A Rose by Any Other Name Would Smell Just as Sweet

I might sound philosophical when I share a story that I heard in my younger days.

A disciple asked a sage which religion was the right one to know God. The sage walked silently by a tree in the heat of a sunny morning with the disciple. He then pointed to the reflections of the sunlight on the ground beneath the tree. The leaves of the tree blocked the sunlight and it reflected on the ground in little droplets of sunlight, each differently shaped from the other depending on the density of the leaves on the tree. The sage explained, "Even though you see sunlight in different shapes on the ground, the sun is one. So also with God. He is one. Each religion teaches according to its philosophy". This was an eye-opener for me in my pursuit of the truth about life and God. 

When I did the Master Practitioner's Course in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), I learnt about the techniques for discovering strengths and building on them for a desired goal. Around the same time, I was introduced by my friend, Sureshkumar, to AI (Appreciative Inquiry) where you lead with positive questions for working towards a desired dream. And I said to myself, there is similarity in the focus in NLP and AI. Jan Somers, who works with NLP and AI, endorsed similar convictions when I shared my thoughts with him at the AI Conference in Ghent, Belgium last year. During my recent visit to Australia, I met Chris Bennett and Sue James, AI Practioners. They spoke a similar language as I do about the positive approach.

Last year, Rituu B.Nanda and Jean-Louis Lamboray introduced me to the SALT approach where again you stimulate a self-discovery of strengths to deal with a situation or a dream. When I visited Singapore last week and met the BEYOND team, Gerard, Chris and Cheryl, they shared their experience of using the SALT approach to encourage communities to help themselves. Later on the same day, further up in the city, I met up with Hosea and Jason. They spoke about ABCD (Asset Based  Community Development) in their work, 'Asset' being the strengths within the group they work with.

And I sigh with a satisfied feeling that no matter what we call it, our motive is the Positive and Strength-based Approach for a better community, a better society and a better tomorrow. And I hope that this movement will be as infectious and engulfing as the Mexican Wave, with the people of the world and the community we call the Earth.

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