Tag Archives: Nelson Mandela

WHO ARE WE, – AND WHAT COULD WE STILL BECOME??


 

“Much of the “amazing” as this may happen between people at times, – is not always expressed in what we see or hear.  But in veiled ways,  it may become a force within our spirit.  Without this,  it would seem life itself would be unthinkable,  or at least less meaningful…”  –  Paul Wolf
WHO  ARE WE,  – AND  WHAT  COULD  WE STILL BECOME??
Is it worth raising this question?..
The question who we really are is not confined to anyone in one culture, –  but includes human beings in all cultures.
With differences in background , culture and or genetic structure,  we are all part of the same species.
Image result for best quote on Children still kill each other on the streets in Chicago
By chance we were either born in South Africa or Russia, – either born  in Syria or the US…  Or any other place….
By chance our parents created a conception at one particular time, –  otherwise we (as we are now) would not have existed. For sure!. And people with a different awareness would have walked around.
Interesting isn’t it?
If for instance my granddad would not have returned from Canada to the Netherlands – because my grandma  was terrible homesick –  my dad would have been born in Canada. The last if the timing of his conception would have been exactly the same…
If not, the genetic DNA structure and the awareness unique of the particular human structure would have been totally different.  And for sure,  “he” would not have met my later mum during the resistance movement in the Netherlands in 1942. 
History for me would have been different, so for my wife and children.
Is everything a matter of chance?
Who are we, and where are we going?
It is interesting you know!
By chance we are living in the place where we are placed, as if the timing of our conception would have been different, many of us would not have existed in the way we are manifesting ourselves now.
And if either our dad or mum would have lived in a different country, circumstances would have been hugely different.
It is mind-boggling when you start to think about this as you realise that lots of things are created as a matter of chance. Which does not take away our responsibilities as they are  provided within our current appearance. But the awareness  helps to receive everything with a certain refinement, dignity or civility. And, more importantly,  express the last as such.  Whatever else you would like to tag this “issue” in the positive!
Does it make sense?
I need to give the last perhaps a different shade:
People from most Christian denominations disagree with me on this one.
However, – its matter of chance where we are born, the genetic structure we have and the circumstances in which are placed at the start of our lifespan on this planet.
Later on, the gift of choice takes over, providing us with the opportunity to make the best of every situation or the worst of both our character and conditions.
Not that we always have the best of each situation, for sure not, – just look around!
It does not take much imagination what this says, both in our lives and that of others, whether it is nearby or far away. We can’t always escape the situation in which we are placed, because at times we have an obligation to meet or a promise to keep.
The last thing we have is “the gift of choice” in those provided circumstances, – our final response.
By chance the start of the first circumstances can be great, by chance the start of those initial circumstances can be terrible. We are not always sure what lies ahead, we are not always sure what the best possible decision is. We grow through it,  at times very helpful but unquestionably this is not always the case: the assumption that we grow through circumstances. Especially if the design of those conditions may for instance take our life. Mind you, if you look at those countries where this is happening day by night…
If we have learnt to fear, we will express this in our circumstances, by choice. We will avoid certain circumstances or contacts.  If we have learnt to love we are able to express this as well, we will embrace certain circumstances and contacts.
Often,  we are thrown in the deep and have to swim across rough waters. We are relying on our inner strength to sustain, on our physical ability to keep up to speed, and on our moral affinity to keep our sense of duty balanced. In all this, – we may hope we belong to the God of our understanding, and that we may sense his grace out of the many options we have to choose in one particular situation. Options we have, day in and day out, – wherever we are, – wherever we may be. And for sure those who are willing to pray genuinely, they better do this honestly and fully.
Mind you, it is not God or Christ who wanted children to be born in  unsustainable circumstances.  It is not “the will of God” that you are choking tomorrow on a potato or that a drunken truck driver hits your daughters car on the wrong end of the road and that she gets killed. Lots of things simply happen by chance, and the fact that nature was “created” is true, – but  lots of the multiplication of nature happens by chance, and in the design itself, –  we are manifesting ourselves. And in this manifestation, there is a beginning and an end, – by far not always as a matter of choice, – though choice we have.
Some Church leaders may wonder where I put God in this picture…. On an aside note on this, –  I can only say that I feel that God, at His choice, interacts with his creation, with foresight. However, the biblical David for instance, was anointed as Israel’s next King after it proved that Soul was a failure. It was not the original intent. Soul made himself a failure by choice, and he could have made his choices differently, – in which case his duty as King then
would have been a sustained one, as was the original aim.
But anyhow, – lets carry on.. Carry on the value of real “connections”, – based on what I  say….
Friendships we need in life. Connections  we need to sustain in life and broaden our own horizons by sharing thoughts we otherwise would not express, perhaps. Good connections in life are the most important gift, apart from having the gift of choice.  One should entertain and commit to this, with full faith and trust,  and include the people who are really dear to us, but also reach out where justice gets compromised, where people get abused, where poverty is reaching that stage it’s simply not acceptable anymore. Not that much we can do on our own, but in the connections we have we can do more then on our own, in the choices for our leaders we can do more than on our own. Because it is all about connecting energies working for the better. 
Being taken up by the stream of meaningful contacts may enlarge what we are and can be, but as I say for others as well.
If we are able to cherish the mix of colours and the mix of race we are able to inhale the oxygen of this planet.
If life has thrown stuff on your plate which was not of your making, and even when there have been times that you wish you could escape from it, the memory of people whom you love dearly and with whom you feel loved as well, – keeps you balanced the pathway you have to follow, as then there will be always some “oxygen” in the air.
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The last question on earth is not what we are but what we became in both love and compassion to those who surround us.  And in this it does not make any difference whether we are a Muslim Christian or Jew. The last question is whether we really did share in sorrow and cheer of those around us. Then we can go in peace back to the God of our understanding, when our transition takes place. The last one which is not terminal, as nothing is terminal,- everything is transitional.
On what appeared on this planet by chance in the form of human beings as part of the wider concept of creation, has been given “the gift of choice” in its manifestation. Again, that is the point, or one of the points.
For a better humanity, this is when we have contributed to a better state of human race, – including contributing towards more tolerance among our fellow human beings. This,  is not a point of any religion anymore, – as most people just refrain from the crux of their own religion..  And the last is what counts, the so long forgotten crux in any religion that it is about helping each other and not killing each other. I say this in the most simple way, but often it is the forgotten way in the sum of human history.
That’s not by chance you know, that’s by choice!
If we stand for those in the shadow at the good end of the moral spectrum, we may perceive our last moment on earth as a new beginning. The last because the question of our belonging extends far more further than what we can see and hear, – in our short lifespan on this planet. That’s  part of a never-ending creation.
Again, that’s the chance given to us, – brought on in our perception perhaps by chance, – as there is really little purpose to see children being born in war stricken areas with a special intent for their suffering. With a special intent that they are born in that particular place with a purpose to die days later, – or being taken into a terror cult, or being taken into other slavery.
The “who am I” question is not a question only to be raised by a person at any stage in his or her life.
This question applies to countries as well in the form of: “Who are WE as a people?”
It is a question with political implications, – whether you accept it or not.  It’s a question not raised by chance, but by choice
Experience kept us suspicious of others preventing us from being open and truthful in our appreciation of others, or countries, – and at times for a very good reason. Mind you!
If the looming of a new humanity would be able to  break through the shimmering of dawn,  to this earth, – any inhabitant of this planet, any country in this world, should not allow to make this new humanity more distant by more revolting mass actions of destruction and conflict. Or conflict and destruction, – both being the two sides of evil.
For sure, this is not a matter of chance but it’s all a matter of choice!
Looking back, – (not that we can doing anything about it), – the parents of Adolf Hitler did chose the timing on conception of this person at the wrong time of the scale, whilst the timing of Mother Theresa was spot on. If it would have happened one day later or one day earlier the DNA structure and the power of the manifestation would have been  completely different.
Isn’t this a weird thought?
For sure, let’s take this with a sense of humour, as definitely there is more to it..
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The difference though was the spectrum of conscious,  which did “exclude” in one case the Jews and many others, – in the other case it did “embrace” everybody!  It was the difference between evil in progress and love in motion.
That people are born by chance we accept, or perhaps not.
But what they do by choice,  is the crux.
There was no purpose in the existence of Hitler, neither is there purpose in many of the dictators on this world.
To escape “sin” may be the greatest guilt if not many of those dictators get stopped, – if so required even by assassination,  if the purpose is elimination of evil and destruction in progress. And the Bible says you are not allowed to kill. ..Well, people may disagree, but I think it is very biblical to stop all evil in progress, as history has seen more than enough of it, –  and we should be over it!
Who are we, –  or,  what could we still become?
When we were a child we spoke like a children,  but when we became  an adult – we should act like adults,  with the future of our children at heart.
What sort of a future?
When challenge strikes us at the wrong moment, we may be weak in progress, – but when challenge strikes whilst we are balanced amidst the encounters we have, – we may act stronger perhaps than ever expected. We all may act the wrong way when we are touched the wrong way, no matter how good we are or may be… But if our children get harmed or killed, – we may strike out in anger and become evil. It is not always possible to resist this temptation if we deal with evil,  but it is better being evil than doing evil. Being evil in our anger is better than doing evil in our outrage. This applies e.g. to Islāmic fractions who stand up against each others throat, –  when sentiments are hurt.
Mind you, by the way, no way that I say that the reigns in Saudi Arabia are good, – disturbing as they are at times………You know what happened,  I guess, a short time ago.  Saudi Arabia  executed 47 prisoners convicted of terrorism charges, – including a prominent Shiite cleric, who rallied protests against the government.
This happened by choice, not by chance!
The people who were killed recently were neither really killers or terrorists, but Iran did kill  people as well, who were neither assassins nor bombers in the past. It shows how often people are at the mercy of unpredictable and intolerant regimes, not allowing any opposition. The last applies to people in North Korea as well.
What applies to people that you hope and expect them to become real adults applies to counties as well.  But how often does it really happen?  How often regulate countries themselves to economic conditions, –  that will take the essentials from the many, to give the comforts to  the few? 
  And then as such in an excess at times astonishing.
Worse even, they kill to keep the status quo, and screw their justice systems to keep it that way, – not rarely with barbaric murder and mutilation wiped under the carpet, if possible.
One can’t judge a country on the contents of its leadership, however sometimes the contents of the leadership resonates willingly or unwillingly  with the people of such country.
Lets take pride in Nawal al-Hawsawi an outspoken, black, and  qualified pilot who married to a white man. The ‘Rosa Parks’ of Saudi Arabia who showed in non-violent action she does not agree what is common law on marriage.
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She asked herself as well: ” Who am I”.   I am living will with a right to love, who can be against me if I do no harm?
She did this by choice, not by chance!
Many of us are restless and longing for the oxygen in life, even in the slightest moment of an encounter, far away or distant nearby.
Hungry for the human connection.
Mind you…and listen carefully….. I give an example,  an important one at this stage, – as it is not by chance but by choice!
I am quite candid in saying this:
The poison and intolerance of one person may destroy relations in and outside the US if Donald Trump would be elected US President in 2016!
The faint shimmer of a new humanity would be more down the drain than ever before in the US, – in such case.
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It is more than surprising that US Churches don’t take a united stance in matters, to avoid this happening. It would seem true religion and politics do not match very well, and far to often churches have been silent bystanders. Like the Roman Catholic Church at the times of Hitler, during the second world war, – they even made a deal.
It is up to the Americans which way they want to go, either the way of increasing friction among race and religion, with a risk of more civil unrest in the US and more disruption in the world… Or, –  more tolerance and understanding whilst eliminating people who can’t refrain from being evil by doing evil, –  in such  excess that it justifies their destruction.
It’s a matter of a free choice in a country, tainted by history, infected by racial tension, to make the right choice in line with common courtesy and respect for other cultures, – and race alike!
Children still kill each other on the streets in Chicago. At times they are shot as well by others..
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If the US is not going to stop this, it is only a matter of time waiting for a massacre greater than the Civil War. Self inflicted, –  by inflated perceptions on what is right or wrong in gun control. The abolishment of slavery is , likewise, but different, –  proper, –  as the abolishment of enslavement to  inflated gun laws, … and the day by day unlawful killings on the streets of almost any big city in the US, – as a result of this, by day and by night.
By choice, not by chance!
The US is anyway not free from the dangers of violence and further polarisation, but choosing the wrong US President is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice..… Donald Trump is simply not qualified to run a country. His only qualification is being a rich business man with neither proven manners or an acceptable standard on a real partnership with a multi-cultural society .. And I am sure, such a bad choice would affect the world.
Definitely, US readers,  – at least some, – will be greatly annoyed what I say here.
For sure,  I have nothing to do with the US than my affinity for this country to have a better future.  And I am surprised about the way people are making their choices, not knowing what is lying ahead, –  quite a few not having the faintest perceptions on the potential dangers.
Therefore people and churches need to speak out in the US.
 People in the US are qualified to judge with common sense, at least if their support structures give the support they really need. It is amazing that the right-wing sector of the Republican party, with all those so-called Christians, are prepared to support Donald Trump if he wins the Republican nomination
Why is this important now?
Well, it is all part of: ” Who are we or what could we still become?”
We owe it to ourselves to believe in the future. More then enough countries are already messed up and we can’t allow the US to be messed up by Donald Trump,  and with this, the rest of the world as well, – as he has no concept  of real sustained diplomacy to create unrelenting change for the better.
You know, the power of a country can’t be only judged on its military strengths, – but by its leverage in the world to resolve problems in cooperation with the other superpowers and others,  – and to avoid conflict.
It is all part of the question who we really are and where we want to go. A question, each time with different dimensions and opportunities. And in each of those opportunities lies perhaps the best choice which we need to search for, and this is the craving for that thing, that choice, which may slowly resolve the brokenness in ourselves and in the world.
Where we go as a people is not by chance but by choice and only by making the best possible decisions in each new entity of life, – there is a way forward. Not only for us but also for the people who surround us, with whom we are interlinked.  Not only for us as people,  but for communities and countries as well.
Leaders today need to be qualified as the world is too complex, too  perplexing, –  to allow evil doing evil.
If we have the privilege of living in a country where our ancestors by choice created a Democracy, lets stick to the responsibility of this choice, and the privilege as such, –  the advantage of enhancing our freedom and justice systems by choice and as such I would say it would not be wise to take the chance with Donald Trump, – apart from all the other things I said.
The major challenge of leadership is to restore the  balance between what lies at the core of our humanity, –  and the qualities which direct us in both  actions of goodwill and cooperation towards the challenges we face in the future.
Much of the misery nowadays in this world is caused by the fact that people lose their ability to connect with each other. A real mental connection is a tie to the past and a road to the future, a tie to human rights and a bridge to justice. And if we are failing  to fasten the links between Nations based on the core of our humanity, as a people we will get more and more disconnected, – and as such we will be failing the children who will be the future of the next generation.
It is as Nelson Mandela once said: “A  Good  Head  and a  Good Heart are  Always a  Formidable  Combination”.
And this, – he became by choice, – not by chance!
Still we can make a difference,  and say: “Why not?”
HOW?
Really, – by choice:
To honour and to improve life where possible, and to make more gentle the life of this world..
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WORDS MATTER, THE WORLD MATTERS‏, HOPE MATTERS – LIKEWISE YOUR WORLD MATTERS; STAY IN FOR THE RIDE!!



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“We spend our years as a tale that is told..” – Psalms

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They tell me that words and differences  often do not  matter, and that actions only do.. They tell me that stories and tales do not matter either, and that only reality does.. Others do say  that words are only words and not always have a meaning…

They forget then that actions follow words (often on differences) , and that the way we approach differences are often the extensions of our attitude and that attitude follows mindset.. A certain mindset on which words do follow…Just repeat this if you wish, … And don’t forget that tales at times carry both hope and inspiration if the last is based on the mindset which makes someone tick the right direction.

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Words carry weight. Words carry sometimes a burden as due to created perceptions of fear. Tales, words and hope do matter… Many of us are brought up with stories and tales. Stories about the family, tales about people. Just name it! Almost everyone has examples, either at school or at home or at work or elsewhere. We live  in a world with role models, film stars, sport heroes, leading men and women and all the others on which we may relate some way or the other. It is what they say, what they send in their energies. And all those people are so different, what they say is different and what they do is different. Likewise what politicians say, based on mindset, context, and their attitude. Name it different if you wish, but what they say has an impact, as for sure it is not rarely followed by action.

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Do you agree?..To be exceptional and to make a difference in our inequality, – words carry gravity. Some more than others..-. In our separateness,  only our distinctive actions as a result of those words make the difference between “captivating people” or boring them, – making splendid the beauty of this world or unimpressive the drawbacks of our actions.  A world full of imperfections, full of major challenges. A world full of efforts, repellent at times as a result of hateful quarrels. All based on words, based either on hope or despair, based either on the perception that the wider context matters or that the bigger picture is  trivial.

The wider context, – the world, and the challenges we face?

One may ask: “Where does this leave us”? – I will get back on that one a bit later..

Speaking on the larger picture at the different level, we noticed this for instance when Turkey shot down a Russian plane in the common fight against ISIS. And the words of the Turkish President were only inflicting more tension between Russia and Turkey… The point was: ..a Russian pilot made a genuine error. The Turkey’s command systems fired a missile to this plane and the words being spoken then worked like “missiles” and increased tensions, – and not the mutual recognition that something went wrong.. Something which could have been prevented perhaps.. And people in Turkey then went on the street full of hate words against Russia… The propaganda of words… And the Turkish Parliament applauded then the Turkish President.. All this in a climate with already existing tensions in Europe with a possible Russian’s desire for further expansion. Also the possibility Russia may use nuclear weapons against ISIS, options which were raised earlier in a different context. So why inflicting tensions with words at this level?

Lets forget about this particular example as there are too many!

But If in this world for instance the leaders of Turkey would bring down a second Russian plane due to genuine pilot error, who makes e.g. the bend in the air just 2 seconds too late, and Russia would retaliate due to a non-apologetic Turkish behaviour, – we get tit for tat and potentially an escalation of events leading to war in Europe, or elsewhere.

What a potential stupidity and power lies in the use of words as well,.. and how senseless the conceivable actions of leaders lacking insight and proper judgment… European leaders in such case being blind-folded by a NATO contract  that one attack to one country is an attack to all countries.  As such, you know, the most controversial action may impose the most untamed reaction. Britain’s nuclear subs already on a level of increased alertness.

Do you know that if e.g. the UK would get destroyed, in part, and the command system of some of those subs are not able to be in contact with the British government anymore, – that there is a large full scale mission to carry out?

History is full of it. Missions based on actions and words. The secret box in one of those subs to be opened carries instructions from the British  PM. Words to be carried out. Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister got pale when he signed again the “last instructions”. Let that ever be prevented, both by actions and for sure by words of reconciliation and coöperation, the last where this is possible and desired within reason.

However, history is full of leaders lacking balance and insight, apart from the few good ones who inspired to believe again in the universal potential we all have as a people and brought it to action. But the balance is very fragile at international stage.

Still the question: “Where does this leave us”? – Just hang on..

It is factual that speeches not always solve problems, but what is true is that we can inspire trust and coöperation.  Even amidst our differences and errors. Even at the level of international politics. And it all falls back on the use of proper words, based on the bigger picture in mind, based on the right mindset and attitude as well. Words either full of prejudice or fairness. Those words, you know, transmit energy of goodwill or hostility, wisdom or ignorance, reconciliation or conflict. And this applies to us as well!

Words do matter and differences do matter as in our difference   lays the opportunity to reach out and find better connections than before, both at home in our household and in the world. In the moment of truth or danger we need to recognise the potential menace, but also recognize and pursue the opportunity for keeping peace. All being part of making real and genuine connections. And this applies to us as well!

We hold those truths to be self evident that all men are created equal – just words?

Does this apply to us?

Are we fearful to make real connections with those who surround us or are we slowly losing our ability to relate to each other as we live in a world more divided against itself. People more disconnected due to the variety of challenges we face in our communities where the blessings of technical progress are often translated in the curse of regression of our fruitful energies. The last including the potential to connect at our most fundamental human levels.

If we inspire hope in our words, wisdom in our actions, compassion and justice in our accomplishments, we may find that words and difference do matter. As in all of this it is mind over matter. In all of this it is consciousness over the elements of events, whether it is at home or at the highest political stage of the world.  Keeping the bigger picture in mind is getting far more important and it requires courage and determination to separate the weed from the chaff, to get straight to the point in crucial matters. Crucial matters within the world surrounding us and within the world of ourselves. And the last applies to us in person!

A world both in ourselves, – reflected in the outside world, – where we have to watch that what we have “in us” is not getting more and more superficial. The last despite technical progress, despite e.g. the accelerations in the communications industry and many others, which may give hindrances of various other nature as well if not properly used..

So for all of us, wherever we may be:

Let wisdom ring from the Rockies of Colorado  to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales..

Let compassion being shown on the borders of the Ukraine and in Russia.

Let mind over matter rain at the stage where important decisions are made.

The last with the reality awareness, the reality on the risk of war where people use their words and differences “to make matters evolving”, –  making matters worse as an excuse to decide matter over mind, to escalate words to the propaganda of war.. We have seen this after 9/11… And once more war has started it is hard to stop again, as events then are only of an escalating nature where the mindset in such case has reached a point of “no return”…

Is hope a dream only?

No, it is a reality we have to put our mind on. We have to dream and say why not. We need to set our goals and say why not. We need to reach out and say why not. We need to show compassion where it might be hard and say why not.. And besides this, we need to be open on what is still possible to explore both the sea and the sky, to bring out the best of our human endeavours, to combat the dangers of our time and say: ” Why not?”

This is what we can do together. Together we can spend our years as tales being told through words of wisdom and compassion, and in this we may lay together the foundation of greater understanding and a better future. We are allowed though to be somewhat pessimistic in our world view as long as the optimistic music in ourselves remains the driving force of both our words and actions.

Does this apply to us??… YES, .. THIS APPLIES TO ALL OF US!

So let it be known in every village and hamlet that despite the agonies of this world there is still hope for a better future, that Muslims and Christians can live together, that Jews and Palestinians are not necessarily eternal enemies and that both Iran and Israel are able to escape from old dogmatic principles. The last based on the assurance that they are no threat to each other and accept each other as partners in common enemies we all face as a people in the future. The impact of climate change. The impact of more dangerous and hard to control terrorism. The importance to manage a world with stronger countries desiring to broaden their level of influence at a cost of others…And all the other things, on which words, mindset and the world does matter, – now and in the future.

It all depends on the words and actions being used, the actions as a result of those words, the words as a result of a certain mindset. I have to repeat this..

Mindset – you know is everything, but it grows on the environment of words, either words of hope or words of suspicion and hatred. It grows in the environment of our families and schools, in the environment of the street at times where youngsters get lost or killed during the gun violence e.g.in the backyards of Chicago. People killed or getting violent as a result of the ICE epidemic within Australia the greater influx in the north and Melbourne perhaps, with crime syndicates and drug dealers often having an easy escape… We easy could go over the world with all both the positive things and the awful and flawed precedence or examples.

But it is not important here…. What is important here?

There is a twinkling in the lifetime of any generation where the spirit of hope on a broader mindset may come through. Where we are capable to ask ourselves what we are able to do. What we are worthy to do to make more gentle the life of this world, and not asking what others can do for us this way..

And this is the spirit, – not of what “I” can do, –  but what “we” can do together, to sustain the responsiveness of free man in a more complicated world, both at home and around us.

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This is a dream and a hope which may last through the storms of generations and will endure.

This is a dream and a hope which will endure our time and all times.

Times where words and differences will always be around but where we may find the means perhaps, through cultural transition,  to set up the realistic awareness  that we are all inhabitants of this only one world, all residents of this only one tiny planet. And that we have to rise up together and challenge collected the dangers for humanity, from east to west, from all corners of the world, – at times against all odds.

That is hope you know… To believe things which are not there as yet, rewarded by seeing what we believed and hoped for. Not empty hope which will be thrown in our hands but hope which is out in the open through the works of our hands, day in and day out.. Not that we will see perhaps what we believe, but that the music of not seeing but still yet believing,… remains the hope in our heart..

For sure, God willing, we can do this, we can make this.  And if organized  we may do that at the same level of imagination, and many of us at the same level of feeling and even more of us on the similar level of unloading the affirmative actions – regardless the barriers and regardless the resistance and regardless even the hatred we may meet on our ways.

People may die but the dream for a better world lives on. Lives on as a tale being told in the years we have to spend… In the years where we are allowed to be receptive to both words of wisdom and justice.

Words and dreams then, which may fall drop by drop upon the heart until we are able to express ourselves through the gentle grace of God, – and as such … becoming the tale that should be told… A tale in which both hope and the world matters.. A tale being part of an eternal flame…. A flame which can’t be extinguished anymore, despite our own despair and pains… A flame which carries on through the generations, as words do matter, … as the world still matters,  ..and as hope always matters for bringing change and to make a difference. And all of this finally, is in our own hands and in the world of our own minds and hearts, where our mindset and attitude finds the words to create realities, – some reversible others irreversible.

Those , able to carry and send out their own story of hope and compassion, – their own icon of understanding as to the needs for their fellow human beings, may warm the earth, – as a new tale being repeatedly told during the years we spend on this planet… A tale asking for ongoing inspiration and action. A tale and an urgent truth: to make more gentle the life of this world.

The belief, the work and the efforts being done  may be not be enough to appreciate or to see clearly. Our destiny will be shaped on the platform of all human activity, by those willing to dedicate their mind and their heart to the task, – whatever this may suit us within our own family,  ..duty.. work .. or outside work activities.

And lets so spend our years on earth as the best possible history  being told! 

Does this apply to us?… Yes, – it does!!

Indeed:    WORDS  MATTER,  THE  WORLD  MATTERS‏,  HOPE MATTERS – and  LIKEWISE   YOUR  WORLD  MATTERS!

Therefore:  … STAY IN FOR THE RIDE!! 

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Thank you so much!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/the-question-as-how-to-serve/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/rest-well-golden-eagle-in-memory-of-nelson-mandela/

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

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/peace/

Challenges of our times and generation

To Cheapen The Civil Rights Of Any Group Of Citizens May Cheapen The Lives Of All Citizens..


“…………..each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation” 

“If we believe that we, as Americans, are bound together by a common   concern for each other, then an urgent national priority is upon us.  We must begin to end the disgrace of this other America.”

–     

– US Senator & Presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy (1925-1968)

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Looking at very recent  events in the US  on which many African-Americans, – besides others,… feel at least discouraged as a result of specific police injustice within US systems of authority, – one may say, on a more positive note, that despite this injustice, much has been achieved over the last 50 years.
This to start with..
However, racial prejudice, which is the issue here, is still  at the heart of a number of citizens, and some US institutions.. It resembles the roots of an inflated past.. a past, – coloured by bloodstained violence..
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Yet, again, – in certain areas of the US, – there is a police force still, without optimal correctional systems when African Americans are shot or killed by the same police… The last, evidently, whilst those people did not impose a real threat.
Worse is when tribunals then fail in their verdict to seek real justice, – or when courts fail to come up with measures of prevention & restraint in the future… The quality of justice in the US seems to be met with more obstacles when it applies to African American citizens.
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For two and half century this country has battled to overcome the self-imposed disadvantage of intolerance, prejudice, injustice and often hatred, – largely based on social class, nationality and race…. In the last almost 50 years measures to improve the quality of African Americans  have been in some ways profound, but in other ways still insufficient… The realities often show the remnants of a tainted past.
Whilst still millions of African Americans, along with many others, did not receive the training for simple jobs, – many though,  live in so called 3rd world conditions, – and for all of this many things are outstanding as part of a progressive movement to the next chapter in American history.
Still, with the legacies of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela,.. the growing legacy of President Obama as well,  – one must look at the best possible legal ways to overcome those predicaments in a country which is still somehow divided by the nature of it’s history… A country with almost various different societies in the only one US.
As such, – sustained acts in the positive are better than social unrest in the negative.
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One may say this might be the learning experience looking at recent events surrounding the circumstances in relation to both the Ferguson case and that of Eric Garner. ..Both died as a result of disproportionate police force.
Unfortunately African Americans, citizens in the US, are more on their guard with the police force than anybody else -as they seem to be more “at risk”- .. and regardless the fact that the police force has a vital function in regards to the protection of US citizens, – undeniable there is still considerable institutional prejudice against those African-Americans on the street, – ..both at night and during the day.
The late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, – apart from many other things, – was perhaps best known for his African-American Civil Rights support.. He spoke in 1966 for an enthusiastic group of people in South Africa on the ability of each of us to change a small portion of events in favour of positive changes in society… And referring to what he said on that occasion, – I would like to say a few words…
A few words only, – as his concern for his country and the world, – the often senseless violence and injustice, still applies…  Apparently still  echoes in the present day, and it seems so easy to get caught up into it, – just as easy it is to retreat from it into isolation… Likewise, – still applies somehow that to cheapen the civil and human rights of any group of citizens on the altar of injustice, imprisonment, or any sort of violence, – cheapens the lives of all citizens, – including that of ourselves.
If we turn a blind eye to all of this out of fear, .. if we allow the detention of our own selves with the other eye, –  the silence this shows against all this will not be merciful to our blindness to our fellow human beings, – whether they are black or white.
Where we have the choice for the better,  … we have to stand besides those being put in the shadow, – as our own shadow will fall short as an inner-light,   when we miscarried the required justice, – when we miscarried the required care and respect towards our fellow human beings, – whatever background they may have.
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Speaking out against injustice and using the free media is always the first step..
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Failing humanity we can,  enhancing it we must, – both with reason and compassion, – as this is the standard for any progressive movement forward.
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Only if by choice humans meld their perspective towards the protection of each other, including the will and the ability to live and let live, wherever the last does not come at a cost for other human life, and without racial or any other prejudice, – only then the heavy lifting can be done to help a different society waiting to manifest itself, an environment with more gentle and open-minded conditions… The realities might be often different but the dilemma of any authority is always how to realize proper and accountable use, – instead of thoughtless actions without sensible purpose… Authority, from this point of view, needs to meet quality standards in any democratic society, -and the prime quality here is fair justice.
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However, – no reason to get cynical or pessimistic..
The last did neither bring  a man to the Moon, nor did it release the Civil Rights Movement…Cynicism will never cure e.g. a disease, will never build a cathedral or build a business, or feed a young mind.
Cynicism about progress, even when there is misfortune or defeat   -like we see at many places in the world-    is simply a poor option and hope will always be a better choice. .. As long as the efforts support any realism within the concept of hope, – as long as those efforts support any realism within the concept of respect for human & civil rights, – and as long finally, support any realism on the topic to create the law enforcement a country deserves for the protection of all citizens…A quality requirement within potential further legislation passing US Senate…  Control mechanisms in place for Grand Juries to see the full facts rather than turning away from what everyone else saw… In this case one can’t blame the jurors, but the prosecutor who presented the case and guided the grand jurors the wrong direction. The last, regretfully, not uncommon.
Positive is that there will be a Federal Civil Rights investigation under the office of US Attorney Loretta Lynch
Neither trouble nor hardship, or hard work, should separate us as members of the same species in one country, nor on this planet, – and the failure to fully value black lives as white lives needs to be sorted at American soil, as part of a better Union still to be formalized where legislation is insufficient to make those things.. “as a matter of fact”, – so to say.
As President Obama once said during his eulogy of Ted Kennedy in 2009: ..”What we can do is to live out our lives as best as we can with purpose, and love, and joy. We can use each day to show those we are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed to look back on our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeing presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings.”-
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Let this“treat others with the kindness and respect we wish for ourselves” , be our comfort, if we wish “to see”… As this most simple concept is stronger, eventually, than the injustice of institutions, – and the demons perhaps of those who are the prisoners of their own dungeons, – and fortunately not being the guiding forces of society…
For the police force applies that they need to be on their guard, – always, – but the assessment when somebody is a real threat is a critical one, and there is neither need to kill in any perceived threat, nor is there a need to use disproportionate force against African Americans who are harmless when an unprejudiced assessment is made.
This applies for any country in the world where the police force has to deal with the multi cultural background of it’s citizens and where prejudice might be an issue.. The difference is that both juries, guidance and prosecutors, – not to speak about “cultures in police force” and the general culture, in democratic countries, are recognizable contrasting.
Not to speak, this time, –  about countries without a historical heritage of being a Democracy!
There are people who say there are problems in Australia as well – (as I speak from Australia) – ..and the answer is: “correct !”… Australia has a significant past re the injustice on Indigenous Australian People… Australia has been always however a multicultural country… Still a long way to go ..!…and for sure not everything is perfect…But even when Australia is named the worst performing industrial country on climate change  -(as far as a recent report released in Peru)-  the divisions in the domain of multiculturalism are for sure less strenuous.
But anyhow, coming back on the world’s largest superpower…
….You know, – . – American citizens wrote a recent letter to the US Senate telling them they were a bit sick of this, – as the story goes on and on and many people have their own story.
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..The American Senate did sent  a certificate of special recognition of “the founder” of the concerns being raised,
 and the vote was 41 to 41.
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…By the way, ..this was after this year’s November elections for the US Senate…………..
>>>>>>>>( I’ am just kidding  here, but I hope everybody gets the irony )<<<<<<<
There you go, …for 2016, – with just 2 years to go for a new chapter in US Presidential history! …But real legislative powers will not change meanwhile.. However, courage in the use of Judicial power could be the testing point on various occasions now. 
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Let’s hope, … let’s hope  this works out well, – for all involved… As for the greater number of people in the US of all origins  class and colours applies that they simply want to live together, – that they just want to help their children grow up in peace and safety, – and that they just want to have basic harmony and justice for all US citizens.
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Thank you!
 Paul 

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…

Decisions in 2014


English: Decisions Decisions (Horton, Point or...
English: Decisions Decisions (Horton, Point or Green) (Photo credit: Wikipedi –

“Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished.  If you are alive it isn’t – Richard Bach

“By this means you will acquire the glory  of the whole world.”  – The Emerald Tablet      (Aprox 3000 –5000 BC)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvZYhxT5Mf8  <<    Vivaldi‘s Gloria

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You can still make decisions . . .Decisions based on your driving desire and your will. Decisions resulting in deeds and deeds resulting in your destiny, – so to say.

It is well known that the sum of your decisions largely define your future and “destiny”, by choice..

Let’s take courage from this principle of life, so to say. Courage at the beginning of a New Year again. Courage perhaps for the years ahead. Courage that at some extend and perhaps at some large extend we can take control, or still take control, as we have the gift of a free choice in most of the things we undertake. We have even the choice to buy into this principle or not, make the decision to use our freedom as good as possible within the given circumstances or not.

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It sounds so simple “lets take courage” but in the broader context we are made to act and not acted upon. We are not made to stand aside but we are made to take part. We are not made to stay in idle hope but we are made to carry the spirit forward in the firm belief that life is worthwhile living, in the knowledge that this world is far from perfect. All this is based on our deeds, our decisions, – our will and our desires.

Our decisions need to be based on the simple fact that it is better to love than to hate, regardless that loving does not mean allowing anyone else to abuse us.

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If we do so we may have peace at heart!

Nelson Mandela could have said: ” For those living  in countries like South Africa in the past – under oppression – any one may ask what he or she may contribute to the reduction of tyranny and improve eventually, where possible, the process of reconciliation with the power of forgiveness”.
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Doing so means you have peace at heart like Mandela  had a particular way of  maintaining  peace at heart.
No reconciliation however is able to undo the torture of women and children, and the culprits of those acts against humanity should face the justice systems of their own countries as this is a required peace time effort.
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If we can’t e.g resolve those problems in peacetime, civilisation is not by any means able to resolve such problems at war-time.
The question is what we are going to do about it and what our own personal response will be for our own future, amidst all the choices we have in our own circumstances in 2014.  Good is to improve life where possible, – bad is to destroy life where this in the spirit of both reason and compassion can be, or should be, avoided.  At times this can be an agonising question without peace, – but it may provide us peace.
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An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth are not the means by which we need to live, and on all sides of the religious spectrum we are never told to do so. Those “who live by the sword will be killed by the sword”.
It’s a matter of peace or conflict.
As Martin Luther King ,Jr once said:  “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.”
 
The crux lies in the method!
We live however in a world where simple escalating events may lead to massive drama’s all around, – a world where peace in no way is secured.
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War’s have been fought over various decades, influence shifted across the borders of various nations and the balance of power will be neither the domain only of super powers nor the prerogative of economic powers when we see countries arise with the potential of military and nuclear power meeting us again, – eventually by surprise perhaps. The last destroying historical efforts of civilised nations to stay above the potential of mass destruction, – based on the reasoning that a large new war is not a rational alternative anymore. Often this reasoning has been forged in the crucible of historical hardship, being different for most of the nations on this world, – however being unique in both the shared will to survive and to prosper. The last does apply for most nations but not for all perhaps. The Russian provocation on Cuba with the US in October 1962 brought the world only hours away from a very likely and totally uncontrolled all-out nuclear war, more or less prevented -so to say – at “the last minute”.
In our peaceful efforts we need to keep this at heart.
Both love forgiving and gratitude in the will to live and to manifest itself  in all our energies brightens the world, – like the sun brightens the sky. Nothing in this world is impossible and e.g. Nelson Mandela made sure to remind us of this! And as President Kennedy once said: “The only certainty we have is that nothing is certain”.
Today in the international arena of politics we are faced with the increasing prospect that relatively less influential nations and leaders may use their possession of nuclear warheads by narrow-minded decisions, – aiming to inflict as large as possible destruction for reasons nobody understands.  It will put peace at the biggest test…
Everything is a matter of perception and perceptions do rule the world, either in the leaders of people and governments, or in the people themselves. Whether those perceptions are right or wrong, bizarre perhaps at times – if we make decisions feuded by prejudice, and as such preventing that we work together with the most crucial different perceptions of our times, – we are taking away the opportunities of people coming together and making the impossible possible.
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Decision , decisions..but we have to face them at any level, – wherever we live in 2014!
So the courage  to decide and try to maintain peace in general  is important, at any place and at any time,  – but the courage to love as well.  The compassion of doing the things being both right and good at every point of testing. This will define your future in the smaller areas and our future in the larger domain of living together, – living together on this small planet. It will define our future within this larger domain if the majority of voices on this world speak and act upon this language in the same or similar frequency
The courage to live life in such a way as well as if every day could be the last one.
The courage to strive for peace.
This is a question of courage and character, a question of encouragement or discouragement, – the question or ask to be a sparkling light as we have the privilege of a free choice to show ourselves this way, – this way with peace.
As once said, peace does not mean to be at a place with no noise. Peace does not mean to live without trouble or hard work, but it means to live at a place where our energies are focussed. It means we can be calm at heart when there is violence, calm at heart when there is injustice or hardship, – but work against it with “Peace at Heart”. Peace at heart when we realise that  the world lives in us and we do live in the world. The last with our own response, – with our own last choice to make  decisions with  peace at heart.  Nobody can take this ability away from us if our desires go this direction.
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This is the kind of peace I wish everybody for 2014!   A  peace with neither limit nor ceiling, wherever we may live and whatever our circumstances may show.  This is the kind of peace within the domain of our own choices, our own decisions, – the decisions within the smaller areas of our life  or the bigger ones at a larger stage. As long we are able to make decisions based on those desires, our mission on earth is not finished and still, – still we are able to acquire the glory of  the world, as once was stated some 5000 years ago.
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“Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.”,  – again this is what I wish for all of you.  That the shadows fall behind you in 2014 and that so your desires reach the frequency of peace and compassion!
Have a GREAT NEW YEAR in 2014!!!!
Thanks!
Paul Alexander Wolf

Christmas of the best kind?


Nativity scene at Sacred Heart Catholic Church...
Nativity scene at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in the historic Barelas neighborhood, Albuquerque, NM, Jan 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in
mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
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“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”

-Roy L.Smith

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“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our  childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport  the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!”

Charles Dickens

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Isn’t it great to look forward to Christmas again?  Christmas in New York is different from the one in e.g. Sydney,  – different again for cities where they don’t celebrate Christmas at all. It is more an event in the Western world than in the Eastern world.

But for us who celebrate Christmas we tend to look forward, to be with family and friends, to share presents perhaps. To have simply a good time together!

Some do like it and others don’t like it. And so be it!

If you don’t like this article try to read it again with Christmas, – if you need to think about it! ..  Sometimes you need to read things twice.

Christmas is about a human life example. Jesus born more than 2000 years ago and being created as a force of love as planned  by his Father. Whilst many people did resonate with his words of “freedom”,  freedom  from a different kind, – the powers in authority did not like Jesus Christ one bit and decided to kill him.
The story of the birth of Jesus Christ has been repeated in endless variations but the crux of the story should or could be that we are reminded on what he tried to bring on earth as a set of principles perhaps (or examples), – rather than his birth itself. He did not consider his birth himself important as an event to celebrate. Far more the message and instructions he left. To celebrate the last and to live this out is more important and is actually a way of having Christmas at heart.
History turned it into a celebration of his birth with Christmas trees and presents, which is really fine, –  however Christmas as such never existed shortly after Jesus died. He did not ask for it. He asked for different things.
The celebrations of this kind are strictly man-made as many things are man-made, which does not take away the positives  of reminding the birth of Christ at heart.
All the care kindness and understanding besides the love you can master  are the greatest contributions you can make beyond Christmas, if you are prepared to consider Christmas not only as a yearly memory amidst candlelight about the birth of Jesus Christ, but as “the birth” of a set of ideas which was created with the life of Jesus Christ. Radical in his manifestation during his lifetime.
Choices this direction will make life never anymore as it was before. We can change our lives with the love we give into our relationships, regardless the level of encounters we may have. It is summarised in the commend to love your neighbor as yourself. It manifest itself in kindness, support, gratitude and any other positive feelings towards others. The fundamental issue is not how others behave but how we respond in the day-to-day things, turning away from negativity where possible.
Perhaps Christmas is about you, what you are able to give both in your spare
time and non spare time. It is about what you are feeling as well in any
circumstances as this at some extend is determining your actions. Love
does resolve negatives at most levels in relationships, at most
dimensions of human life.
It’s a bit of a different look at it, isn’t it?
If the spirit of a real Christmas which never existed could call again from
long and dark centuries ago, it would not argue the yearly ritual around
Christmas day in modern times. There is no harm in it whatsoever even if we celebrate the things being less important in life, but for some only important at the end of each year.
Christianity through centuries has been both colourful and cruel, both full of love and hate through institutions, both full of evolution with sense and senseless destruction. The celebration of Christmas went on during war’s and other destructions of life. But Christmas itself is time for families and friends being together as a tradition closing in on the end of the year, with shops full of lights and houses with colourful trees and presents. Whilst this has little to do with the birth of Christ there is noting against it either.  In certain parts of the world it is part of a human tradition to celebrate events and the repetition of celebrating such events through the year seems to be important in the way history evolved. At times it is very important for family life. The nice flavour, the nice atmosphere etc.
If human kind , or better those who are interested,  for a moment are able to think about the real meaning of the life of Jesus, – we don’t need as such to celebrate his birth but concentrate on what he left as a legacy to be worked out,  the last before he went back to our Father in Heaven. This is more than simply celebrating his birthday so to say and having  Boxing Day afterwards. Again, nothing against it, – it’s all fine!  It’s a time for family at the end of each year and everybody may define it his or her own way.
During the recent events around the death of Nelson Mandela the positive
thing was that many world leaders came together and tried to captivate in their own words what Mandela did for his country and some other countries. No one was able however to summarise this forgiving spirit into a unifying effort perhaps for a more complete world, –  still in waiting.
So is Christmas not necessarily a repetitive yearly story to be told in Churches or celebrated under the Christmas tree, but possibly it could be more the repetitive effort how the world of Christ may come through in our time and circumstances. As a force of the best possible human efforts. Some would say we owe this to creation. Others would say we owe this to this world and its people. Few would say we owe this to God.
It is easier to dream about “realities” and not to work towards realities. It is easier to think about things never happening before and say “why” rather than to think about things which have never been before and say “Why not?”. It is easier to feel pain free without such a journey rather than feeling the pain of “the world living in us and we living in this world” during such a journey, – despite enjoyment we may feel about the gift of life and the colourful tapestry we may have experienced till so far.
Love is not the biological reproduction of life only, or the pleasure related with this, – but far more the spiritual reproduction of DNA to reduce the hardship in peoples life, to reduce the suffering, to reduce violence, to reduce the risk of war and to end criminal efforts of those who make e.g human trafficking and modern slavery their business. Those are e.g. the efforts which should not stop after yearly Christmas celebrations. The biggest criminals may have Christmas trees in their homes as well, – but take a day off with Christmas!
At the end of the day it all comes to the joint efforts to improve life rather than to destruct it. And all those things start in our own world, in our own imagination and desires, in our own community  and countries and within our own circle of people we know.
We are not made to stand aside but we are made to take part. We are not made to stay in idle hope but we are made to carry the spirit forward in the firm belief that life is worthwhile living, in the knowledge that this world is far from perfect. Our decisions need to be based on the simple fact that it is better to love than to hate, regardless that loving does not mean allowing anyone else to abuse us.
To embrace human kind for what it is,  more is required to make Christmas in your own heart real.  An effort to create a better world where the old world has gone.
For each of us applies the question how much of our abilities and good fortune can be kept for us alone or need to be shared with others. Christmas that way can be an awesome  and life changing experience.
A most famous bush doctor who went out to Lambarena in Gabon the last century to build a hospital for the locals said once to someone who was wondering how to serve best: “Every one can create his or her own Lambarena.” The person who asked this did it her own way, using her own creativity and talents. It was amazing the way she did it, different obviously but unique and simple. It is amazing how many other good things happen as well, often unnoticed. It is amazing as well how many people in essence are of good heart.
Nelson Mandela could have said: ” For those living  in countries like South Africa in the past – under oppression – any one may ask what he or she may contribute to the reduction of tyranny and improve eventually, where possible, the process of reconciliation with the power of forgiveness”.
It is my feeling that he could have said it this way, as he did not say it as such as far as I am aware.
Feelings are important, they may start with a strong and positive thought, which may result in strong and positive action and if this action does resonate it will bring change for communities countries and the world.
With Christmas at heart we may say that Jesus could have said: ” The most important things for human beings here on earth is not to look only for the success rate of one’s own job and family, but look at the eternal Father first and love your neighbour as yourself then.”
He said it slightly differently but that does not matter. But with the awareness of Christ’s intentions in our heart we may be faced with different questions, for each of us to be answered in our own life and “worked on” in our own circumstances. For those who want to face this it is both a joy and struggle to work this out, a way of questioning yourself at times. Not always easy!
There is still increasing hunger and oppression, an increasing shift of people trying to move from one continent to the other, people smugglers who enrich themselves at a cost of far too many human lives , women and children.
Countless children are used for the sex industry. New recreational drugs appearing on the market show at times to be more lethal than before and can be delivered at your house per internet order, screwing up at least the minds of young people. One can’t turn a blind eye to the increasing yearly death toll as due to unlawful gun violence in the US and other countries.
If we can’t resolve those problems in peacetime, civilisation is not by any means able to resolve such problems at war-time. No reconciliation is able to undo the torture of women and children and the culprits of those acts against humanity should face the justice systems of their own countries. People e.g. who ignore the right of children to live may lose the right to live themselves as they compromise what needs to be our future, and the power of love does not need to accept what can’t be reconciled anymore when people make it their business to destruct and torture human lives.
When love is able affecting the trillions of body cells in one human being to work together with more harmony and less illness, – the same love resonating in a trillion of human beings may change the world by an unstoppable force of  energy. That could be the most spectacular Christmas ever. That would be the most abundant reposition for the future.
It’s a dream!
What we do with the intent of Christmas will show in the direction the future takes.
The question is what we are going to do about it and what our own personal response will be for our own future, amidst all the choices we have. It is for all of us finding the right balance.
Hence  Christmas is neither a time nor a season, but a state of mind.  To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy  is part of having the real spirit of Christmas.   And those who have not Christmas in their heart,  for certain,  – will  never find it under a tree.
Paul Alexander Wolf
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“Anyone who thinks sitting in Church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car.”
―     Garrison Keillor
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Rest Well Golden Eagle, – in memory of Nelson Mandela


Português: Brasília - O presidente da África d...
Português: Brasília – O presidente da África do Sul, Nelson Mandela, é recebido na capital federal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people, his country, he can rest in peace.

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
—–>>>
South Africa’s first black President who led his country out of apartheid died at the age of 95 today. Tributes are pouring in from all over the world as the general sense is that “A great light has gone out”.   Mandela’s greatest powers and values could not be taken away from him during his lifelong struggle for freedom. In his simple humanity he was able to harness the force of love. He loved the case for which he fought for both his country and fellow countrymen, – in ways only a few were able to do before in history.
There was no ceiling or limit towards his efforts of dismantling South Africa’s system of apartheid which institutionalised racism in extreme varieties. In all this he became an international symbol of reconciliation and human rights.
Therefore Mandela never forgotten under the stone. Time has its favours and so has clay its own, but his legacy will be remembered through the generations.
He exercised his power eventually with gratitude and humility, which kept him connected with both many of black and white South Africans.
The transition of South Africa without major civil war has been actually a miracle considering the existing dynamics at the time where only a few made the real difference.  Nelson Mandela was one of them and in his capacity as the first black South African President he had to balance at all sections of life and did reach out to both black and white. He did this with wisdom , determination, love and generosity.
Many people in South Africa did resonate with his example of leadership and the nature of this leadership was the trigger of making the nearly impossible possible.
Depending on the way his legacy and love to make such difference will last in the hearts and minds of the South African people will decide the way this new South Africa will continue to develop in the spirit of “his founding father”.
He said once: ” I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination”. The determination of working without domination from any kind and respecting human rights of all kinds will nourish the garden of South Africa’s future.
Poverty includes the feeling of being poor.
With the legacy of Nelson Mandela South Africa may feel rich.
Thanks
Paul Wolf
If you are interested read the articles about Mandela’s leadership and him embracing his love for the life he stood for. See below in  “Challenges of our times and generation.”
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The Question Of Character And Courage


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“Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose”
–Tom Krause

–>>

…We thought about it and we spoke about it for many years already and It has gone through our minds, perhaps someway for ages.

Not for everybody but for some.

Often we did see the examples in day to day life and we admired them wishing it could be our own, – less often we did read about it, in the papers or in some books perhaps, – besides from what we were able to see on TV, in documentaries or on DVD‘s

Do you remember the question going through your heart and mind as well?

Did we fail at times that we were running low and progress was slow, did we fail at the times we forgot about it as things seemed well, and there was perhaps no reason to ask again, – or to raise again the issue of character and courage?

We like to be of good character or want to be seen as such. We like to have courage and faith but there are moments we fail in both courage and good character. Not that those incidents give a fair assessment on the total of our actions, – but simply the fact is that we are never always good in character, or always good in showing courage.

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Is this an “open door”?

Yes, – it is, as trying to get to the bottom of the question of character and courage a fair assessment is required.

We like to be true to ourselves as well, but not always are we true to our real self. As I said once, freedom and choice are indivisible and need to be earned and conquered each day,each week and each month, – and the sum of those efforts may work in favour of both our character and our courage. Both courage and character are indivisible as well, – like so many things are related or interrelated.

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Whilst the secret of happiness is perhaps freedom, using the gift of choice the greatest potential, – the secret of freedom is courage. The last implying being able to make the right choice under any circumstances.

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A matter of character as well.

For sure any of us will have our weak moments as long as we raise when the storm sets in, – even when the storm imposes a strain or challenge on our position or principles, – when it imposes a risk for ourselves, our future and other things perhaps. When the storm comes the leaves may fly away as long as the tree stands firm, and when the storm settles, like so many storms, – the tree may start a new season as no storm will leave nature unmoved. It’s part of life, – it depends how we are grounded, being firm in our convictions or weak in our principles.

There are many small actions of character and courage, often shown when “we feel like it” or were “in the frame of mind” to do so.

Those actions are neither dramatic or huge as the actions of those leaders who at the right frame of mind, at both the right place and the right time in history, were able to turn events in favour of greater change for humanity, – nor are they as dramatic as the courage of the last moments when we are facing death.

Speaking about the very last, – this crossed my mind when a young woman in her 40ties got cancer. Her family around her and her older sister were there when her time came. They had their memories, laughter and sadness, but when she died it could be seen that she went back to her own Creator. She took her death with peace as she knew she went back where we all came from, despite the agony and pain at times. When this happens in your family, losing loved ones at young age, – you realise there are only a few things in life which really matter. It’s a small thing only to have been able in life to enjoy the sun, a small thing to have lived light in the spring, – to have both loved and done when we “leave our footprints on the sands of time.” And even those footprints will be wiped away as time evolves and little will be remembered, unless we showed both great love and courage. In this it’s all about the courage to love , the courage to live and the courage to leave a legacy, – besides the courage to face death when the last is facing us.

So courage again, in general, is important, – but the courage to love as well, the compassion of doing the things being both right and good at every point of testing. The courage to live life in such away as if every day could be the last one. This takes besides having a mental alertness to have courage, both in the simple things but in particular at times of adversity, at times meeting the facts of life, at times when it is required to go straight at things without dodging them. It means as well we have to pick up or seize the vital issue in a complex matter, without getting wounded by running away from it.

Long before he became US President, John F Kennedy did write a book about “Profiles in Courage“. A study of men in the historical and political arena of the US where they stood firm on their principles at times of challenge in either the US Senate or the House of Representatives (apart from some other area’s), – at times when crucial decisions were due to be made and the balance between conscious and public opinion or “public favour” were tense, at times when both the public and colleagues were hostile.

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Courage is not about the past, it is about the future, – and therefore the examples of courage are so important.

So many examples!

The soldiers who save their mates at the battlefield at risk for their own lives, the people fighting for human rights and going into areas and questioning the areas of controversy at risk for their lives, the courage to stand up when it is required for either a good cause or in a speech when the real issues need to be challenged. But also the people who stand out to help those at times of disaster, – bushfires, massive flooding and earthquakes etc, – all often not without risk for own life.

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The “New Frontiers” of Kennedy were neither East nor West, neither South nor North, – but in his own time as US President where he fronted the facts as they were. At the level of President Obama we find an untroubled spirit who tends to look at things in the face as how he meet them, and know them for what they are, – dealing with them at the right time and place.

Courage, – the combination of bravery at times, integrity more at times, – based on principles. And life is the arena where we are tested on those virtues, each of us at times under excessive pressure, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation and constant in praying, – for those who pray within the silence of our Creator.

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This is one of the dimensions of courage.

As Bob Greene once said: “You need to know what life you want (as well as what life you don’t want), then you have to muster up the will and the drive to go after it.”

This is courage as well.

Courage is like a diamond, “unbreakable”, with a hardness and the sort of light dispensing, – allowing to show people the various dimension of the light it reflects. As a gemstone it is a highly valued commodity, but courage in human life is an essential commodity, – not as highly traded perhaps but being graded as the one and only virtue at each testing point in life’s endeavours.

As the Roman poet Horace once wrote more than 2000 years ago: “Tomorrow we take our course once more over the mighty seas.”

It takes courage to do this, it takes courage to be the housewife with 4 children and going every day over the mighty seas of friction and care for loved ones, when the income is low and the prices are high.

Courage is “grace under pressure” as Ernest Hemingway once said, but it takes courage to raise the sails if the winds of grace are blowing, – and they don’t blow every day. At times it is easier said than done when the oil of daily life is going through our troubled sea of thoughts, as life may face some of us this way, – preventing to keep our mind smooth and equable.

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Tough times can come when we are at our weakest point, and raising up to be the “unbreakable diamond” we want to be may arise at the worst possible times, as we may be discouraged as human beings as due to ongoing misery, – as due to staring at the water without being able to cross the sea.

Blessed are those who keep our hopes up in those circumstances.

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The circumstances when we can’t get into the mountain ranges as due to the desert where human feet can’t go, – as due to the ends of unknown seas when neither wind nor sails are the tools we normally use to find direction. Human life has those circumstances where there is neither boat nor sails, neither the morning breeze at a blue ocean nor the sight of a destiny.

Perhaps it was once there, but for some it has gone from their sight, – those being depressed under the most horrendous circumstances of both poverty and abuse, – deprived from education and diminished in self-destructive perceptions.

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That’s life, – a mixture of both tragedy and triumph, both with implications and expectations, both with dangers and failures all around.

But still, as once the 3rd  US President said: “One man with courage is a majority.”

From that point it is true that the courage of “one man standing up for an ideal” as Robert Kennedy once said, standing up to improve the lot of others, others who suffer the implications of injustice, – is an act of courage as well.

The courage of helping those with neither hope nor courage. The courage to send forth the implications of peace, against oppression and resistance. The courage to build up a current in which people can raise their tiny sails on restless boats, – to cross the barriers and waters they have to cross to build a life for their own, both with value and dignity.

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“The world is a lost place” as some would say, – however not for those who judge themselves on the contributions they have to make, and the goals they have to shape, – to improve the lot of others.

And then when we have to face death ourselves as part of an eternal cycle, – the question is not how much money we made. The question is whether we tried “to love our neighbour as ourselves” and whether we made a genuine effort to improve the lot of those who really needed this.

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Indeed, when we are going back from where we came, the only one Creator, – our time has gone, our attitude has gone, both our joy and abundance have gone, – but what stays in the twilight of memory, in the actions of people we had an impact on, is whether our private chart during our discovery on both the earth and the sea did contain the light of spring: that we have loved and done, that have done and loved.

This is what takes courage, – courage in sustained ways, but also the courage of the diamond with that single strong reflection which holds everything together, – by sharing it freely from our heart and spirit, in whatever life asks us to do in all those things we need to do.

This is a question of courage and character, a question of encouragement or discouragement, – the question or ask to be a sparkling light as we have the privilege of a free choice to be this way.

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This is what matters most, the question of character and courage, – the matter of grace under pressure and the ability to make the right distinctions when the heat is on, – all this with wisdom and perseverance.

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

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

 

 

To Cross The Waves Of Time..


“I look up to the people who keep dancing even after the music has Image result for image on the waves of timestopped, because those are the people who keep on trying even after all hope is lost” – unknown origin

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner” —Nelson Mandela

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”

Martin Luther King. Jr.

“We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals” —Stephen Covey

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The GREAT thing of our time is not where we stand today, – but in what direction we are moving tomorrow.

Whilst it has been on the news today that more children are charged with violent crimes, that our nation in part is under fire, that sea-levels -as predicted are indeed going to rise with Queensland authorities contemplating action for the lower areas at the coast, that sex abuse victims are still waiting for justice, that the court hears details of the recent shooting horror in the US etc, – the great thing of tomorrow is not to be defeated by the realities of yesterday. That leadership at all levels will hopefully gain the skills and knowledge to: “Obtain Peace that will surpass your understanding”.

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Our understanding so to say.

However this type of leadership is largely controlled by the condition of both our heart and conscious, – together with our mind, and the tools of both our knowledge and skills.

Being on holiday so close to the Ocean, I will speak about the Ocean today, – the Ocean both as an inspiration and force.

The Ocean as a desperation for some and an aspiration for others.

Being just near the Ocean during just a brief holiday, – it does cross my mind that “thought” is like the wind. That it is “knowledge” which is like the sail, and that it is “mankind” like being the vessel preparing to sail, – what we say for the unpredictable waves of the ocean, unpredictable they can be.

There is no easy sailing and there is no easy ocean, – but every day we need to be prepared to take our own course, – again and again over the mighty seas.

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Get my point?

Not really perhaps..

The Ocean provides different words and connections perhaps.

The winds of compassion will be always blowing. There will be always sounds which we can hear.

Whilst we may always see the light which we can “see”, the only thing to do is to raise our sails to catch the wind of compassion, – as the last provides the required movement.

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The last is the perhaps most important addition to above leadership features. There are many “excellent and effective” leaders.

However where compassion or conscious fails, – leadership does fail, at any time in the bigger picture of our time.

Interesting?

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Blessed those who have souls which hear “the sounds”, and see “the light”, – as they have a “inner society” in themselves.

This is the “mini society” with none intrudes, but this is the type of society which has desires. Nobody can take this away. Like we are part of the cosmos, an impression of the cosmos, – we have a little cosmos in ourselves. With feelings we not always can control, but with desires we can control  and  both imagination and love to give our future direction.

Simply said spirit or conscious first, and then heart and mind. Heart and mind, – the heart being the base of our desires.

Conscious which needs to control our desires.

Blessed are those who have both desires and dreams as a result of the last, based on good conscience without “sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”.

Blessed are those who have dreams which carry the rhythmic flowing harmony of the Ocean.

Those who carry as well the free confined force of Ocean, – unconfined the force of the Ocean can be.

Blessed are those being able to use the force of Ocean, – helping us to cross the waves of time.

Sorry, –  the Ocean again!  The Ocean just as  a  symbol  for both force and  inspiration.

In the long-term of history somehow we came from the Ocean and at some stage we will go back to the Ocean. But in the total picture we may see it differently. Nobody asks what we do owe to the sun, as without sun there would be neither life on this planet nor waves in the ocean.

History shows that changes are coming from the little things, tiny waves perhaps. Tiny waves in the cosmos perhaps with major implications in terms of the ability of human perceptions

A slave who became the second in command in ancient Egypt, – through God’s love.

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A shepherd who became Israel’s most famous king, – imperfect as he was, – the first through God’s love.

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A 20 years held prisoner who became the first South African President, with a wisdom to unite, – the last as an impression of the universe with a desire to bring together what was lost. At that stage he was at an age most of us would be retired, – but on the frequency of love as part of cosmic creation there is no barrier or ceiling on the possibilities of human endeavours.

An African-American native-born in Hawaii who became the most impressive US President since many years. He crossed the waves of his time from working as a community leader in one of the ghetto’s of Chicago to the Presidency of the United States. For those who believe nothing is impossible.

The list goes on and will endure.

And so we see the need for people to be prepared with some of the precious gifts of heaven, – for the leadership we need.

The last will keep the world equable at the roughest storms to come.

To “cross the waves of time” in our times, – self-control is essential for any kind of leadership. Leadership on its own can’t be confused with control but the best control is perhaps self-leadership based on vision and mission, – based on values and principles, all being devoted on what life asks us to do in our domain of influence. Life which asks from us to do things with the best possible desires, the best possible imagination and enough love to support our desires and imaginations.

It’s a challenge!

And if we look around it’s already difficult enough to cross the waves of OUR times, not even to speak about “to cross the waves of time”, as this sounds endless. But as the Ocean has been nearly timeless in human history, every time when we are near the Ocean we may be both impressed by the abundance of the seas, the abundance of what we see and not see. The abundance of what we may believe and may see.

Meanwhile:

Freedom and choice are indivisible, they need to be earned and conquered, – guided by our internal ability to give direction, – each day anew, TIME AFTER TIME!

There is no thrill in easy sailing, but there is satisfaction when we reach our destination.

Does this require courage?

Yes, it does! The courage to see things as they are and try to see them different, – and once you see them different things will become different. All it comes to is to raise the sails and catch the winds of compassion, leading you to an unknown destination. This journey on it’s own will be one of struggle, movement and struggle, – movement and high seas. But the movement itself will balance the required energies, with the security of your own compass. With the security that any positive wave will create new waves providing a ripple effect of hope. Raising the sails to catch the wind of compassion requires already hope and conviction on its own. It requires a selective mind with the right sense of timing, but again (last but not least), – hope. Wisdom is the light by day, hope is the protection by night. Time does not move hour to hour on the sea of those endeavours, but from moment to moment.

There comes a time when land and sea come to rest, but not our hope. There comes even a time when the heavens withdraw, but not our hope. It’s the hope when our world gives up that something in us says to give it one more time. Whilst we may get weary, hope says not to give up when we know the direction is right. Hope, being well centred and balanced whilst the sails are catching indeed the winds of compassion, is the most powerful tonic.

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When the time comes when it looks like that even the heavens withdraw, – those who once raised the sails in the winds of compassion, to cross the waves of time, (whether it “our time” or “all times”) – may rest from their journey, when we did what we had to do.

“Why not?”

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

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

 

To sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression against human rights and injustice, and create the biggest movement on earth


 
Collage for MENA protests
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal or act to improve the lot of others, or strikes against injustice, he sends a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”    – Robert F Kennedy,  former US Senator and Presidential candidate in 1968
Like words can move and guide people as part of proper leadership, so is principle centred and strategic non violent action able to remove the power base of oppressive regimes, – those regimes with no respect for human rights. Needless to say the movement of non violent action will endure and the force if well-balanced on all core principles, may outmanoeuvre dictators to make free the people who lost their freedom and dignity under often ruthless powers.
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It works. It proved in India at the times of Gandhi, it proved in Tunisia and Egypt with people at the forefront of action and strengthened with the literature of eg Gene Sharp, the last being a scholar in nonviolent social change and still alive today in East Boston, USA.   Gene Sharp is a graduate from Oxford and has held positions at Harvard University, besides Massachusetts Dartmouth. His books “The Politics of Nonviolent Action” and “Waging Nonviolent Struggle” have inspired many movements across the globe. Iran did accuse him of working for the CIA, which is not true. A reflection however that the non violent movement if well prepared is feared by those countries who have reason to fear, Iran and Syria included. Needless to say that in some Middle East countries real discussions are going as how to break the force of non violent action. However if well-developed, like Robert Kennedy from a distance once indicated, it can “sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression”, as happened eg in South Africa.
Obviously the road of non violence action is not without risk and people engaging in non violent action will be killed regardless their good intentions. Often the struggle is a hard one with loss of friends to be endured, not to speak about the risk of very potential torture. However non-violence by principle and guided with superior talent is the only way, as violence will be responded with greater violence by forces far stronger than yourself and it will give opponents an argument to fight to the bitter end. Non violence includes the choice of specific tactics, often to break the violence of opposing policing and military force.
There have been misconceptions about nonviolent action. Many people used to think that it was not a strong force and that only the violence of war could remove extreme dictators. It is not true. Foreign countries do not need to occupy countries where human rights are abused or where dictator’s have the reigns. It needs to come from the people themselves, at times with support like in Libya. However the last one was not an example of non violent struggle and where violent struggle obtains a victory the likelihood of violence to be sustained has increased, – whatever party did win the struggle. Only if the principles of non violent action are at the centre of the struggle, those groups sustaining and winning the battle this way are more likely to continue to stick to those principles.
If people are disciplined and courageous, they can do it with the proper concepts of non violent action. When people lose the understandable element of fear of an oppressor’s regime, the oppressive regime is facing deep trouble. Maintaining a nonviolent discipline is crucial. If a highly oppressive regime has various troops and effective weapons, it is foolish to try fighting them on their own ground You can’t win from their weapons and if you use the same tactics you will be branded as terrorists. So you must choose something else. Violence is usually not the answer, it creates more often greater disasters.
Highly regarded Us exVietnam war officials initially being sceptic about the concept of “non violent action”, – changed their mind after the war as they were confronted with evidence that it worked,  – more effective than they ever thought!  The power base of people does not involve a foreign occupation of any country if such country lives in gross contradiction of essential human rights, – it does not even involve the requirement of using ugly force. It only requires to empower people with the principles of non violent obstruction and non coöperation in the specific context of their country and such a movement is able the get a victory on principle and start on the same principles a sustainable democracy with proper law enforcement, – the last requiring force of the law on the real offenders and criminals.
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Related imageMilitary-Industrial Complex Conduct Invites Nonviolent Direct Action
Some may say throwing stones are fine as long as you don’t hit people. It is simply not true. The gesture is violent in itself and will be responded with physical and all other violence. In biblical terms the fall of Jericho was neither caused by violence nor stones. The walls representing the barrier were of such nature that violence would not bring it down. Oppression and dictators are based on certain systems of power and undermining those systems to make them fall apart is one of the aims to get rid of oppression. With faith!
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This concept can be developed into a smart and highly effective technology using the human spirit in all it’s positive and creative dimensions for those who suffer an enduring and violent injustice against the basics of human rights. It requires a sound knowledge of the nature and dynamics of the oppressing regime, answering the question as well in which areas they are both strong and weak. Modern communication technology will  aid such movement of positive change.

 
It is not always true that every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves, what is true that every community may get the sort of law enforcement it insists on. To tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world (as the Greeks) wrote so long ago, requires a shift in modern thinking where this modern thinking traditionally did include the option of excessive and more brutal force than ever before, against the will and the interest of the people. This type of  shift in thinking and perception is simply progress in the way we see the world and change is the motivator of progress into non violent ways to meet worthy goals and show respect for life.
However this type of change has enemies not to be underestimated. Those enemies are usually the extremists being extreme in their intolerance and in their accusations and it is paramount to provide them no grounded base for their accusations. Hence being in debt familiar with the principles of non violent struggle being the baseline to start a strategic sound and well prepared campaign against the oppressors, whoever the oppressors are and wherever they may be.
It is within this context that the intellectual work of Gene Sharp deserves recognition as within the context of an increasing friction between the interests of the people and the interests of Governments who seek confrontation rather than peace,  whilst the people they represent say:”Never ever again!”, – it provides a blueprint to do what Senator Robert F Kennedy once said in the above quote about “ripples of hope” and “million centres of energy and daring”.
The power of one can make or break the world where it comes to critical decisions about war and peace, and where the power of one directs into the direction of war the power of people’s have a right to say:”Not again, – never again!”, – as all out war on this planet not being able to controlled anymore is not a rational alternative. People  have  a right even to sweep down democratic governments if those governments take it one step too far in the direction of major war, and not keep the peace where  the option is to preserve the peace. Too many wars in the past were pointless, without real gain and with too many losses.
Any future major war may escalate into global disaster and as global citizens we have an obligation to watch our governments on the best possible intentions to protect our human right to live on this planet and cultivate the positive potential of life, – industry, – liberty and cut inequalities among race, cultures and individual opportunities. The last just  to be able to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy!
The use of violence is only the very last option when nuclear powers try to dominate the world with both the use of nuclear force and international blackmail, –  after it proved all efforts of proper international diplomacy guided by the UN failed.
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To sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression against human rights and injustice, against the mightiest walls in favour of an increasing arms race and both nuclear and biochemical threat, –  requires nearly half a billion centres of energy and daring.  As only this current can change the tide in human history!

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf