Friday, 25 February 2011

a Moment for Wisdom…




“You become what you fight.

Sharif Abdullah

Personal Wisdom:

Name some actions that you resist or

Next, name the ways that you resist or oppose those actions.

  • Do you “protest”?
  • Is your protest verbal or silent?
  • Do you try to physically stop the
  • How does the Other feel when you have acted?

How do you attempt to stop or “fight” your own undesirable or inappropriate behaviors? Are you always gentle and respectful with yourself? (It is your ability to be violent and disrespectful with your own behaviors that then “justifies” your violence and disrespect of others.)

Societal Wisdom:

America has the largest military the world has ever seen… who are we fighting?

America has more nuclear weapons than any other country… who are we targeting?

Americans spend phenomenal amounts of money on “personal security”… who are we trying to secure ourselves from?

What would our society look like if we  stopped fighting?

a Moment with Sharif…


America considers itself at war with “terrorists”. We define “terrorists” as people who, without reason or cause, cause or threaten death and/or violence to innocent people.

Now think about a wedding party in Afghanistan, a crowd of people in their best clothes on a bright sunny day, toasting the young married couple. Imagine this scene erupting in horror, as a missile fired from a Predator unmanned aircraft explodes and kills or maims everyone in sight.

When this happens (as it has happened often), our Government apologizes and promises an investigation. But neither the promise nor the investigation can bring back the living. It cannot wipe out the feeling of terror among those left alive…

We have become the terrorists that we claim to fight. Every missile we fire becomes a
recruiting tool for Al-Qaeda.

You are not ever just a “victim”. You are the victim, the perpetrator, the act of victimization, the healing… You are never “right” while the Other is “wrong”… there are nuances and failures to understand on all issues.

That’s why it’s important to NOT “FIGHT” ANYTHING. Does that mean lie down and become a doormat. Of course not. (Anyone who knows me understands that I’d make a poor doormat.)

It means that you “fight” or “resist” by RISING ABOVE. You meet every challenge with
vision, not opposition. You “oppose” every wrong by creating a more positive, fulfilling
opportunity. You meet every attempt at contraction with flow and expansion.

When your “weapons” are love, compassion and vision, the “fight” becomes a joy.



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Sharif Abdullah photo: Lisa Norton

All other photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.

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5 Responses to Friday, 25 February 2011

  1. Shirlene Warncok says:

    ……..”When your “weapons” are love, compassion and vision, the “fight” becomes a joy.” Thank you, for these very wise words, Sharif!

  2. Maja says:

    You are right Sharif, you would make a terrible doormat!

    I think this is more about being ‘for’ something rather than “against” something. “For Peace” rather than “Against War”.
    Trying to hold something back is draining and we lose our power standing there fighting. When we are ‘for’ something, we are in the flow and the forces of the Universe move us forward. AND we are in our joy for we are living the principals we stand for.

    Heartfelt blessings to all who are doing this work. Thank you.

  3. Timothy Johnson says:

    Hey Sharif,

    Today’s topic reminded me to ask you if you ever had a chance to interact with my friends who created the Peace in 5 Years project?

    I would agree with Maja, that the approach of actively pursuing peace involves being ‘for’ something, instead of ‘against’ it; in this case, a type of conflict resolution where war, which is defined as politically organized violence, is not an option.

    Instead, Give Peace a Deadline or GPAD has made it possible for the love, compassion, and vision of those wanting to end war to be focused on implementing the practices of Safe Conflict, which include measurable metrics of success and a true methodology of collaboration between individuals and organizations that share the broad goal of obtaining the situation generally referred to as peace.

    • admin says:

      Yes, I met the organizers about a year ago. I like their methodical approach and careful definitions. I was not as sure about whether they were prepared to dig deeply into the assumptions and psycho-emotional baggage that keeps “state organized violence going. One way or another, I wish them well!



  4. Grace says:

    War is about subduing the populace with fear and external focus so that corporations manufacturing weapons will make more money. If we look at war as a profit making system then it is not about the ‘other’; it is about us being hoodwinked by the story of good and bad.

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