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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 151-152

Innate Differences of Nature

In the Bahá’í view the child’s nature is not like so much wax that can be molded indifferently to any shape according to the will of the teacher. Nay, each from the first has his own God-given 152 character and individuality which can develop to the best advantage only in a particular way; and that way in each case is unique. No two people have exactly the same capabilities and talents, and the true educator will never attempt to force two natures into the same mold. In fact, he will never attempt to force any nature into any mold. Rather he will reverently tend the developing powers of the young nature, encourage and protect them, and supply the nourishment and assistance which they need. His work is like that of a gardener tending different plants. One plant likes the bright sunshine, another the cool shade; one loves the water’s edge and another the dry knoll; one thrives best on sandy soil and another on rich loam. Each must have its needs appropriately supplied, else its perfections can never be fully revealed. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says:—
The Prophets acknowledge that education hath a great effect upon the human race, but They declare that minds and comprehensions are originally different. We see that certain children of the same age, nativity and race, nay, from the same household, under the tutorship of the same teacher, differ in minds and comprehensions. No matter how the shell is educated (or polished) it can never become the radiant pearl. The black stone will not become the world-illuminating gem. The thorny cactus can never by training and development become the blessed tree. That is to say, training doth not change the essential nature of the human gem, but it produceth a marvelous effect. By this effective power all that is latent, of virtues and capacities in the human reality, will be revealed.