Friday, 3 June 2011


a Moment for Wisdom…


No feats of heroism are needed to achieve the greatest and most important changes in the existence of humanityit is only needful that we should not succumb to the erroneous, already defunct, public opinion of the past, which governments [and media] have induced artificially; it is only needful that each individual should say what he really feels or thinks, or at least that he should not say what he does not think.

Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910

(addition by Sharif Abdullah)

Personal Wisdom:

What is your methodology for listening to yourself?

If you find others talking about a media-induced divisive subject, do you have the
courage to voice the inclusive position? Do you believe that you have the skills to do so?

Societal Wisdom:

What do you think must happen for the media and governments to be able to reflect public opinion, instead of controlling and manufacturing it?

a Moment with Sharif…


Tolstoy lived before the times of mass media, hence my small addition to his quote. I’m sure he would agree with me.

A short time ago, I overheard two women engaged in a serious discussion of Imperial succession. The question was: how soon the English Prince who recently got married would be King and whether or not the woman he married would be Queen. [I don’t know the royals’ names and I have no desire to learn.]

This is a prime example of a media-inspired, artificially induced “opinion”. But for the media hype, these women would have NO INTEREST in the steps of succession to the British Crown… no one should, except for history buffs. It became important to them (they spent over 15 minutes talking about it) because the media MADE it important.

Here’s where I get controversial…

The current media attention on the upcoming Presidential race (who’s running, who’s
not, who can beat Obama…) is exactly as irrelevant as the succession to the British Crown. Regardless of who runs, regardless of who wins, our government will continue its mad dash to societal meltdown.  The “news” is “erroneous and already defunct”, before its even aired.

Yet, how can we say what we really feel or think?  With the incessant yammering of the political parties (yes, BOTH of them), with the fear-mongering and exclusivity taking place on all sides, how can we NOT get caught up in it?  I’ve watched so often people who have been trained in inclusivity and a world for all degenerate into the old, tired “Progressive/ Conservative” debate, knowing full well that neither of the parties has the slightest idea how to cure our societal malaise. Knowing that both parties CONTRIBUTE to our societal challenges.

(I’m not picking on the political parties.  While the politicans shape the political debate, they are also shaped by our current lack of thinking among so many people in our society. They create the problem, yet at the same time are created by it.)

To know our own minds, we have to LISTEN to ourselves. Which means that we have to turn down the volume on ALL attempts to divide us, to gain money (or power) from our fears of each other.

You’ve heard me say many times: we already know what to do to change our society. What we lack is the WILL to do it. Everyone, from the President to the janitor, says they are powerless to make real, fundamental change. And they’re all wrong. But, to realize that, to take action, takes practice.

That’s the purpose of the Praxis. To give ourselves the practice of changing conversations, of saying what we really feel and think, to practice the courage to voice our inclusivity, so that we can be better able to catalyze an inclusive society.




All photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.


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3 Responses to Friday, 3 June 2011

  1. Shirlene Warnock says:

    Thanks, for reminding me to step up my practice!

  2. Jeanne Nyquist says:

    Amazing message today, Sharif. Thanks.

  3. Chuck Willis says:

    The Tao (56th verse) says, “Those who say, do not know. Those who know, do not say.” Is it any wonder, then, that our “leaders” fail to lead? I guess it is ours to do (or not do) for ourselves!


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