Friday, 11 February, 2011


a Moment for Wisdom…






You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to
frighten you.

– Eric Hoffer

Personal Wisdom:

What are some of the things that people do that cause you to become frightened? (Physical harm, belittling, yelling, threats to livelihood, threat to take away something of value…)

What does this say about them?

Are these things that they are actually doing to try to frighten you? Do they INTEND to frighten you?

What would happen if you acted as though you were not afraid? How would that change the energy between yourself and your “enemy”?

Who is afraid of you? For what reasons?

What can you do to lessen or eliminate their

Societal Wisdom:

As a society, what is America afraid of?

Who threatens us?

Is this “enemy” afraid of the same things?

Does having the largest military in the history of the world make us any less afraid?

What would make us less afraid as a

a Moment with Sharif…

This week’s Praxis theme has been on “love” and “enemies”.

Eric Hoffer’s quote above is fairly condensed:

  • There’s what your enemy does that frightens you.
  • There’s what your enemy does to TRY to frighten you.
  • There’s what your enemy does that frightens you, regardless
    of whether or not they are trying.

Then, we should look at how all of the above reveals how they themselves deal with the issue of fear.

On top of all of this… never forget that someone, somewhere, sees you as “the Other”, as the enemy. It could be your neighbor who doesn’t like your music, or the person driving behind you in traffic, or an ex-spouse, or a current employee… Someone, somewhere, is afraid because of you. It could be intentional, or not.

Recently, I saw a woman jump, avert her eyes and physically alter her path… all because she saw me approaching her. I don’t know whether it was because I am black, six feet tall, male… or perhaps all three. And (believe me), there is nothing I can do about any of those

In such a situation, the only thing we can do is pay attention, be aware that sometimes “fear happens”, and look for opportunities to shift the energy from fear to love.



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Sharif Abdullah photo: Lisa Norton

All other photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.

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2 Responses to Friday, 11 February, 2011

  1. Chuck Willis says:

    You are pretty scary … kind of like an overgrown Teddy Bear 🙂

  2. Grace says:

    My grandson likes to likes to see how I will respond to his negative comments, usually using words he is not allowed to use at home. I watch as my habitual negative response activates within and then chose to respond differently. Sometimes I will tell him I love him anyway. Sometimes I tell him that what he calls me is what he thinks of himself. If he calls me stupid, I tell him I am sorry he thinks that because he is really so smart. He is a wonderful teacher.

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