February 22, 2010

Shoghi Effendi was an intensely active child

Shoghi Effendi was a small, sensitive, intensely active and mischievous child. He was not very strong in his early years and his mother often had cause to worry over his health. However, he grew up to have an iron constitution, which, coupled with the phenomenal force of his nature and will-power, enabled him in later years to overcome every obstacle in his path. ….

It may sound disrespectful to say the Guardian was a mischievous child, but he himself told me he was the acknowledged ringleader of all the other children. Bubbling with high spirits, enthusiasm and daring, full of laughter and wit, the small boy lead the way in many pranks; whenever something was afoot, behind it would be found Shoghi Effendi! This boundless energy was often a source of anxiety as he would rush madly up and down the long flight of high steps to the upper story of the house, to the consternation of the pilgrims below, waiting to meet the Master. His exuberance was irrepressible and was in the child the same force that was to make the man such an untiring and unflinching commander-in-chief of the forces of Bahá'u'lláh, leading them to victory after victory, indeed, to the spiritual conquest of the entire globe. We have a very reliable witness to this characteristic of the Guardian, 'Abdu'l-Bahá Himself, Who wrote on a used envelope a short sentence to please His little grandson: "Shoghi Effendi is a wise man - but he runs about very much!"

It must not be inferred, however, that Shoghi Effendi was mannerless. Children in the East - how much more the children of 'Abdu'l-Bahá - were taught courtesy and manners from the cradle. Bahá'u'lláh's family was descended from kings and the family tradition, entirely apart from His divine teachings which enjoin courtesy as obligatory, ensured that a noble conduct and politeness would distinguish Shoghi Effendi from his babyhood. 
(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 6-7) You can some some pictures of Shoghi Effendi as a child and youth at the following sites: http://communitybaha.blogspot.com/2010/02/first-western-pilgrims-ibrahim.html
http://communitybaha.blogspot.com/2010/02/bahais-in-baltimore-in-1909-kenosha.html
http://communitybaha.blogspot.com/2010/02/1913-some-bahai-students-with-their.html