"We are in deep trouble," writes Portland author Sharif Abdullah.
"We live in a world that works for only a few." The problem,
he asserts in this new book, is exclusivity: the fundamental belief
that we are separate from one another and separate from the Earth. By
practicing exclusivity, we have created a soul-starved society. We suffer,
both personally and as a society, from complex, interlocking problems
so intense that they create a deep sense of emptiness in all of us.
We have created a soul-starved, spiritually empty society. We are being
destroyed by our story.
The destructiveness of our story plays itself out in various ways.
It is the ideological virus at the heart of all suffering, from Yugoslavia
and the Middle East to America's own inner cities, gated communities
and rural wastelands. Yet only when this separateness is blotted out
will the world be ready to find peace in a new millennium.
What is responsible for this schism? Capitalism? Communism? Industrialism?
Racism? Sexism? No. According to Sharif, the blame cannot be laid on
any one of these "isms." At the heart of the earth's ills
lies exclusivity, the insidious idea that "I am separate. I am
different from all the rest."
That is the stirring message at the heart of "Creating
a World that Works for All". In it, Sharif Abdullah encourages
us to change our world for the 21st Century by changing our collective
consciousness, transforming ourselves by building inclusivity: bridges
of community and understanding to people everywhere, no matter how "different"
they may seem. This book offers clear direction that is in line with
our deepest moral, spiritual and human values.
In "Creating a World That Works for All" , a beautifully
designed and easy-to-read book, Sharif tells scores of real-life and
mythical tales to define his vision of a new world linked not just by
trade agreements and the Internet, but by a sweeping unity of purpose
and shared spirit of hope. In outlining for us what needs changing and
how we change it, "Creating a World That Works for All"
becomes the handbook for nonviolent social revolution. He shows us all
- Create life stories that bind us in a common web of humanity...
rather than divide us from each other
- Discard old theories and ideas that hold us back from each other...
and from the goal of a truly inclusive global village
- Infuse our lives with inclusivity on a daily basis... at work,
at home and in our communities.
"Creating a World That Works For All" is spiritual, but not
in the individualistic language of the personal growth and development
movement. Sharif is less concerned about how we can become better individuals;
in this book he helps us focus on how to be a better society.
He is helped in this quest by means of a superb Introduction by Vaclav
Havel, President of the Czech Republic, playwright and author of many
books on social and political change, including "Disturbing
the Peace," "Living in Truth" and "The Art
of the Impossible." In "Creating" President Havel
states: "It is my deep conviction that the only option is a change
in the sphere of the spirit, in the sphere of human conscience. It's
not enough to invent new machines, new regulations, new institutions.
We must develop a new understanding of the true purpose of our existence
on earth. Only by making such a fundamental shift will we be able to
create new models of behavior and a new set of values for the
Only on the bookstore shelves since June, "Creating a World That
Works For All" has already been endorsed by leading authors, thinkers
and activists, including anthropologist Angeles Arrien, systems thinker
Margaret Wheatley, "Ecotopia" author Ernest Callenbach and
people-centered development guru David Korten, author of "When
Corporations Rule The World."
For activists, environmentalists, members of grassroots organizations,
students, and, most of all, for leaders of all sorts, "Creating a
World That Works For All" is an exciting proposal for a new kind
of society and a practical blueprint for making it happen.
Sharif Abdullah directs the Commonway Institute, designed
to build inclusivity, understanding and civic engagement between diverse
groups of people in various settings. He is also the author of "The
Power of One: Authentic Leadership in Turbulent Times." You
can contact Sharif by phone at 503-281-1667 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ENDORSEMENTS FOR "CREATING A WORLD THAT WORKS FOR ALL"
"A compelling and inspirational book that ignites creativity and
a renewed commitment to re-dream and mend a world that works for all.
No other book addresses our current situation in a thorough and practical
Angeles Arrien, Ph.D.
Author of The Four-Fold Way and Signs of Life
"This is a wonderfully rich collection of insights, analyses,
and possibilities. It provides stimulating guidance for those of us
who want to live in a world that works for all."
Author, Leadership and the New Science
Co-Author, A Simpler Way
"Ingenious and inspiring new thinking about the personal realizations
we need in order to do whatever we do, whoever we are, to make this
a better world."
"Creating is a powerful message about individual responsibility
and community action that can change the world. Thoughtful, provocative
and compassionate, Creating should be on the bookshelf of every caring
person involved in social change."
Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey
Author, Building Your Field of Dreams
"This is a no-nonsense book about vision and action! I believe
that both the great adventure, and the great challenge of our time,
is to strengthen the link between the inner, personal transformation
that many of us are engaged with our action and service in the world.
Sharif Abdullah gives us insights and clear, practical suggestions for
both our inner and outer work, and beautifully illustrates their all
important connection. I consider it a must read for those concerned
with inquiry, vision and action."
President, Institute of Noetic Sciences
"Sharif Abdullah brings us the prophetic message that to change
the world we must first change the way we see the world. The path to
inclusivity begins with our personal spiritual awakening to the reality
that all life flows from a single spiritual unity."
David C. Korten
author of "When Corporations Rule the World" and "The
This review can be copied by an established newspaper, newsletter or
other print media, on the following terms and conditions: The review
may be edited for length. Any material in quotation marks may not be
edited. Such material must be used in its entirety or omitted. A copy
of the review as published must be sent to the author at the following
Sharif M. Abdullah
P.O. BOX 12541
Portland, OR 97212
VISIT THE COMMONWAY WEBSITE: http://www.commonway.org