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28 September 2009

Revolution?

After reviewing pictures a former and very memorable (and I mean that in a good way) student of mine took at the latest G-20 protest, I was brought back to my younger days. I wasn't terribly wise then, but I was passionate (and, sadly, extremely left-wing in my viewpoints). Well, I went to more than my share of protests. On the one hand, I still have a great deal of empathy for people willing to get out in the streets and stare down well-armed riot police, yet I now also feel completely (and increasingly) detached from their methods to bring about change. Furthermore, I'm not completely sure they even know what they are protesting. What does that graffiti I read even mean: "Resist G-20"? What is the alternative? The world has always been a global marketplace, interconnected communities and nations linked by commerce of one kind or another. It would surprise most of you to know just how much travel our ancestors undertook. The indigenous elders I've spoken with have always indicated to me that ancient peoples frequently and easily traveled large distances and there was far more sharing among ancient cultures than we imagine today. Of course, we can and should learn from the mistakes of the past, but cultures have always eaten other cultures; for better or worse, that is part of the reality of cultural evolution and personal transformation on this planet, and it isn't really a bad thing in the long run. Now, I am not dismissing the centuries of genocide, warfare and exploitation waged on indigenous peoples throughout history (especially American history). But the message I believe for people today is to transform all that suffering into something useful. There's no more good guys and bad guys in the world today - we're all together in a cauldron of karmic soup and this "us" and "them" mentality is getting old. In the end, only the individual and any and all helpers (from this world and other worlds perhaps) one can enlist are ultimately responsible for the direction of one's life, and that is as it should be. Obstacles are placed in our way for good reasons if we're truly willing to look within and find the healing insight while leaving the anger behind. Regarding the modern protesters, half of whom are probably young people, impassioned by their beliefs that there should be some other way to exist on this planet than what they have observed, and the other half more like performers in a circus of anarchy or 1970's era Grateful Dead roadshow (minus the Grateful Dead!) - featuring people who have been protesting something (anything) for decades with always the same rhetoric, only slightly (sometimes) more original than the corporate culture they're seeking to supplant. Everyone dressed in their Halloween costumes, the protesters, the cops, even the police dogs. Of course, nothing ever changes as a result of these protests, especially in the protesters themselves. The faulty premise is that the world out there must change, rather than (more importantly in my view) the world in here (pointing to my head and heart). As I look at the global situation today, specifically as an American, I'll offer a different point of view on such protests and how to live like a true revolutionary (meaning one who would actually affect change).

1)Food: What we eat can be a revolutionary act. Those seeking to disconnect from the corporate marketing machine of modern American cuisine do have alternatives: grow your own - the sense of self-reliance and confidence gained from even the simplest garden has a tremendous effect on one's psyche and outlook. Wild foods - no advertising required, the essence of strength and vitality and free for everyone - from farm workers to CEO's. Local and small family farms: There's a real revolution in the making - get together with like-minded folks, meet your farmers and your food. Feel that connection to the land even if you're not doing the plowing, planting, and harvesting. Stick to real, whole foods - if it didn't walk around, swim or grow somewhere don't eat it.

2)Health Care: Instead of the debate being on focused on the Govt providing (or not providing) health care, why not focus on what that care involves? Disconnect from the medical-industrial complex and see where that leads you? What about taking charge of your own health? The amount of personal power you'll experience when you are no longer subject to whether or not the system will take care of you is revolutionary in terms of the way you'll live.

3)Vaccines: My main point here would be to oppose all mandatory vaccination programs. If people want to get vaccines, fine, but there is a chilling effect associated with mandatory vaccines.

4)Debt: One of the surest ways to find yourself enslaved is simply to owe something to someone. Think of the directions in life that no longer become an option when we are burdened with debt. Every-thing and every relationship is forever altered by the concept. The saddest story is the enslavement of all those bright (even) brilliant young folks, just out of very expensive private colleges, where they learned all their wonderful anti-capitalist rhetoric they're so eager to showcase in demonstrations like the G-20 (spoon fed to them by their sometimes well-intentioned college professors) burdened with such unbelievable student loan debt - and they think they've freed themselves from the corporate meat grinder?

5)Creativity: Nourish your creativity in any and all ways. Creative people are much less likely to be manipulated.

6)Politics: if you crave revolution, study the founders of America. They are far more radical, insightful and relevant to today's issues than anyone you're going to stumble across today. There seems to be an epidemic thirst for knowledge about the founders around people my age, not sure your average twenty something has that same yearning and he or she should.

7)Connect to Nature: The last and greatest way I would ever advise a budding revolutionary to cement their rebellion in something meaningful is to disconnect from the technological umbilical chord of modern life and get out in nature. Find the part of you that connects to that vast source of inspiration, education, and strength - that education won't run up any student loan bills, but it will give you lessons that will last you the rest of your life. Before we can save the environment we need to reconnect with it. If you doubt your connection to the cosmos, try running naked through the woods in a thunderstorm.

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