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Role Models

He is very glad to know that you have liked “The Dawn-Breakers", for his greatest reward is to see that this work, which has cost him much labour and anxiety, is helping the friends to understand better and more fully the spirit that animates the Movement and the exemplary life of the heroic souls that ushered it into the world. The Guardian sincerely hopes that by reading this book the friends will be stirred to greater activity and a higher measure of sacrifice, that they will obtain a deeper realization of this Cause whose spread and ultimate victory is entrusted to their care. As some who have read the book have remarked, no one can become familiar with those lives and not be inspired to follow in their way. It is surely true that the spirit of those heroic souls will stir many artists to produce their best. It is such lives that in the past inspired poets and moved the brush of the painters.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Importance of the Arts in Promoting the Faith)


Now, if ever, is the time to emulate the example of these heroes, saints and martyrs. Now is the time to pour out one’s substance as copiously and as readily, as the Dawn-breakers of the Heroic Age of the Faith have shed their life-blood in the path of this most precious Cause. No more befitting tribute can be paid to the memory of these luminous souls, by those who carry the torch of Divine Guidance after them, than by a corresponding manifestation of solidarity, self-abnegation, zeal and devotion, which will impel them to forsake their homes, sacrifice their treasure, brave every danger, endure every hardship, expend every ounce of energy, that the Plan which they have spontaneously and unitedly sponsored may, through its triumphant termination, carry them a stage further along the broad highway of their destiny.
(Shoghi Effendi, Dawn of a New Day, p. 134)


What needs to be appreciated in this respect is the extent to which young minds are affected by the choices parents make for their own lives, when, no matter how unintentionally, no matter how innocently, such choices condone the passions of the frivolous pursuits, its glorification of violence, and its obsession with self-gratification.
(Universal House of Justice, 28 December 1010 to the Continental Board of Counselors)