An Update on “A Moment for Wisdom”



a Moment for Wisdom…


“Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs.”

Leonardo da Vinci



“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”

Saint Augustine


“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.”


Personal Wisdom:

When and where do you find it easy to exercise patience?

When, where (and with whom) do you find it difficult to exercise patience?

Do you have a long-term view of your life?

Do you take on tasks that are not your own?

Societal Wisdom:

Do you live in a society that values patience?

Does your society have a long-term view of its future and its role in the world?

a Moment with Sharif…


I had hoped to have completed the changes to the “new” Praxis by now… so it’s time for me to trot out some quotes on patience!

Today, I found myself “zipping” in downtown traffic… changing lanes a lot, speeding up on “yellow” lights, going a little faster than the conditions called for. And… I didn’t have
anywhere to go! It wasn’t like I was late for an appointment (I was late for a burrito!). I was being impatient. I slowed down… I made myself present, in that moment (not in my head about what I would rather be doing besides driving). Being patient cost me nothing.

Similarly, I have experienced my share of impatience over the slow pace of the changes that I envision to the Praxis offerings (including “A Moment for Wisdom”, as well as “Praxis Exercises”, Tele-Talks and other offerings). Some changes have been relatively easy – for example, developing the thematic material is second nature to me.

Much harder is when my vision for the work conflicts with my technical skills (or rather, my lack thereof). I am very clear how I want the Praxis website to look, feel, and work. At this point, I’ve been working hard to try to develop the web skills to achieve that vision. With little success.

In the midst of learning new web logging tricks and techniques, I came to a startling and fundamental truth: I don’t have the resources to achieve my visions. I don’t mean just changes to the website… I mean the resources to move forward on the vision that has been with me since I was 8 years old: to create a world that works for all beings.

And, learning WordPress themes is NOT how I am meant to achieve that vision! All of the time that I spend learning HTML code is time that I am NOT doing that which is my task and my destiny: to bring forth the vision of our inclusive future, along with the ways in which we will get to that future.

If I don’t have the resources to catalyze Wisdom learning groups, or Mender (emergence) centers, it is not a call to be frustrated, or try to drive faster… it is a call for my patience. If I don’t have the resources, it simply is not time. I remember that line from the movie “Gandhi”, where the Mahatma says: “Perhaps it is not yet time for us to have the independence we ask for.”

My personal pattern has been to take more and more of the burden onto my shoulders. “Patience” doesn’t mean trying to take on my job and everyone else’s. The quote above to “keep going” means to stay active with one’s own tasks – not try to run the train and take the tickets at the same time.

So… in about a week, you should look forward to a new “Praxis”… but just slightly new! And, when additional resources show up (a volunteer webmaster or the funds to hire one), look forward to much more!




All photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.


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5 Responses to An Update on “A Moment for Wisdom”

  1. Holly Wells says:

    Two quotes from my favorite article about patience, by Tama Kieves (I’ll fax it to you):
    “If something isn’t happening quickly, it could be the sign of a masterpiece.”

    “This is not a path for perfectionists, or for all-or-nothing thinking. Patience demands the courage to show up ineffectively, partially, and inconsistent.”

    Sharif, I see you at peace in creativity and clarity–doing only what is yours to do/ALL that is uniquely yours to do. You are a wonder and I am so grateful for your existence on this planet at this time.

    • Sharif says:

      Thanks for the kind words… this comes at an important crossroads for me, and I appreciate the clarity of your insight.

      Actually, right now, I am feeling “wonder” – ful!!



      PS: Great quotes! Expect to see them again in an upcoming “Moment”!

  2. Tim Rouse says:

    Hi! I know it must be incredibly frustrating to not have the resources to enable your mission and, indeed, your reason for being. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Maybe you are right that this is not the time. But I think it is the time. You must be open to the resources you need falling from the sky to enable your work to flourish. Hold the intention and I will as well.

    With love, Tim

    • Sharif says:

      Yes, Tim, it has been frustrating… And, if I’m being “frustrated”, I’m not practicing PATIENCE!

      The past few weeks have seen some massive growth on my part — I see clearly the things that I’ve been doing that have kept both me and my message “invisible”. (Not on purpose, I assure you!)

      The most important lesson has been expecting/worrying/wishing that life is other than what it is. Being dissatisfied with “what is” (including the pace of societal transformation). This is a VERY IMPORTANT, very subtle issue. Because, my JOB is to get people to see a vision of another way of life! And, from the time I was 7 or 8 years old, I could/can SEE a better life, a world that works for all!

      The key, however, is my mental/emotional attitude toward both the present society and the one we are creating. If I am angry or frustrated by the Breaker society, and/or frustrated by the slow progress toward a world for all, I am actually holding back its manifestation! I have to be both fully in this life, AND fully anticipatory of the emerging society. And, non-attached to both!

      With these things cleared out of the way, I’m waiting for something falling from the sky — other than Portland rain!



  3. Chuck Willis says:

    Great clarity, Sharif! … and no whining! Just allowing. That’s the Tao.

    Bless You My Dear Brother!


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