The Ark on the Waters-Gospelimages
Unleashing the Power of Passion & Purpose
Navigating Together, in Solidarity, seeking the Path of Unity, increasing Empathy and Kindness, whilst increasing the circle of Friendship to Co-create our Future
In a world in flux, pain, anxiety and stress, the Ark of Light and Hope will allow us to identify the common good through conflicting interests and needs. It will show us the safe passage in dark moments and deep, cold, stormy waters
Our Journey of Hope is about many things. It is about challenging the norm. It is about volunteerism and service. It is about serving our communities, our world, and caring for our planet, our home. It is about finding out more about ourselves than we ever imagined possible. It is about having a dream. It is about a mission and our vocation in life. It is about believing in our journey and stories. It is about finding healing, contentment and inner peace, seeking to weave humanity back into the wider web of life.
Photo: Bryan Ricketts
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only…”
With these prophetic and timeless words, Charles Dickens begins his famous 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, a story about a time of chaos, suffering and despair — but also about happiness and joy…
I couldn't have found better words to describe the times we are living in. Times of polarised and opposite forces pushing for a new world order to appear. Times of chaos, uncertainty, instability, hopelessness and anxiety, and at the same time transformation, spiritual revolution and evolution. We are at the verge of a turnaround, a seachange, a moment in history where it can all go one way or another and the outcome will be so confusing and radically unpredictable.
However, whilst we are not given to know the whole story behind everything, every event, and action that is going on, or will be going on, at least we can choose which side of it to look at or which path to choose, by becoming a seeker of truth.
Our Ark of Light and Hope seeks the truth to enable us to become the vessels of survival and salvation in these stormy waters, navigating our Ark from darkness to light, from despair to hope.
Light of Hope- A painting by Abraham Hunter
Imagining to design and build a virtual Ark of Light and Hope is what I keep thinking about as both a metaphor and a practical plan for cherishing, nurturing and saving what must be valued and saved for the sake of our children and grandchildren. Sharing this idea and vision with others, there is often an immediate resonance.
To my mind, The Ark of Light and Hope reminds me of Noha’s Ark, which served as the “vessel of hope and salvation” which saved a generation of humans and animals during floods of destruction that was threatening the survival of existence- not too dissimilar to our today’s potential fate.
Ark of light and Hope, is a spiritual, inspirational and rewarding vessel of hope that is shaped by our shared aspirations and values, where the people of goodwill take action in the interest of the common good, to create a better world for all.
It is my sincere hope that our Ark will ultimately be the fruit of our labour of love and contemplation in leveraging the power of intangibles, when we will figure out what we can and should do to create intangible value, and to make intangibles tangible, envisioning the future.
Moreover, I firmly believe that the Ark can also be a rallying metaphor, a call to action, if you may – an organising principle, idea, vision and mission for the many among us who are working tirelessly to protect, preserve, nurture, and honour what is most valueable, precious and sacred.
Whilst in the Ark, sailing with hope and light in search of the safe passage to save our humanity, we must begin, first and foremost, by focusing on some fundamental and enduring questions of human meaning and value: questions such as:
* What does it mean to be human?
*What does it mean to live a life of meaning and purpose?
*What does it mean to understand and appreciate the natural world?
*What does it mean to forge a more just society for the common good?
*In what ways are we living our highest values?
*How are we working to embody the changes we wish to see in the world?
*What projects, models or initiatives give us the greatest sense of hope?
*How can we do well in life by doing good?
By their very nature, these questions involve thought and discussion around spirituality, ethics, morals and values.
This means that our lives are connected not only to knowledge, power and money, but also to faith, love and wisdom. Unless the questions we ask encompass the full spectrum of these emotions and experiences, we’re unlikely to find the answers we are looking for, or to understand them in any depth, let alone solving problems and attaining goals.
In seeking to answer these and other pertinent questions, and to understand the world better, we need to discover the world not just as it is, but also how it ought to be. Indeed, the deepest and most difficult questions with which we wrestle are problems of value — right and wrong, beautiful and ugly, just and unjust, worthy or unworthy, dignified or abhorrent, love or hatred, cooperation or competition, selflessness or selfishness, prosperity or poverty, profit or loss.
Human beings have explored these many questions of value through religion, philosophy, the creation of art and literature, and more. Indeed, questions of value have inaugurated many disciplines within the humanities and continue to drive them today. Questions and conversations about values and valuing are fundamental to what it means to be human, but rarely become the subject of explicit public reflection.
Applying our common spiritual and humane values as sources for renewal is, in large part, a matter of how our Ark of Light and Hope envisages to respond to the economic, social, spiritual, moral, and ecological agenda now placed before us by the converging crises of our time. This is our moral assignment.
Now I wish to invite our GCGI family and friends to join me, so that in the weeks and months ahead, we can, together, embark on a journey of sharing wisdom and insight, exploring this metaphor, as we seek to work in tandem in the interest of our vision and dreams.
All said and done, our Ark will be our manifesto for a better life, our collective will to survive and thrive, our vessel of light and hope that will carry us safely in these turbulent waters crashing all around us to the other shore, where we can begin to imagine a political system that puts the public first. Imagine the economy and markets serving people rather than the other way round. Imagine us placing values of respect, fairness, interdependence, and mutuality at the heart of our economy. Imagine an economy that gives everyone their fair share, at least an appropriate living wage, and no zero-hour contracts. Imagine where jobs are accessible and fulfilling, producing useful things rather than games of speculation and casino capitalism. Imagine where wages support lives rather than an ever expanding division and separations between the top 1% and the rest. Imagine a society capable of supporting everyone’s needs, and which says no to greed. Imagine unrestricted access to an excellent education, healthcare, housing and social services. Imagine hunger being eliminated, no more food banks and soup kitchens. Imagine each person having a place he/she can call home. Imagine all senior citizens living a dignified and secure life. Imagine all the youth leading their lives with ever-present hope for a better world. Imagine a planet protected from the threat of climate change now and for the generations to come. Imagine no more wars, but dialogue, conversation and non-violent resolution of conflicts.
...and I leave you with the gift of this beautiful poem for our ongoing journey- on board the Ark of Light and Hope- remembering who, why and where we are:
‘O Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world,
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty
and let my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears grow sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength not to be greater than my brother or sister
but to fight my greatest enemy, myself.
Make me always ready
to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes
So when life fades as the fading sunset
my spirit may come to you without shame.’ - Chief Yellow Lark, a nineteenth-century Lakota elder.
Ark of Light and Hope: To Give us Faith in our Shared Humanity.
A pick from our GCGI archive
A paintaing by Leonid Afremov
GCGI is our journey of hope and the sweet fruit of a labour of love. It is free to access, and it is ad-free too. We spend hundreds of hours, volunteering our labour and time, spreading the word about what is good and what matters most. If you think that's a worthy mission, as we do—one with powerful leverage to make the world a better place—then, please consider offering your moral and spiritual support by joining our circle of friends, spreading the word about the GCGI and forwarding the website to all those who may be interested.erested.