Article Title: Sharing a few Thoughts on "Breaking Down Barriers and Building Bridges" Around the World
Author: Craig Lock
Category/Subject: spirituality, philosophy, social and political issues, building bridges, unity, empowerment, inspiration
Web sites: http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html#craig and www.lulu.com/craiglock

The submitter's blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=%22craig+lock%22 and http://craiglock.wordpress.com

Other Articles are available at:
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and
http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, 'spiritual writings' (how 'airey-fairey'), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

"We share what we know, so that we all may grow."
*

Sharing a few Thoughts on "Breaking Down Barriers and Building Bridges" Around the World: What can I, one person, do about the seemingly insoluble problems of this world?

A few thoughts to "kick off"...
As the human species we are all spiritual beings on a "spiritual journey", yet living an earthly existence.

What's the difference between religion and spirituality?

I like this quote by an anonymous writer...
"Religion is for those who fear going to hell, but spirituality is for those who've already been there."

Now on to more serious ponderings...

Religion (and its fanatical beliefs) plays a critical part in many conflicts around the world. I believe, it's vitally important that in order to reduce tensions, world leaders especially (but each one of us too in our own little 'spheres of influence') can emphasize the common values shared by the religions of the world.

I feel that religion CAN be turned around from being part of the conflict to be part of the SOLUTION. Religion was often blamed as the cause of the conflicts, whereas it was people misusing religion for their own ends, ie. personal agendas. Instead of focussing on the differences between people, we should focus more on what we have in common. Whilst celebrating our differences, that is far more important. Because, no matter where in the world we may live what unites us is far more important than what divides us. We share common human needs and values - history is very similar in many religions (Islam, Christian and Jew). We are all connected in spirit. So each one of us, if we CHOOSE, can release human potential through harnessing energy (through our "individual energies") and share our common humanity as citizens of 'planet earth'.

"Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Rather than borders, let us look at distant horizons
together...in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood as citizens of planet earth. We here in
far-off New Zealand share the common bond of humanity: the pain, the sadness, suffering and joy
inherant in the human condition, no matter where in the world you may live."
- Craig (3rd September 2004)

"In our own little ways in our individual lives we can touch others and in so doing illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity. There is neither East nor West, Christian, Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu or Jew...but just a God-filled humanity.

"We must offer a compelling alternate vision for the world: a bright future of justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values and especially a vision of hope fuelled by the flame of love - one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged."
- Wahid Abdurahman, a former President of Indonesia

P.S:
"The greatness of a nation
consists not so much
in the number of it's people
or the extent of it's territory
as in the extent
and justice of it's compassion."

- Inscription at the Horse Memorial in Port Elizabeth, South Africa for horses killed in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).

"There is only one thing that has power completely, and that is love. Because when a man loves, he seeks no power, and therefore he has power. Only strive for power, if it is not at the cost of other people. Power corrupts. You first have to be pure and righteous, before one can attain power. I believe that love is a greater force than power."
- Alan Paton, great South African humanitarian and author of the classic 'Cry the Beloved Country'

Former Archbishop and Nobel Prize winner, Desmond Tutu once said:
"We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world."

"To build a better world, just build a better you"...
and don't take life too seriously.

Have great FUN along the journey

craig

"None of us has the power to make someone else love us.
But we all have the power to give away love, to love other people.
And if we do so, we change the kind of person we are,
and we change the kind of world we live in."
- Rabbi Harold Kushner, in 'Handbook for the Heart'

An old mystic said this about himself: "I was a revolutionary when I was young, and my prayer to God was, 'Lord, give me the
strength to change the world.' As I approached middle age and realized that my life was halfway gone without changing a single
soul, I changed my prayer to, 'Lord, give me the grace to change all those who come into contact with me, especially my family and
friends, and I shall be satisfied.' Now that I am an old man, and my days are numbered, I have begun to see how foolish I have been. Now my one prayer is this, 'Lord, give me the grace to change myself.' If I had prayed that right from the start, I would not have wasted my life."

We can waste years trying to change other people. But we can only really change one person -- ourselves. In the end, that is probably enough!

"When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town.
I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself,
and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself,
I could have made an impact on my family.
My family and I could have made an impact on our town.
Their impact could have changed the nation and
I could indeed have changed the world."
-- Author Unknown

No matter whether you're a candle in a corner,
or a beacon on a hill...
as you let your own light shine brightly,
you light the taper of that bright spark,
which can one day become a fierce flame in others.
- me

"I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world."
- Mother Teresa of Calcutta

How's this for a short and simple prayer for the world?

"May all beings everywhere be awakened, healed, peaceful, and free;
May there be peace in this world, and an end to war, poverty, violence, and oppression;
and may we all together complete the spiritual journey."
- Lama Surya Das (thanks, Lynda)

"The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed."
- J. Krishnamurti (thanks dearest mom... your generous spirit lives on... forever)

"The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of the birds for mirth
You are nearer God's heart in the garden,
than anywhere else on earth."

"When you were born,
you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so when you die,
the world cries and you rejoice."
- Indian saying

Thanks, mom, your spirit will live forever
craig

PPS

WALLS

"Man is a great wall builder
The Berlin Wall
The Wailing Wall of Jerusalem
But the wall most impregnable
Has a moat
flowing with fright
around his heart

A wall without windows for the spirit to breeze through
without a door for love to walk in."

- OSWALD MTSHALI, Soweto (South African) poet
from 'My Traitor's Heart' by Rian Malan (published by Vintage 1990)

Author's Bio: 

About the author:
In his various writings Craig strives in some small way to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us.

The various books that Craig "felt inspired to write" are available at
http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html and www.lulu.com/craiglock

The submitter's new blog is at http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=%22craig+lock%22 and http://craiglock.wordpress.com