I hope to be able to share with everyone I meet love peace and harmony. This blog is designed to herald the greatness of the people whom I meet on my many journeys, who share with me the happiness of 'the journey.' Random acts of kindness are what we can all do, so I hope that you see and feel that from my accounts. P.W. x
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Prospectus for project Imagine 2012
Walk the World
Walk with a stranger, make a new friend.
The idea is that I can get a film crew to come along and document the many encounters I have with people around the country who randomly choose to walk with me. Or for me to film myself, the tales I learn along the route.
I would like to share with as many people as possible ideas and thoughts about our lives and ways in which we could all apply ourselves to trying to live in harmony with one another, putting the ‘Great’ back into our once great nations’ title. Let’s make Britain great again, by being pioneers for peace.
I aim to discover the great and extraordinary diversity we have of many races, religions, creeds, faiths, cultures, sexual bias, age, appearance, and upbringing as well as political opinions. Doing this I would try to thread a coherent link between all of these people from many regions and ethnically diverse backgrounds whom reside under the banner of, the ‘United Kingdom.’ And as we witness at the present moment, it is anything but united.
Having walked to many places and with thousands of miles under my belt so to speak, I have met peoples from across the globe. I have walked across Spain, east to west and more recently, from the southern most point all the way to the northern most point, following the Camino de Santiago. Many of these folk that I had met helped me to realise just what a large amount of kind, and generous people there are on this planet, both visiting and or residing in those places. It is my belief that our own country contains numerous examples of this type of selfless person, and it is one of the aims, to go out and find them and tell their stories to the world. By recognising their input into the world I hope to prove that society is still strong and can withstand the current pressures. Instead of focusing solely on the negative aspects of the news in general, the rioting and criminal elements, those who seek civil disobedience over a more constructive and productive way of life, I hope to show really open and honest characters. I hope to be able to demonstrate how great we can all feel about the selfless work being done by the unsung hero’s of our time, and the efforts they are making to live peacefully and in harmony.
Two world wars have been fought, supposedly to preserve our way of life, and yet I see either that has not worked, or the core values have eroded, been lost or disseminated. With my project under way the once great nation could revisit just what was great about our country’s, and then use that knowledge to readjust the way to rebuild our hopes with a shift in our individual and joint consciousness.
Walking is a lovely way to have time to think, review and contemplate all that has happened in our lives. It has been my personal experience just what can be done when focusing on ourselves and what part we really play in the way we are developing and shaping the future of civilization. Walking with strangers is a unique way to get an open and new perspective on views, values and all other topics. Being strangers often lets the new information flow more easily, because friends and family already know us, and to some degree judge us or block out certain observations. They may also be unavailable for us to reveal our deepest beliefs and most profound thoughts. Something cathartic happens when you share this all with a stranger, someone who has only the current information upon which to base any ideas and thoughts about you. It can also be a very motivational experience, once the newness of our discussions comes to the forefront of our minds again.
After all, is it not because we fail to communicate effectively, that conflicts arise in the first place?
Why not approach the problems from a non judgemental perspective. Listening, contemplating then reviewing our own personal reactions to these reminded stories. It could just be possible, if we take the time, that we could save ourselves more pain and misery, anxiety and suffering in the future. In a world that has clearly lost faith in God, should we not try to review just how diligent we ought to be in pushing against the tide of self motivated individualism, and take personal responsibility to push against that flow. Maybe paradise is not something that we have to wait for, but what we have to create. Under our own steam, little changes in a big hurry, but together we could do wonderful and truly amazing feats of goodness. Unity is powerful!!
But don’t we first need to find out what each person wants, and would truly work hard to achieve?
Let us be the change!
I would hope to be able to walk and meet as many people as possible. Accept their kindnesses and hospitality, and share with them, partly in their environments, just how life really is for each individual. Unlike politicians, who try to work from the top down, I hope to be able to help push from the bottom up. Using the tales, personal stories and real life experiences of ordinary folk, I believe we could better address the social ills and misunderstandings that have helped to create a disjointed and (effectively) non communicative society.
Of course many like myself are trying hard to change things in their communities and social groups working for the betterment and the lot of many in those places. And we should recognise and praise the efforts of selfless caring and determined support of the less fortunate. Even politicians believe that they are helping the situation, and in truth I believe that they are. Even if the thing we learn is how not to, because when we really consider the evidence, the story is clearly not that simple.
We cannot legislate for peace and a security from fear. We have to accept in ourselves the responsibility to do something proactive and work towards the revival of values such as decency and trust. To see peace and harmony we need to be peacemakers and think, speak and act in harmony with one another.
Walking with and being invited into the environments, homes, schools, hospitals, churches of a wide range of individuals and groups, I believe would be the beginning of the sharing that is needed to further promote selflessness and greater acts of random kindness in our world. Being in these places I would experience the love behind the acts and re-tell that story in the documentary, book poem or song.
I believe that another very worthy reason to be walking, sharing and meeting new people is to attempt to raise money for charity, and needy causes. People who are unable to directly participate in the walk or sharing their personal histories I know would love to contribute even if this type of giving is what they can manage. Initially I would like to raise money for N.S.P.C.C. and Children in Need, Childline, Shelter and the British Red cross, but would hope that my fundraising and wider project could bring attention to any and all other specifically needy ventures that become apparent whilst walking. As a target, I think that I would like to be able to raise more than £50,000 to be shared between the named charities, but in truth my hopes would not stop at that small amount.
One of the most obvious factors in being able to do this walk would of course be my ability to walk this distance. Having already walked more than 2000 miles over the past year or so, indicates that I could do it but earlier this year my doctors diagnosed and announced that I had Osteo-arthritis in both knees. In fact in many of my body joints, and this does not bode well for an attempt to walk approximately 3000 miles in 12 months. I feel the effects of the arthritis daily, but would manage the discomfort to be able to complete the walk. This will not stop me reaching my goal. With good care and planning I would be able to do in the region of 10 to 15 miles per day. Allowing time to meet and share time with people in the towns and villages I would walk through, possibly days of shared activity too.
Whilst I realise that to get more interest in this project for all parties, my being a celebrity would help. (I have my own thoughts about this) Who wants to see some unknown ordinary guy and watch his attempts to share humanity and peace with everyone he meets whilst trekking across the United Kingdom??? But in all fairness, I believe this is the best way to get peoples attentions and their confidences. The reasons that I would hope for your company/organisations interests and participations are to raise greater awareness of the undercurrent of loving caring people rather than any personal desire to become a household name. Fame has no interest to me, only the promoting of goodness and love.
With regards the filming aspect, I realise that to have a day to day account of the walk would be both costly and possibly impractical, I would be happy and willing to do an amount of the footage myself. I have investigated several options for video capturing devices that are light enough to be carried in my backpack. I could upload footage and other features either daily or weekly as required, though leave the editing etc. to the professionals.
I realise that with present cuts and restrictions due to the current climate of affordability this project of mine may initially seem interesting, but just to add, I am not going to be asking for any wages or fees for doing any of this. The research data collected will be free to anyone and everyone (when the documentary is shown) so that we can all benefit from the experiences witnessed and the resurgence of ideas that come from it. Be they good or bad, we at least will all have something to consider, and hopefully make wiser more informed choices as a result.
About Peaceful Warrior.
I was born December 1965 on the other side of the globe, whilst my father served in the R.A.F. stationed in Singapore. Brought up with some pretty common value systems, where religion was preached rather than taught. Grandparents who thought children should be seen and not heard, and disciplined with the rod of iron. (Or at least a coat brush) I became disillusioned with the reality of this life very early on and have subsequently spent more than 25 years trying to make sense out of the ideas about what life should be about for an adult.
Whilst I try daily to be a better man, I am aware that during my past, numerous errors have been made on my part, in the pursuit of experiences. Some I will never revisit, others I can remember with more fondness. Like for most people, my learning came through actual experience, but I now realise fully that without pain, no pleasure could have been known. Without loss, I could not have appreciated the gift of gain. And without sadness and misery, I would definitely not have known the blessing of happiness or joy.
Whilst I had been given at birth a ‘Christian’ name and inherited my parents’ surname, I recently resolved to permanently adopt and officially use my chosen name, ‘Peaceful Warrior’, which is in fact one complete name. It is broken down as first and second on official documentations solely to meet with some degree the officialdom of the government monitoring. I have no bad memory or ill affection towards that given name, my changing it is about my freedom to choose. Though predominantly that same person, personal choice dictated that I now reflect not who I was, but who I am and who I want to be.
I believe that it is the ‘right’ of every man woman and child, to have choice, particularly about who we want to be, and therefore create who we want to be. Life is an on going process of choosing, and our personal evolution is dependant upon those decisions of choice. As an idea of this I looked at the examples set, that I wished to adopt and emulate to some degree in my determination to be a more proactive person.
Gandhi, a man recognised as a seeker of personal choice and a person disposed to amazing acts of random kindness once said.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
I believe this is, and will be the only way to see any real and lasting progress towards peace, happiness and harmony in our lives.
In fact any and all renowned wise men, prophets and truth tellers throughout history have said that was also their belief and lived in harmony with those beliefs. There are too many to name them all, but if you think for a moment you surely know at least one.
With regards to the project I present, I will give my total commitment, my personal integrity, for to do less would be for me to deny who I am. I would not only dishonour myself but the many examples being set out by my personal hero’s. Some of whom are still very much alive and helping to change the world for the good.
I sincerely hope that you see in me the bearer of a message towards openness, sharing and unity. Someone who seriously wants to put effort into deeds that benefit us all. And I reiterate, I am looking to receive no wages or fees as payment towards this venture should you want to go ahead and support me. I obviously will have needs to be met by way of supporting myself financially during the walk, paying for meals and accommodations etc. and hope to meet those by fundraising or one off donations to me personally. This is what I am presently doing in the hope of realising my dream to start and complete the project, but happily accept any and all suggestions and or help in this regard.
I hope to be recipient of not only the company of fellow walkers and towns folk, people who would like to share a part of my journey, but of their kind hospitality too. It has been my blessing to have received the kindnesses of many humble people throughout my many adventures and I realise that is what many people actually desire to do, to share the little or the lot that they have. We are not inherently selfish, though we may have learned to be protective over what little we can scrape together, or what we have worked hard to acquire. It is the very act of receiving the kindnesses that I would like to make reports of, to show clearly that there are more kind and generous people alive than dead. Though it is not one of my aims to ‘put on’ anyone or interfere in the smooth running of their affairs, I would be looking out for people who offer a bed for the night, shelter, a meal, some food, and the use of their washing facilities when all my things are dirty. I wouldn’t expect it, therefore have in reserve the money to be able to pay my own way, but hope that I can report on the many people who would happily share with me.
I have estimated that I will potentially need between £7,000 - £10,000 to begin and complete the project, for basic expenses and potential accommodation costs and am currently working on saving that money or raising it myself. Any whole or part donations will merit both my gratitude and also an acknowledgement on the blog/website. (Content permitting, a direct link from my website to your chosen webpage)
Any and all money raised for charity during the walk as a result would go directly to the charities via a link from my website. This would lay open and transparent all the funds raised and documented, benefitting directly those organisations. I hope that they also will become directly involved in supporting this project too. I believe that this would also further herald the continued dedication that they put into the needs of helping others less fortunate than ourselves.
As I believe we all have an obligation to look out for the less fortunate, underprivileged and the less abled, the charities I sponsor would obviously play a large part in the aims of promoting my ideas. Hopefully footage could be taken and presented that better describes the efforts of those organisations, the individual people working within them and the people whom they help. Wouldn’t the feel-good factor from seeing these selfless acts inspire more of us to strike out and fight for the proper resources to become available to everyone, not just fat cat businesses.
Up until now I have only considered sponsorship in the briefest of terms and am aware that I still have to investigate more options towards this. The added benefits of you (the reader) being involved, participating in our joint project would of course raise the level of publicity for all parties I hope to reach as a result of this walk. For this reason I will make myself available for all and any preparatory stages of the projects inauguration. Any and all publicity with regard the media and other sponsors will therefore be invaluable for me, to see the dream of meeting my goals come true.
Simply put, the walk is all about creating the foundations for unity and closer understandings between elements of our society.
“Walk with a stranger, make a new friend.” Will be the continuation of the efforts of many wonderfully enlightened people from the past and many present day warriors, whom I hope will support and take the reigns from me when I fail to achieve all that can be done.
I don’t now believe that LOVE is just an idealistic dream. It is the very glue that sticks us together and creates lasting bonds of friendship in harmony. It is the actual reason why we do any of the things we do to live our lives to the full. Let’s face it, only LOVE and FEAR really exist. One or the other will be our sponsoring thought when we do what we do through life. Please let your decision display your sponsoring thought.
I very much hope that if nothing more comes as a result of this project I am asking you to be a part of, that at least you will acknowledge my attempt to try and unite ideas and sponsor LOVE.
Your suggestions, advice, criticism and hopeful participations are always welcome, that is in essence what the project is about.
How do I see this working?
Well firstly and fore-mostly, it has in essence already worked. You may need to think about this for a moment!
Though experientially the walk has not yet begun, nor been completed, the thoughts sponsoring it, those associated with my goals, have. Therefore as the experience plays out a greater number of individuals will have come to ‘know’ or better said, ‘remember’ how they all play a part in the future peace on our planet.
I, like so many people before desire to change the world. For good or bad, they succeeded in doing what they could in their efforts and endeavours. Some more noticeably than others of course impacted on a wider scale but they all did what they could.
I have heard it said once, “The crazy are responsible for changing the world.” The implication I see is that crazy is understood as wild, reckless and that this has been what has spurned change and not anything good or positive. Is that your view? No?
If no, how do you explain what Gandhi has done, Jesus, John Lennon, Martin Luther King and even more recently Leymah Gbowwe who has changed the face of peace in Africa and even been awarded the shared Nobel peace prize for her participation in her peace efforts in Liberia and recognition of her sponsoring Peace Love and Unity.
My commitment to this project is as ever, ready keen and patiently awaiting the go signal. I mean, that I cannot achieve the best results single handed, without help from others, though I would eventually choose this option if all others fail to be fruitful.
What type of folk?
Well as you can imagine the type of peoples that I hope to meet are to be as varied as the nation itself. It will be pointless trying to list every possibility for several reasons.
Firstly the whole of the nation is very hard to divide into one class, category or another and therefore some people may not feel like being included in the project findings. I respect this too, so would happily refrain from including them. Even though I believe it would be one of the best opportunities to have their views taken into consideration.
Then there may be groups of people who want to sponsor anarchistic views, terroristic and criminal too. Though I do not myself concur with those views I would never the less hope to include them for the record to be as fair, honest and comprehensive as possible.
But in the main the target is to get close to understanding the views of the wide majority of the population, both those born here and those with long stay intentions. I have personally no racial, religious, ethnic or political affiliations and so hope to arrive with a very open eyed perspective that can then be shared with the public in the hope that their eyes too will be opened to the truth of what has made our society ‘Great’ or ‘less than great.’
As you may have guessed, I believe that LOVE could do a lot to solve a majority of the problems that people say they don’t like. And I also believe that we each, personally need to take a responsible course towards seeing our ideas come into reality. The knowledge that could be acquired and shared between us all would I believe, be a start towards better harmony and tolerance.
Web site/blogs and media feeds.
I am hoping to set up a web site dedicated to the aims I have, and call it IMAGINE. If of course that is possible, as my hero John Lennon may have monopoly over that name. I have already set up a blog for my walking projects, a poetry blog with now over 400 of my poetic creations, a songbook blog for songs that I hope will inspire and a you-tube account that I hope to add video footage to, and a contact email address. I list these details below in the above order.
My hope is that the IMAGINE website will include forums for communications between people of our nation. Film footage of the people I meet and a gallery of pictures with regards to this. I hope to add a poetry forum/link and a feed to allow poets from Britain and across the globe to add their poetic thoughts. I want to see the charities I sponsor having wider press and also interactional associations with those organisations, and their other sponsors. I would also like to have a musical link function, where I can share the music sponsored by peace activists, and other inspirational music. And I would like our website be a doorway to anyone who campaigns and works towards peace in our time.
As for you, the sponsor/donor or dedicated partner in this project, I will gladly make available any links to your chosen charity, webpage or any other venture that could and will perpetuate further growth of the project as a whole. (Obviously I will not allow unacceptable content, no matter how much you pay!)
Approximate route for walk.
I estimate the walk to be about 3000 miles and can be done over a period of between 9 and 12 months depending on weather and other challenges, as well as the experiences presented from the people I will meet. I am hoping to begin and end the journey in Nottingham. This was my home for only a brief period of my life, but my associations with Nottingham have proved very rewarding and it is also pretty well close to being the heart of England, geographically and culturally. The route chosen is only a very rough idea about my course, and any and all route changes requested will be considered on their own merits to the project. I doubt I shall be popping off to the Canary Islands for a few days mid walk, though that would be very attractive as a proposal…..
The timing, beginning in the spring 2012, should help me to make the best use of ‘Good old British weather,’ arriving back in Nottingham the following spring.
Initially I would hope that walking with a stranger would result in making new friends. Several ideas would be shared in the pursuit but predominantly the idea of sharing understanding and creating ties between peoples from all areas of the U.K. People of all races, creeds religions faith systems, genders, orientations, abilities and political viewpoints and try to create a forum, in which we all can have a better chance to communicate and have those views heard.
In reality I hope that we can put the ‘Great’ back into Britain, and help us all to realise just what the ‘United’ Kingdom is and should be.
My idea is to begin walking in Nottingham in the spring of 2012 and walk northwards through Tyneside towards Edinburgh, passing any places where people have requested to walk with me and each other or randomly meet people prepared to walk with me on a short part of the journey. Making a route up to John O’Groats, I would then return down the west of Scotland possibly via Glasgow. Then carrying on down through the lake district, and making my way to a coastal port to cross over into Northern Ireland. I think that it would be nice to visit the northern capital Belfast, and then make my way down the East coast to Dublin. Further along the journey I would hope to pass through Wales and the capital Cardiff before rounding the corner and heading southward to reach Lands end, Cornwall. The next phase of the walk would then make its way along the south coast mainly and briefly cross onto the Isle of White. Once back on the mainland I would head roughly across to the capital of the British Isles, London where I would hope to meet with some people like Caroline Lucas from the Green party also and discuss some of my experiential findings. Then I would continue back towards Nottingham where the journey began, where hopefully I would be received with keen interest, as this is one of the most diverse cities of the United Kingdom.
Are my goals realistic?
Good question. Who ever amongst us knows the efforts they make, will achieve the desired outcome? But the point is this. I am going to give it my best shot, and if I fail, at least it will not be through not having tried….
Realistically Peace on our planet by the end of the year is not really achievable, logistically. It’s a bit like our efforts to put men on the moon, or the invention of the telephone. It clearly took a while and ideas had to be adapted to make the dream become a reality. Thanks go to Gene Roddenberry for some of these ideas. Peace however has been sought after for millennia, alongside mans greed to conquer and use tyrannical violence and oppression throughout history. What hasn’t really been present was the actual ‘need’ for it. That is to say, that never before in recorded history would we ever have been in a position to make our race extinct. If you look around you nowadays it is more evident that we sit on the brink or the precipice of ruin, disaster and even probable extinction.
You don’t believe the evidence?
Look at our water sources, nearly all polluted and fish and mammals depending on them (humans included) suffering the ill effects of throwing our rubbish into them along with chemical effluents. Our desire never to back down when someone says no to us (see world politics and greed for oil, banking greed) has caused untold loss of life. This has spurned rioting, rebellions, tortures killings and murders along with many more horrific crimes from both sides that actually have the ability to destabilise our civilizations at the drop of a hat. Look at what is happening in Greece for instance.
So yes maybe they are not realistic for the very near future, but they are actually needed for our continued existence on the planet. In reality as I see it, without people fighting (without violence and aggression) against the status quo, the greed of the banks the governments, the oil producers, commerce and financial institutions, who have been robbing and raping the earth, there will be no future for any of us. We must resist the tide of disaster and clean up our acts, all of us. Each person pushing together, where peace could and will be the only sensible option and choice.
Let’s face it we’ve tried everything else until exhaustion so why not exhaust efforts for peace, by using, living and breathing peace!
Thank you for taking the time to read my prospectus.