Tag Archives: Mark Twain

WE have a DREAM


 

“No matter what people tell,
 

your words and ideas can 
change the world.”

-Robin Williams

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“It is never my custom to use words lightly.. If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”
– 
Nelson Mandela   July 2000

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“We have ancient habits to deal with, vast structures of power, indescribably complicated problems to solve. But unless we abdicate our humanity altogether and succumb to fear and impotence in the presence of the weapons we have ourselves created, it is as possible and as urgent to put an end to war and violence between nations as it is to put an end to poverty and racial injustice.“
Martin Luther King, Jr. 


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“Great minds have purposes, others have wishes”
 – Washington Irving
 

 

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Regardless the general conviction that our human potential is enormous, that things are possible which were never thought to be  possible, and that only limiting your choices in life to what seems possible is not always the best deal, – for certain there are limitations at both the personal and environmental level… This despite opinions that if you believe enough, you get it… which applies both at collective and personal level and I guess we all know about this, it’s often about vision..
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Within this context I like to say a few things, moving from the personal level to the collective level, – the last within the domain of the necessity to take the future of humanity up to the next level. All part of a new frontline in our shared values on our concern and attention, – for the future of this world.


Robert Fritz  once wrote: “It is not what a vision is, it’s what a vision does….”

We may wonder what a vision does….it’s a question!..

The question is both relevant  in theatre, composition, music and actually all areas of life including our individual existences..

A hard one perhaps for most of us at times, and we have to struggle for it at various degrees. The dynamics of this are not always easy.

The question at times is: “What is your or my vision really doing?” ……………Not one single human being  trying to find purpose in life does not know about this question, – ..we all ask this ourselves at times.

At times it’s all part of “the battlefield of the mind”, – the heart perhaps as well… Finding direction through vision…
Mind you, ..the mind and the heart and our soul are not always telling the same thing. Therefore it is a battlefield at times to hear the clear cool voice through the movements of the soul. At times we need to switch down the volume of both the emotions and the mind.. At time it’s all part as well of the broader “battlefield” of this world, – a world at different stages….. As “will to live” we live in this world and the word lives in us,  – for most in unalike dimensions.

Many of us try to find meaning or purpose in life through both vision and direction and this is for almost everyone different, diverse as we are.

But to come back on vision:

Vision is the ability to see, – yes to “SEE”… And how complex this can be…..

Often difficult because we are tight into our realities of day-to-day living with so many tasks at hand, so many things to do. And the nature of things we do or have to do is not rarely difficult to line up with the things we really wish to do,  we really wish “to SEE”, – perhaps… Because as how we see things for the future can be so different from the way we see things as they are now….

Helen Adams Keller was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. She was asked once : “Is there anything worse than being blind?….” “Yes,” she replied,… “having eyesight but no vision!” ….


For sure this interesting woman within her context knew what she was speaking about. Vision has to do with the belonging of the future, a vivid image of a fascinating future perhaps.  Maybe a powerful expectation. If we get a glimpse of such thing, and the last one being strong enough, we may say this is where we are going and because of that, this is what we are going to do….The point is how strong is the desire, the attraction and the will to live that way to get this image near.

Some would say that whatever we put our mind on is possible within human dimensions…..A concept being put forward and popular within e.g. “the law of attraction”, where emotions and vivid imaginations play such a vital role.. For sure helpful at some extend. In all this vision plays a role, a way of putting things forward with taking everyday a few steps into manifesting the image we created. Creating is a vital word in this process.
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This may apply to music, theatre, writing, education, Ministry, Government, our lives and other lives.. Hence there is truth in Robert Fritz saying that the most important thing is what a vision is doing, the dynamics of a work in process.  The last  as a result of the desire so explicitly lived and worked, both in our imagination and reality, with creativity.


Of  many people who died too early through circumstances out of their control, it will never be known how they would have advanced further, how they would have developed their future. We know however that external forces can put an end to things. Likewise for many people does apply as well that restrictive internal forces, combined with particular circumstances perhaps, may cause great obstacles for any vision in progress if we consider the question: What is my vision or your vision doing and what will occur from this? ..
“Love for what you are doing”, a single-minded purpose perhaps, apart from great imagination, are vital for a vision in progress… Or in other words for the material manifestation of what we really want, – also of what we in truth consider to be valuable to do in life… However, –  being deeply unhappy, the loss of people, jobs, a troubled marriage and many others can be too much of a distractions for any vision in progress… For some it may even affect the will to live…

What can we say, in all of this,  about courage or being discouraged, attitude and self-awareness? ..All of this within the context of words, ideas  and  vision….

Let’s start with attitude and returning perhaps to what we need to do at times:

Changing an attitude, returning to a work in progress when one has been discouraged, is surely difficult. One must not only revise the outstanding work or works , but one must also revise him or herself as well. Nothing is harder than self-transformation, which must start with self-awareness. People are just different in both their “make up”, strength, desires and believe systems. But also in their self-awareness. From changing self-awareness may start self-transformation, which is a need at the base for life changing desires and a vision working its way towards manifestation, –  the last with perhaps a bit of luck at times.

Apart from this, apart from simple luck or unprovoked misery, – the thing that strikes me with some of the great historical people in the past is that their vision, embedded in their personality, had a chance to develop into a singleness of purpose over time… In some “oneness” of  soul  vision and purpose, – acquired at times through inspiration and intuition, over many years, – and not rarely weathering various storms and set backs.

Both e.g. Martin Luther King, Jr . Abraham Lincoln and  Robert F. Kennedy had in common that they had all some strong attentions to easing the suffering of some of the less fortunate people, despite the fact that they did not see the outcome or impact they had… Their inner process or their soul’s purpose did however evolve slowly over time, with a variety of circumstances and their personal response to it, – the last contributing to the recognition of their own “blue print” later on in life. They contributed to the dignity of the will to live, at large from public office. They stood by those being put in the shadow, with a strong sense of social justice, – with a strong sense of focus as well to improve humanity as part of their actions..
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Words and ideas  with enough desire and conviction may have in some cases an impact on our personal lives and the world. To overcome the almost indescribable problems we face as a human race in the future, a next step in the future of humanity seems almost required to balance both the risks and our chances of survival on this small planet, – the last with great minds who with firm resolution may guide us the direction we may need to take. The direction where it may come  too might be to protect increasingly the will and the ability to live. Such direction has to do with a great vision of those who are able to look ahead. It could be the crafting of a blueprint for the human future which helps people to find themselves within such an image, an image being worthwhile enough to mobilise all the positives in both our intention and efforts. The last being a very dynamic and creative process for those who wish to see.
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Inspiration and perseverance can do a lot, including running that extra mile. However when we are born in Syria or Iraq or certain other countries, at some degree we have to deal with what is on our plate there. The will to live for most people on those places is only tuned in on survival…

As within a narrative on nature, we can say that an acorn holds the pattern for an oak tree and even oak trees are different. Or the other way round, an oak tree was once an oak nut…. Often the secret is in the structure of the oak nut, which does not take away that an oak tree may be leaning to the east if the wind through the life time of this tree mainly came from the west. Finding one’s blueprint and acting from this is not the most easiest exercise. There is much we have in common and sharing from this in our united efforts will relieve much of the load we have to carry as human beings. Some are more lucky than others in shifting, digging and dropping sediments on their plate as part of their search for meaning purpose and planning.


There are however no rules in finding your own “blueprint” in life, as being – by comparison – the acorn of an oak tree…
People who dare to search have different ways and there is by far not always logic involved.
I tend to think it is a creative process where we allow to live with the music in us
This music works with us and we work the music, and if  we have a dream, ..we should work the dream and the dream should work with us, and so – at times – words and ideas may change the world when we first change ourselves. The last with the transformation and awareness this requires.
The last for certain not the easiest bit…

The Art of Leadership and lessons from the Past – introduction.


Photograph of Ralph Waldo Emerson House, Conco...
Photograph of Ralph Waldo Emerson House, Concord, Massachusetts, USA. This National Historic Landmark was the longtime home of philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Where there is no vision, the people perish”  -(Proverbs 29:18)

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” – (Mark Twain)

INTRODUCTION

Yes, it’s all about choices in life, – choices being so important as it determines where we will be in 3 to 5 to 10 years down the line. We did not realise this when we were kids or young adults, but after developing some corner stones in our own lives, – we all do realise it is important to make good choices as choices do find our outcomes, – not only at personal level but also at collective level.

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Most of those choices we have to make on our own, – guided by instinct or values. Guided by what we have seen in the past and hope for in the future. Sometimes it is 2 step’s forward and one step backwards. Sometimes we don’t know where to go or how to take it further, — but what we choose can make – at times – the difference between life and death, – between winning or losing, – between a bad marriage or a good marriage.

This means as well that if we are going to lose “inches”, we have the freedom of choice how we are going to lose those inches, – with dignity and respect or with non-civilised behaviour – the last we know has its extremes.

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The future is there where your dreams are, when you are prepared to take the first steps to get you there, – whether it is in art or politics or any other attempt.

We have all unique talents, to be used neither only for ourselves nor in the outcome of bad decisions, – neither only for the past but for the sake of our future, and those who will be part of this future.

When we have some sort of peace with ourselves amidst any trouble hardship or hard work, being able to apply certain rules of self-leadership, – we may be well on our way to attract what we need to attract to become good leaders in whatever endeavour in life, which means to connect in a broader sense with people helping our ideas to resonate in others, to bring movement or action where this is required.

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There have been many books written about leadership and good leadership is like a diamond with various aspects and different ways of viewing it, – like a beautiful stone which you can see from different angles. We will discuss this further but in this introduction I only want to touch base on a few basics. For sure a strong valuable vision for the future and obedience to your own well developed (God-given) conscious are important ingredients to influence people in the positive, – which if well articulated may it mobilize the talents, the capacities of the people within the domain of your influence. Hence clear direction being required, – direction which helps to realise this vision in a practical way.

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Real leaders have influence in the positive as they add value.  Hitler eg was an effective leader, – however without adding value to life in whatsoever way, without respect for life in whatsoever way. He may have had a vision, but he had no conscious. The difference with eg a mother Theresa was that she had apart from both passion, vision and direction, – conscious as well. And she obeyed this conscious.

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Conscious and integrity are people orientated, based on connection with values and principles, based on respect for life, – and the outcome is neither concentration camps nor major self-inflicted war. The outcome is always directed in the positive, in adding value to productivity, business management or government.

With some people in history their importance was recognised in retrospect, as at the time the establishment was against them. Their influence appeared to be small at the start perhaps, but after they died it grew. Not always be the real image as it was then, but sometimes with the image history gave it, with the first image being perhaps more powerful. Death in those circumstances is not always the real end and on occasions it signifies a new beginning. This applies eg to Jesus from Nazareth. He was rejected and despised by the existing establishment, the world at the time, – despite his followers in those days. However his impact was of such a nature that after he was killed his influence continued, often misunderstood among Christianity and Church doctrines. But for his believers he may seem as an “unknown”, asking the question to follow him.

Great leaders have followers.

The agenda of good leaders is to motivate people to do what is right, with an influence greater than existing resistance, – even in the hours of risks and danger. Often it has to do with prompt action by choice, with faith, with a strong belief in what lies ahead, – as action without belief of what lies may prove to be often empty action.

This flow of action in the positive requires both courage and commitment, both partnership and integrity, both trials and tribulations to strengthen the efforts, – but besides this humility, wisdom and shared vision.

Neither defeat where right is valued over what is popular, nor any adversity in the midst of struggle, – will be a deterrent for the true leader to get the required seasoning to be eventually effective.

Even faced with death we may be assured that nothing is terminal and that everything is transitional.

Leadership on its own is not a goal, the vision and the process are the goal. And if the last is strong enough, at some stage there may be the harvest of our actions, – sometimes long  after we have gone.

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For most of us leadership will be neither dramatic nor often seen in the public eye. We have leaders on the street and leaders in government. It does not make any difference. What makes a difference is that our creative expressions in life meet the needs of our fellow humans beings, that our unique talents may serve  humanity in the smaller and greater deeds, – and the art of leadership in all of this is a valuable tool in the right hands.

There are many lessons from the past, and this small introduction will be followed a number of articles and examples.

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If interested keep reading on those examples and find them in your own life.

Thank you!
 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

Interesting might be: Profiles In US Presidential Violations of Justice – Front page (Part 1 of 11) on July 5, 2011

The  Art  of  Leadership  and  Lessons  from  the  Past – Edward M. Kennedy on October 29, 2011

The  Art  of  Leadership  and  Lessons  from  the  Past  – Gandhi. on October 27, 2011

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https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/the-art-of-leadership-and-lessons-from-the-past-nelson-mandela/