Northern Illinois Bahá'ís

Luncheon for Honoring Teachers


Northern Illinois USA Glen Ellyn, IL

The Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá bestow high praise on the educators of children, stating that "The education and training of children is among the most meritorious acts of humankind and draweth down the grace and favour of the All-Merciful, . . ." [1] and "It followeth that whatever soul shall offer his aid to bring this about will assuredly be accepted at the heavenly Threshold, and extolled by the Company on high." [2]

The Mahboobipoor family of Gurnee and Beach Park in Northern Illinois have found a special way to honor teachers, and share with them the praise bestowed upon their services in the Bahá'í Writings. For the past two years they have hosted special luncheons toward the end of the school year to which the public school teachers of Sheedeh Mahboobipoor's two daughters, Sheeva and Ruha, have been invited. Bahá'í School teachers and other Bahá'ís who are or have served as teachers are invited as well.

At these luncheons the children participate by reading some of the quotations and presenting copies of the readings to the teachers. This year the readings included some quotations honoring the profession of the educator from other sources. The children also shared some crafts they had created in Bahá'í School while learning about the virtues.

Some of the responses received by the family follow:

 "Not too many people thank teachers, let alone go to so much trouble for us."

 "I have never been to anything like this. I told all my family and friends."

 "Now we know why Sheeva and Ruha are so great—it is how they were brought up and what you are teaching them at home."

"Many people just say things but Bahá'ís actually live it." This response was given because Sheeva had been playing with a child who was an outcast, and Ruha had helped a child who had some problems although she didn't know the child.

One of the teachers who couldn't attend later said, "I am so sorry I missed it! Please invite me next year." She said other teachers had told her it was a wonderful occasion.

The events serve not only to honor and encourage teachers, but also help to build friendships and teach the principles of the Bahá'í Faith. The guests frequently ask questions relating to the Faith, either inspired by the behavior of the Bahá'í children or Bahá'í symbols and photographs. The Mahboobipoor family plans to continue these luncheons until the children graduate from high school.

Bonnie J. Taylor

[1] Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 129

[2] Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 134