Throughout history there have been many great contributors, leaders and innovators who have come with a life-changing message. The list is extensive and would easily exceed the space we have here. Our aim is not to get too bogged down with specific examples because even that could miss the point we are hoping to make. That is, it’s the message that’s important, not the messenger. Having said that though, a few examples would help, for instance: Christ, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Guru Nanak and more latterly Gandhi and Martin Luther King all had a significant impact on the world. But how many people do you know that are Christ-like or Buddha-like? How many people do you know that have made or are willing to make enormous personal sacrifice like Gandhi or King, in pursuit of what is right? We’re not talking about perfection here, because history rarely provides us with ‘blemish-free’ accounts of the great minds and leaders of the past and present. In fact, we are talking about great actions in spite of individual shortcomings and frailties; a greatness that outweighs personal deficiencies.
All those we’ve listed here have been well documented elsewhere and so we have no need to recount their stories, but it’s worth restating that they’ve all offered us examples of a better way. Lao Tzu tried to encourage us to live in alignment with the natural order rather than battle against it, and Daoism emerged as a result. Guru Nanak, at a time of conflict between Hindus and Muslims brought a message that sought integration and peace and as a result Sikhism was conceived some 500 years ago. But despite these great contributors and their messages the world appears to continue its decline towards spiritual, moral and ethical bankruptcy…Why?
Our assessment of the decline in values and the rise of ‘Me-ism’ is quite simple; we have, throughout history, focused disproportionately on the messenger rather than the message! We become intoxicated by the charisma, delivery and stature of the individual and in doing so the message is not adequately heard or imbibed. Although there are many examples of those who have become embodiments of the message, there have been far too few to steer us towards a better course. It should be said for balance that this is not an attack on the messenger for s/he is a vital cog in the machinery of positive change. And indeed there is no sin in appreciating the nature, qualities and virtues of the messenger.
However, history continues to teach us that our attachment and allegiance to the messenger has made us blind to the depth and subtleties of many crucial messages brought to us throughout the ages. This is why so much conflict exists where there is no need. Egos, different personalities and the various interpretations that have been overlaid on the original message(s) have led us away from peace, integrity, forgiveness and truth. Take a look for yourself at the history and evolution of human kind over the last 2,500 years and see what you find– dare we say: demise dressed up as progress. For those interested in the philisophical, scientific and historical perspectives see: Science The New God? and Antiquity Comes Full Circle.
Our view is that if any message makes sense to you and sits comfortably in your heart without contradiction then that is the path you must follow. However to follow that path means to truly live it. Following takes as much strength as leading, it’s just a different starting position. Following means to replicate the message in your own life, in such a way that you become the message! This is what Gandhi meant by “be the change you want to see in the world”.
Those familiar with our work will notice that we at Reach do not deliver our message through a figurehead or primary personality, but through a name that invites us all to ‘Reach’ for the ultimate prize ‘our truth’. Until we reach inside and find the things that are blocking our progress we will continue to take the same fruitless paths. Reach is not concerned with the messenger. Our focus is on helping you to ‘reach-in’, into your heart and mind, to find ‘you’, in order that you can then ‘reach-out’, fulfilling your reason for being here. So as an organisation we have no desire for you to remember us, which is why we don’t promote ourselves in the conventional ways. However, if our message makes sense to you and ‘feels’ right then take what you need from it and we are sure you’ll find yourself in a better place, one of peace and contentment.
Also see: Misconceptions about Reach