Consultation - Action - Reflection

A notion that has proven useful in this respect is that of a line of action. A line of action is conceived as a sequence of activities, each of which builds on the previous one and prepares the way for the next. Endeavours often begin with a single line of action, but gradually a number of interrelated lines emerge, constituting a whole area of action. For example, to be effective, even an effort at the grassroots focusing solely on the area of child education needs to simultaneously follow such lines of action as the training of teachers and consciousness raising in the community about education, as well as attending to the teaching-learning experience.

Universal House of Justice, Office of Social and Economic Development, Social Action, 26 November 2012, p. 14

At the heart of every development endeavour is consistent, systematic action. Action,

however, needs to be accompanied by constant reflection to ensure that it continues to serve the aims of the endeavour.

Universal House of Justice, Office of Social and Economic Development, Social Action, 26 November 2012, p. 14

Development strategies that are formulated simply in terms of projects with well-stated goals, followed by evaluation of how and why they were or were not achieved, have limitations. An approach to development defined in terms of learning does, at times, admit formal evaluation. Yet, it depends far more on structured reflection woven into a pattern of action, through which questions can emerge and methods and approaches be adjusted.

Universal House of Justice, Office of Social and Economic Development, Social Action, 26 November 2012, p. 14

Focused, systematic thinking and persistent, meticulous labour do not, of course, detract

from the spirit of service that animates social action. While paying attention to the

smallest practical details, one can be occupied with the most profound spiritual matters. A distinguishing feature of any Bahá’í endeavour has to be the emphasis it places on the spirit with which action is undertaken. This requires from the participants purity of motive, rectitude of conduct, humility, selflessness, and respect for human dignity.

Universal House of Justice, Office of Social and Economic Development, Social Action, 26 November 2012, p. 15

Given the multitude of humanity’s needs and the enthusiasm with which programmes

inspired by the teachings of the Faith are frequently received, it can be tempting for a Bahá’í-inspired organization to try to pursue every opportunity and become engaged in frenetic action. Learning to be systematic and focused is a challenge that all those involved in development efforts, from a small group to the community itself, have to meet.

Universal House of Justice, Office of Social and Economic Development, Social Action, 26 November 2012, p. 14

It is only through continued action, reflection and consultation on their part that they will learn to read their own reality, to see their own possibilities, make their own resources, and respond to the exigencies of large-scale expansion and consolidation to come.

Universal House of Justice, to the Continental Boards of Counsellors, 28 December 2010