Two dear friends of mine, Edit Kalman, a photographer, and Tom Mann, a graphic designer, have teamed up to create a special compilation of the Baha’i Writings in light of the exceptional circumstances the people of the world find themselves in right now with the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but also to be used, and inspiration derived from it, at any time.
Edit and Tom have created a compilation in both English and Hungarian, and have made it available for free download by anyone who would like to use it. You can download it here.
I was excited to touch base with Edit and Tom to learn more about this touching initiative, and here’s what they shared with me:
Baha’i Blog: Hi Edit and Tom! Can you first tell us a little bit about this initiative?
Well, we wanted to distribute, in a non-printed format, a set of positive Baha’i Writings that address some of the current issues we are facing right now in relation to the global health crisis.
As humanity is facing heavy challenges and the light of unity is shining more brightly, we have created a compilation as a gift to those souls who are searching for answers, solace and love today. Please feel free to share the booklet with your friends and loved ones.
Baha’i Blog: Why was it important for you to make this happen, and what was the inspiration behind it?
Edit inspired the action, and we have been collaborating on projects for many years, starting back from our time while serving together in the same office in the Holy Land.
Yes, Tom and I have created a number of similar publications in the past. Other projects included topics like love, contentment and the life of the soul, and as a result of the current health crisis, humanity is facing heavy challenges, and individuals, families and nation-states find themselves at a loss. But we can all find hope when looking at these challenges with the eyes of love and unity.
Baha’i Blog: What do you hope people will walk away with after reading the compilation?
When we watch the news, and from all directions, one can hear and read news about a deadly virus. I believe the quotations in the compilation can give one hope, joy and solace and a sense of direction. We are not alone. We can rely on others and we can help other people too because love and unity are both very strong phenomena.
And as with any of the Sacred texts, it is hoped that spirits will be lifted.
Baha’i Blog: What’s the process of putting this together been like for you both personally, and what lessons have you learned?
On a practical level, we made the conscious decision to produce the compilation in A5 size, so that it can be read easily on a screen, but also so it can be printed as a small booklet for those interested.
The Writings of the Baha’i Faith touch upon a vast number of subjects. When I encounter some difficulty in my life, I try to think about the various aspects that it involves and how it impacts my life. In this case, the individual tends to feel lonely and helpless and almost hopeless so I tried to find quotations that talk about these subjects.
One of the important things we can all learn from the current crisis is compassion. For the elderly who are most vulnerable to the disease. For those many people who are now, from one day to the other, are losing their loved ones while they have to protect themselves. I feel this is the most difficult aspect while life goes on, the suffering and sorrow it entails. Let us keep all these people in our thoughts.
Baha’i Blog: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
The original idea was to prepare it in Hungarian, and Edit was kind enough to share the English version as well.
Yes, as a Hungarian Baha’i, it makes me happy to contribute to the creation of more Hungarian Baha’i literature. At the same time, we want to make sure we reach as wide an audience as possible, so we also make it available in English, and we do this with all of the publications Tom and I work on.
It is also great to see that the essence of unity and collaboration is being understood more and more as a result of the pandemic. Businesses that normally have nothing to do with health equipment, have begun producing essentials to combat the virus. Countries that have a more stable health infrastructure support other countries that are overwhelmed by the impacts of the pandemic. Individuals try to be of service wherever they can. These are beautiful signs of love, selflessness and unity. “So powerful is the light of unity,” Baha’u’llah says, “that it can illuminate the whole earth.”
Baha’i Blog: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions, and thank you both so much for this wonderful and timely compilation.
You can download the compilation, in either English or Hungarian, from the national Hungarian Baha’i website here: The Light of Unity