Creating a World That Works for All
by Sharif Abdullah, Introductory Essay by Vaclav Havel
AVAILABILITY: Readily Available
Publication Date: June 1999
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Topics: International Relations, Personal Growth, Sustainable Community, Visioning the Future
Description: Shows how we can create a world that works for all by rejecting the practice of exclusivity in favor of inclusivity. Uses numerous insightful stories to illustrate how and why things don't work and how they can be made to work if we are willing to change our thinking and our society
Sharif Abdullah uses numerous insightful stories to illustrate we can create a world that works for all by rejecting the practice of exclusivity in favor of inclusivity.
"We are in deep trouble," writes Sharif Abdullah. "We live a world that works for only a few." The problem, Abdullah asserts, is exclusivity: "I am separate." By practicing exclusivity, he maintains, we have created a soul-starved society. We suffer, both personally and as a society, from complex, interlocking so intense that they create a deep sense of emptiness in all of us.
But there is hope. Abdullah shows how we can change our world by changing our consciousness. We can actually put an end these complex problems if we reject exclusivity in favor of inclusivity. We must turn from a mentality that disconnects us and instead embrace the goals of restoring balance to the earth and building community with all other people. In 'Creating a World That Works for All,' Abdullah provides a practical blueprint for that change.
Abdullah makes it clear that there are no bad guys to blame: we are all equally responsible for the current state of our world. We each have created it, and we each have equal power to change it. Abdullah offers three criteria for creating a world that works for all:
1. The Criteria of Enoughness: Everyone has enough, even though not everyone shares resources equally
2. The Criteria of Exchangeability: Trading places would be okay
3. The Criteria of Common Benefit: The system is designed and intended to benefit all
In order to meet these criteria, Abdullah shows us how to let go of old theories and ideas, so we can clearly see our current problems and possible solutions. And he shows us how to create new stories that explain and define the new behaviors that make cultural changes possible.
To be successful, Abdullah writes, our new story must be:
6. Positive, creative, and adaptive
But, Abdullah warns, no matter how powerful these new stories are, making cultural changes as profound as those detailed in 'Creating a World That Works for All' will not be easy. It will take the effort of individuals all over the world determined to first change themselves. And, according to Abdullah, it must be done if we are to survive.
Sharif Abdullah is the founder and director of Commonway Institute, an organization dedicated to fostering inclusive social, cultural and spiritual transformation. He is also the author of 'The Power of One: Authentic Leadership in Turbulent Times'. Sharif has been awarded the 2007 "Hero of Humanity Award" by the Art of Living Foundation, and the 2006 "Humanitarian Service Award" by the Unity and Diversity Council for his work as a peacemaker in over 30 countries.
Review(s): "'Creating a World That Works for All' 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." - Margaret Wheatley, author of 'Leadership and the New Science' and coauthor of 'A Simpler Way'
"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 such a thorough and practical way." - Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., Cultural Anthropologist and author of 'The Four-Fold Way' and 'Signs of Life'
“'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'
“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.” - Ernest Callenbach, author, 'Ecotopia'
“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.” - Winston Franklin, Former 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, 'When Corporations Rule the World' and 'The Post-Corporate World'