Wednesday, 26 January 2011

a Moment for Wisdom…




There are no

is only YOU, wearing a disguise.

Look again.

Sharif Abdullah

Personal Wisdom:

Who in your mind is your “Other”? What are the characteristics that they hold? Why do those characteristics upset you? Make you defensive?

How do you hold those same characteristics? Try to pierce the “disguise” that your Other is in some way different from yourself.

Societal Wisdom:

Who are the “Others” in our society? Foreigners? Those of a different religion? Different ideology? Those are the easy ones. Who else is “Other” in American society?

How can we, at a societal level, pierce the “disguise” that the “Other” is somehow different from ourselves?

Right now, we spend vast sums trying to protect ourselves from an “Enemy” that does not exist. We try to protect ourselves from… ourselves. What would society look like if we stopped doing this?

a Moment with Sharif…

The part of writing this section that I hate is when I have to
“confess” my own behavior.

I don’t have any “enemies”, but there are people whom I try to
find ways to avoid, or breathe an inward sigh when dealing with them. (Believe me, NONE of them signed up for Praxis!)

All I have to do is start listing their negative or unacceptable behaviors, and I instantly can see those same characteristics in myself! (Or, those characteristics that I am AFRAID that I may acquire.) All that has happened is that “I” went around the corner, changed my face, and came right back at myself! YUCK!

In the face of this, you have a choice:

· Erect better walls (and take your phone off the hook),

· Embrace these characteristics or “flaws” within yourself. You will know that you have done this when (miraculously) THEY CHANGE.

That’s the point of this practice: to become conscious of and walk past these issues.

Happy walking!



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Sharif Abdullah photo: Lisa Norton

All other photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.

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