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WWP Next meeting Thursday July 3 and Re: Small, calm things save the world...

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  • Pamela McLean
    Please forward this email to other groups who might like to join in our discussions. This email is about three things 1. Our next online meeting 2. An idea to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 26, 2008
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      Please forward this email to other groups who might like to join in our discussions.

      This email is about three things
      1. Our next online meeting
      2. An idea to discuss from the World Without Poverty (WWP) book
      3. A letter that also has the idea about small things adding up to make a big difference.
      >>>>>>>>>>   1. Our next online meeting  <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

      The next First Thursday meeting in the chat room http://www.worknets.org/chat/base/ is July3rd,

      Fred has kindly said that he will be responsible for welcoming people (I cannot attend). He plans to go to the cyber cafe for 3pm to 4pm his time - East African Time. I think that is 13.00-14.00 in London (British Summer TIme) and 12.00 -  13.00  GMT  - but it is definitely 3pm to 4pm East African Time. Please make sure his journey is worthwhile and join him in the chatroom.

      The planned focus for the chat will be World Without Poverty - but of course the chat can cover other things too. It is up to the people who attend to decide what they want to discuss. You do not need to have the Mohammed Yunus book in order to join in the discussions about his ideas. We will share ideas from the book gradually through the LearningFromEachOther group.

      <<<<<<<<<<<<<   2.An idea to discuss from the World Without Poverty (WWP) book   >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      In chapter 11 of his book "Creating a World Without Poverty" Mohammed Yunus challenges his readers to agree something they can do locally, something that is achievable by just two or three people. The rest of his book is really building up to this challenge. I say that because the rest of his book is a true story about wonderful social changes that have been made in Bangledesh through the work and ideas of Mohammed Yunus and the people connected with him. He shares the story of these successes - to inspire the rest of us to make a difference as well.

      Mohammed Yunus keeps emphasising that the big programmes he now leads in Bangledesh did not start with a big national or international plan. He started locally, with small local steps, solving problems for individual people, and then replicating good ideas that work.

      The first person he helped was a woman who made beautiful bamboo stools. Although she made and sold these beautiful stools she remained in terrible poverty. Mohammed Yunus wondered how this could be. She explained to him that she never had enough money to buy the bamboo to make the stools. She had to work through a
      middle man who exploited her. He provided her with the bamboo but on one condition. When she had made the stool she could not sell it on the open market. It was his bamboo, so she had to sell the finished stool back to him, and he did not give her a fair price for her work. She was trapped by this middle-man.

      Mohammed Yunus made her a small loan so that she could afford to buy her bamboo outright. She could then sell her stools for a fair price and she was not trapped any more - and she was able to repay the loan. It was not a  large amount.

      We need to start looking for other examples like that, real local examples around the study groups. Is there anyone in a situation like the woman who made stools? Or in some other situation of working hard, but needing a small loan just to make things work properly? It needs to be a small loan - like for the woman needing the bamboo - and it would be necessary to work out how soon it would be paid back.

      Perhaps we can find lots of  ideas, and make a list of them, and then choose the best ones to try. If the loan needed is not large (something like the bamboo) and it would be repaid, then it should be possible to arrange the loan. Even if we could only manage a loan for the best idea on the list it would be a start. We would have to choose the first idea very carefully - because if we choose right then the loan will be repaid and it can be used for the next idea on the list, and so on and on.

      Let us start to discuss possibilities. We will need lots of ideas to toss about, (good ideas. bad ideas. interesting ideas - all kinds of ideas). Mixing lots of ideas together leads to new ideas - especially if all ieadea are accepted and no-one judges ideas as "good" or" bad" at the start. Ideas all mixed in together can grow into excellent ideas. From our ideas we will make real plans. Then we will need to learn how to do the financial calculations to decide which idea is best.

      Let us think who we coudl make a small start to help someone like the maker of the bamboo stools.

      >>>>>>>>>>  3. A letter that also has the idea about small things adding up to make a big difference. <<<<<<<<<


      Andrius forwarded the message below  to holistic-helping. I am sharing it with LearningFromEachOther with reference to World Without Poverty for this reason. It gives a message of encouragement to us saying "Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach". This is very much the message of Mohammed Yunus in his book Creatign a World Without Povery.


      > I want to share with you the following inspiring message I picked up from
      > another Yahoo Group called Dragon Dreaming, led by John Croft:
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DragonDreaming/message/5
      >
      > It was posted in April 2003 and attributed to author Clarissa Pinkola
      > Estes but does not say when it was written.
      >
      > If you haven't time to read the whole thing just savour this passage:
      >
      > "Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of
      > stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our
      > reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another
      > soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help
      > immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will
      > cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is
      > needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding
      > to, adding more, continuing."
      >
      > Best wishes
      >
      > John Rogers
      >
      >
      >
      > Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times,
      > by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.
      > (Jungian analyst who wrote, "Women who run with the wolves").
      >
      > Do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so
      > many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are
      > concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now... Ours
      > is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over
      > the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary
      > people.
      >
      > You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have
      > aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders,
      > everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is
      > breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not
      > spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially
      > do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is we were made
      > for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing,
      > been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of
      > engagement...
      >
      > I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I
      > see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able
      > crafts in the waters than there are right now across the world. And
      > they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another a s never
      > before in the history of humankind... Look out over the prow; there
      > are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even
      > though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I
      > assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come
      > from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand
      > storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance,
      > regardless.
      >
      > We have been in training for a dark time such as this, since the day
      > we assented to come to Earth. For many decades, worldwide, souls just
      > like us have been felled and left for dead in so many ways over and
      > over brought down by naivete, by lack of love, by being ambushed and
      > assaulted by various cultural and personal shocks in the extreme. We
      > have a history of being gutted, and yet remember this especially we
      > have also, of necessity, perfected the knack of resurrection. Over
      > and over again we have been the living proof that that which has been
      > exiled, lost, or foundered can be restored to life again.
      >
      > In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over
      > how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that.
      > There is a tendency too to fall into being weakened by perseverating
      > on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus
      > there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails. We are
      > needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we
      > more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us,
      > and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a
      > believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater?
      > Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace
      > means to submit to the voice greater?...
      >
      > Understand the paradox: If you study the physics of a waterspout, you
      > will see that the outer vortex whirls far more quickly than the inner
      > one. To calm the storm means to quiet the outer layer, to cause it to
      > swirl much less, to more evenly match the velocity of the inner core
      > till whatever has been lifted into such a vicious funnel falls back
      > to Earth, lays down, is peaceable again. One of the most important
      > steps you can take to help calm the storm is to not allow yourself to
      > be taken in a flurry of overwrought emotion or desperation thereby
      > accidentally contributing to the swale and the swirl.
      >
      > Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of
      > stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our
      > reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another
      > soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help
      > immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will
      > cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is
      > needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding
      > to, adding more, continuing.
      >
      > We know that it does not take "everyone on Earth" to bring justice
      > and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up
      > during the first, second, or hundredth gale.
      >
      > One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene
      > in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck
      > shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks,
      > can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to
      > catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like
      > these &shy;- to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both, are
      > acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.
      >
      > Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and
      > willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one
      > of the strongest things you can do.
      >
      > There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt
      > despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I
      > will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. The
      > reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It
      > is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to
      > Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say
      > and the good deeds we do are not ours: They are the words and deeds
      > of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write
      > this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is
      > safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships
      > are built for.
      >
      > This comes with much love and prayer that you remember who you came
      > from, and why you came to this beautiful, needful Earth.
      >
      >
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