#4 Ensuring Success in the Face of Change

Looking at the current state of affairs and the inevitable change that will come soon enough, how might we react to the situation in ways that will make the revolution more comfortable and rewarding? When we plan for a camping trip, we need to think through a set of days, weeks or months. When we plan for the future,  the time frame we need to consider will necessarily extend beyond our participation in it. Staring intently into the face of change, there are several facets that are certain and many that are less so. Trying to put ourselves somewhere in the future that we may benefit from our past investments surely makes more sense than burning bridges that we might need to retreat back into safer territory later on. Affirmation of natural systems and learning to harmonize with the cycles of life are the best bet when stepping into the unknown.

Some feel that the rapid change that is on the horizon cannot come without massive dislocation and pain. It is my belief that this is only partly true, for those who are oblivious to the tipping point, they will surely come down hard. For the vast majority of us, who have much more modest needs, positive changes and new outcomes will offset much of the discomfort or loss that many of us will feel. The things that we need to consider well are what is truly valuable, what we are committed to and what is capable of sustaining life, rather than destroying it. The whole “Us vs. Them” ideology must pass. As much as we continue to hear a chorus of voices stridently ratcheting up the hate, the truth is the exact opposite. Sadly, John Lennon was killed before we got a chance to try his revolutionary idea of giving peace a chance. We are one. Them’s the facts people! Drinking from the bitter cup of hate, lies and misunderstanding taints our whole culture. To face change unafraid, without also revising our outlook seems like trying to pass the proverbial camel through the eye of a needle.

There are those rooting for traumatic changes, dislocation and pain. They are primarily those who have built their fortunes on raping Mother Earth and exploiting her people for profit. When the inevitable changes occur, those are the ones who will feel the pain most acutely. Look to the dictatorial Arab leaders to understand how old way thinking works. Remember the cry of two decades ago, “Communism is bad!” What was true is that communism was different. Both capitalism and communism, the way they are practiced have dangerous results. Our “way of life” was closer to collapse than any of us realize before the massive bail outs of just a few years ago. The exploiters, in our system, go right on abusing their privilege, extracting wealth from an impoverished nation. The only difference between our necrotic system and that of Egypt or Libya are that the figureheads in our “democracy” are just that. Their function, to reward people like themselves at the expense of the vast majority of the population is exactly the same.

We are told that we would be worse off if their detractors were to take control, that the world is undeniably hostile and threatening, that they are the sole answer to all the problems that we face and that their omniscient power is benevolent and well-reasoned. In fact, the paper tigers that they erect to slay for our appeasement only point out the fact that their perspective is delusional. We have imprisoned another generation of black men, not for their “crimes”, but that is what we are told. Native people are still being abused and robbed of their rights, though we are not told of their travails. The flood of humanity that has washed up on our shores for a chance at a better life are languishing under the burden of bigotry and hate. Women are still making about half of what men bring home for the same work in virtually every field we keep records for. In fact, it is estimated that for the amount of work the average mother does, it would cost about $100,000 per year to get a man to do it. Ensuring success requires re-thinking the most basic assumptions of old way thinking.

This would be a good time to mention the difficulties that I have with language on a daily basis. True old way thinking, that of our ancestors, was valid and well-reasoned. It was based on responsibility, not just to the now, but to the endless realm of the spirit world that stretches out to both the infinite past and the infinite future. The concept of considering the next seven generations is borne from the idea that humans might need clean air, fresh water or uncontaminated soil on which to base their lives. What is currently seen as old way thinking is the “man is brutish” bullshit. Science has now proven that humans are inherently magnanimous, helpful and compassionate. Their sociopathic greed and nastiness only come about when they are abused or neglected. Get that through your head and it can change everything! Because it is so important, let me say it again. Humans are compassionate, kind, helpful and loving. Human nature is essentially good. Only through abuse and neglect do we become the people society has told us we are. The more I come to terms with this fact, the more I realize that our current milieu is an excellent cover for abusers and neglectful people of all stripes.

The many ways that our whole population is abused and our needs neglected are too many to list. Just to get your mind working on the depth to which we are abused I should mention a few. We are living through a remarkably safe period. Facts are, we are experiencing the lowest crime rate in over thirty years! Simultaneously, dozens of video crews are scouring the nation daily to bring us shows like COPS, to prove that there is danger all around us. WE ARE LIVING THROUGH THE LOWEST CRIME RATES IN NEARLY TWO GENERATIONS! Why then are we told to fear gangs, gangsters, guns and hide ourselves away inside with our cable television? We are told to fear technology because someone somewhere might “steal our identity” or have access to our personal information. The vast majority of us are protected by our poverty. Anyone stealing my identity would soon find that banks won’t lend me money and they most likely would not even qualify for a credit card. My riches come from my rich friendships and the time it takes to cultivate those riches require love and time to develop. Not too many criminals are up to that level of commitment.

Years ago, I would routinely leave out tools because the criminals that were out there would rarely steal things that required them to work. Now, because of the proliferation of pawn shops and cash stores, there are more than a dozen places, in my small town alone, to turn tools into cash with no questions asked. The criminal element has been sanctioned in the name of commerce. Investing in things that truly matter has become difficult in this time of skewed perspective, but for many, the writing is on the wall and the images, though disturbing are clear and extremely detailed.

Success demands nothing more than doing the right thing, not only for expediency and self serving greed, but for the planet, your neighbors and those who will surely follow in our footsteps. By stepping wisely toward sustainability, we not only encourage abundance, but allow for future generations to have a much easier time adapting to our changing world. taking into account the recent price hikes for gasoline, investing in a good pair of walking shoes, or a bicycle makes far more sense than wasting money on a gas guzzling auto. Due to the fact that food prices are bound to continue to increase, turning up a bit of soil will help offset the cost of eating. Buying local now is more important than ever. True conservation rather than the fiction of our “conservative” politicians can help us through the transition to a sustainable economy. The most sure way to guarantee a crisis in the future is to not make any changes until it is too late. Invest now in the future and when the hard times come, you will have a much better idea about meeting your needs without the stress that comes when we mindlessly peruse capital.

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About otherfishwrap

One of the last of the Baby Boomers, I remember where I was when JFK was shot. Good story. Born during the Cuban Missile Crisis, my life has been spent studying, practicing skills and attitudes that reflect justice and the sanctity of Earth, Air, Fire, Water & Spirit. Trained as an educator, my life has been devoted to cultural development and social justice.
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