So we are unwrapping a brand new year, yet in many ways it looks like the same old stuff. Both individuals and groups have a choice, either you accept whatever is dealt to you, or you start thinking in new ways to break the cycles that leave us immobile and pawns in the hands of others.
Politicians, bankers, and interest groups are counting on people to be docile, follow the lead and respond to the cues presented by them.
The question is, “Who is the majority, and are the members of that majority relevant?” If we look at things from a different angle we may observe that, depending where you are, you may or may not be affected by the decisions others make.
If you are employed, have a good income and your work is not affected by the changes suffered in this economy, then you can read the papers, be in disagreement or agreement with taxes going down, as well as services and education. After all you may have the choice of placing your children in a private school, moving your money abroad and making plans to live elsewhere.
If you are not employed what little income you get is not enough to cover expenses. The school system has made severe cuts and there is not much you can do about what happens. Or, is there?
Let’s see. Who pays the salaries of every elected official? Are they your employees? Do they have to listen to you? Do you have access to being heard? Are the meetings and listening sessions scheduled according to your needs, or do they only fill the purpose of the officials interests?
What I am focusing on here is more than a political question, it is a matter of establishing your own priorities and creating your own agenda to address the issues that matter most to you.
This is a time to focus on what are our very own real needs, not the ones created by others that push us to be individualistic consumers, always thinking that our fortune depends on others.
Some of the things to be reviewed would also be the place and business of nonprofits and how they operate. Most nonprofits have been created to serve the poor. Do you know how much their directors and staff earn? If you have ever been part of a fundraiser, I believe you have the right to know if most of the money goes to pay for a high salary while volunteers do most of the work. Would the directors and staff from many of the nonprofits be willing to cut their income by 10% in order to create a stipend based work opportunity for several additional people?
These are only some of the things we have to start asking ourselves and others in order to change ‘business as usual’ and to begin to assume our own responsibility about how things are done.
There is hope when we decide to make changes in our own lives. We cannot ask others to change if change does not start with each one of us facing how we consume, buy, and most of all share.
May the New Year be one of abundant life!
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