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me. 

For I have created thee rich and have bountifully shed My favor upon thee.    

Bahá’u’lláh – The Hidden Words

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