Posted: 14 Nov 2010 11:55 PM PST
I happened to be at Gatwick Airport at 11 am last Thursday. It was a remarkable and moving experience. The chimes of Big Ben rang out through the airport’s public address system and everyone stopped.
It took a while for everyone to catch on. The Poppy splashed into the ocean of everyday noise, and the moment rippled around the whole airport. The Russian staff behind the counter of the cafe stopped serving. The man at the front of the queue, stopped waiting and simply stood.
The excited Turkish tech geek, jabber of the boys next to me stilled to a slightly bemused silence, overcome by the unbearable peer pressure.
I felt the waves of collective emotion from the shared experience and the remembrance shudder through my mind and body.
That week I had been working with a Dutch colleague who asked me about the significance of the Poppies. I told him how it had started, with Poppies being the first signs of life to emerge from the blood soaked quagmire of the shell cratered fields of Flanders and France.
How our failure to learn the lessons of that genercide (the killing of a generation) had lead to the Poppy being adopted in Britain as a symbol of the remembrance of the sacrifice.
While the icon of the Poppy and the tragic ceremonial of 11 November, (The armistice that signified the end of the slaughter was signed at 11am on the 11th of the 11th 1918.) known as remembrance Sunday remind us, what we really need to do is learn.
We are still sending our children to fight wars created by our failure to learn, our failure to communicate, our greed and hubris.
When enough of us can learn from the lessons of the past; can communicate with those we disagree and can replace greed with generosity and hubris with humility, there will be no more war.
When we can run our businesses and our governments for the greater good rather than for self interest, there will be no more war.
When we can truly embrace diversity of thought, diversity of culture, diversity of belief and diversity of appearance, there will be no more war.
All that is required is for love and authentic self confidence to replace fear and insecurity as the primary driver of so many business, governments and individuals.
Authentic self confidence comes from empowering people to use their talents to follow their own dreams.
Is it really so difficult for us to do this?
Sugata Mitra has a way. It is cheap, it is scalable and it is totally doable. Watch his TED talk, put it on your web site, link to it and talk about it to everyone you meet. I have put it on www.neilcrofts.com
Embrace our sustainable and peaceful future.
For help in finding the authentic path for your business or your life, give me a call.
Join us on our Authentic Business Radio show every Thursday at 5pm UK, 6pm Euro or 12.00 EST. This week we will be discussing “Moving Stuff”.
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