Monday, January 5, 2009

5 Things to Start and 5 Things to Stop in 2009

I'm publishing this right away to get it out there, though teri.mclain penned the following post.

So - we have the audacity to hope that Barack Obama will change the world for us in 2009 and we can continue to sit around on our keisters and whine. I think we all know that this isn’t going to happen. We will need change a few things ourselves.

As with most New Year’s resolutions, most of us will pick tiny things to improve our own tiny lives. But this year, imagine how improving yourself can also improve our planet.

During the 2008 election, we learned that we do actually want change and we prioritized our concerns. We elected a new guy because we are concerned about 5 whopping problems:

1. Environmental POLLUTION
2. Lack of AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE
3. Lack of quality EDUCATION
4. The ECONOMIC CRISIS and
5. The perpetual state of WAR


For those of you ready to try something different, here are some suggestions for ordinary things we can all resolve to do every single day. Things that take little time and minimal effort but could result in big and noticeable changes. Observe that the simple act of stopping can have just as much effect as starting something new.

To work on the problem of preserving our planet:

Start: Conserving
Stop: Having babies

Use a clothesline, a travel mug, a bicycle. Once you start even one simple conservation act, you will start to see opportunities to reduce waste in almost everything you do. Just pick the easiest one and start. Look in your trashcan. Try to eliminate most of that stuff from your life. And must we mention birth control? We know that this planet can sustain a finite number of humans and if we exceed that number, the whole thing falls apart. Resolve to quit arguing about the number and stop having babies. If we fail to pass this simple test of intelligence, we deserve to die a slow painful death of starvation in a miserable, polluted stinkhole.


To participate in the reform of our health care system:

Start: Exercising
Stop: Eating Junk Food

There are two very simple concepts at work here: Cause & effect and supply & demand. Bad diets and poor exercise cause disease. If you take a little time for wellness each day, you will not have to make time for illness later. People who are not sick and do not take 57 prescription drugs will decrease the demand for healthcare. When there is low demand and a steady supply, this is known as abundance. When something exists in abundance, the cost goes down. A few cases in point: SUVs, onions, air.


To improve our pitiful education system:


Start: Learning
Stop: Watching television

When we are educated, our children will be also. If we are zoned-out, TV couch zombies, our children will be also. The corruption and exploitation machine relies on a country of zombies. Stop contributing to the machine. Go learn something. Teach it to your kids. This does not require that you sign up for a PhD thesis or a Mandarin Chinese class in Mongolian economic theory. Learn something interesting every day. Use your new free time to read independent news from around the world and exercise. Unplug.



To turn the Economy around:


Start: Buying locally produced stuff
Stop: Borrowing money

Our local economies are suffering because much of our money travels on a one-way ticket to the corporate headquarters of the institutions we buy things from – most located on the Cayman Islands. If WE want to control OUR money that WE earn by OUR labor, we need to keep more of OUR dollars circulating in OUR towns so WE can use it. Buy local. Supporting your mates right here at home actually helps YOU.
We have all seen in great detail what happens when borrowing gets out of control. The banks and the government obviously have no idea how to properly regulate these things, so it looks like we will have to do this one ourselves. This is a tough one. We are addicted to easy credit. We must kick this habit or submit to more wage slavery because when we are in debt, we are desperate to have a job and will submit ourselves to almost anything.



To End War:

Start: Traveling
Stop: Being judgmental

When you travel, especially in the third world, you see things. You see what real poverty looks like. You see that foreign people are more like you than different from you. You see that it is a real crime to bomb them for any reason. You see that they really don’t hate Americans, just misguided American policies and guided American missiles. Go. Get out of your safe little rut of Las Vegas and Cancun and Disney world. Explore the planet, it’s pretty cool, really. The people will welcome you. And finally, let’s all resolve to stop being so judgmental. Let us recognize the humanity of each person that we meet in 2009 and quit comparing everyone and believing that some are going to hell and some are devils, and some are out to get us, while some are evil and others deserve death and we deserve a posh retirement on a golf course.



These are easy things to try. Pick one. Let’s see what happens.
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