Walking the thin line of teaching at the work place

What an unexpected gift I got today from my capable team! Over the past months they worked hard on launching a new Intranet at my place of gainful employment  and now that the web workplace is up and running, I get to use it and brag about it! How cool is that! And how surprised I was today, to go to my team’s home page and see this:


Yes, that is the right — the quote of the day is from these words of Baha’u’llah:

CXXII. Man is the supreme Talisman. Lack of a proper education hath, however, deprived him of that which he doth inherently possess. Through a word proceeding out of the mouth of God he was called into being; by one word more he was guided to recognize the Source of his education; by yet another word his station and destiny were safeguarded. The Great Being saith: Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom. If any man were to meditate on that which the Scriptures, sent down from the heaven of God’s holy Will, have revealed, he would readily recognize that their purpose is that all men shall be regarded as one soul, so that the seal bearing the words “The Kingdom shall be God’s” may be stamped on every heart, and the light of Divine bounty, of grace, and mercy may envelop all mankind. The one true God, exalted be His glory, hath wished nothing for Himself. The allegiance of mankind profiteth Him not, neither doth its perversity harm Him. The Bird of the Realm of Utterance voiceth continually this call: “All things have I willed for thee, and thee, too, for thine own sake.” If the learned and worldly-wise men of this age were to allow mankind to inhale the fragrance of fellowship and love, every understanding heart would apprehend the meaning of true liberty, and discover the secret of undisturbed peace and absolute composure. Were the earth to attain this station and be illumined with its light it could then be truly said of it: “Thou shall see in it no hollows or rising hills.”
(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 259)

You might wonder, how did such words end up on a corporate Intranet? Here is the story:

For the past year and a half, I have made it a rule to invite my team mates’ contribution for our team meeting by having each of us submit an inspiring quotation as food for thought. We all take turns and anyone is free to pick whatever quote they want. Of course, we try to be sensitive to the fact that ours is a very diverse team. That of course makes for a fascinating collection of quotes.

One Sunday in February 2008, I was particularly moved by the song “Education” from Julie Rosser’s CD “Beloved”, and decided to use its words for my next team meeting. Now I have to admit that at the time I was very careful of not overstepping my managerial boundaries so I opted to not share who the author of the quotation was. Today, though, when I saw this quotation on the Intranet listing “anonymous” as its author, I felt that needed to be corrected. Besides, among the other quotations submitted since then by the team there were words of the Buddha, Confucius, and so many others. When I had shared Baha’u’llah’s quote with my team I never thought it might end up being shared with others; now that I see it on the Intranet accessible to all coworkers, I felt it would be important to identify its author, so I just asked my colleague to update the SharePoint tool (yes, our new Intranet is based on the SharePoint technology) and indicate that these are Baha’u’llah’s words.

Another lesson how we never know when teaching the word of God can take a life of its own. And let’s hope if I hear from HR, it is not an official reprimand 😉

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