We are entering 2023 with great trepidation – the prospect of an escalating war, terrifying climate change, a global recession. The bad news keeps coming.
But I am extraordinarily hopeful about it all, and I want to transmit this hope to you.
This is probably the most exciting time to be alive that I can ever think of, and I want to help you feel that, too.
I am thrilled to have this front-row seat to witness the overhaul of virtually every system we have created in our modern industrial world – a system that gave us riches beyond measure but at the expense of community, family life, our environment – even our children’s futures.
It’s beyond time to let this way of life go.
However, as this worrisome new year dawns, what is now required is that each of us moves from our ringside seats, as passive observers, and throws our hats – and ourselves – into the ring.
Look upon this tough time as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reinvent yourself. I guarantee that you will look back upon this period of your life as one of the best times ever, a pivotal moment that forever changed you for the better.
Here are my own revised suggestions for 10 Ways to Reinvent Yourself and Your World. I published a form of this more than a decade ago, and the advice below is even more pressing than it was then. Transforming our world starts with transforming yourself and your communities. I look forward to hearing more ideas from you.
1. Find new sources of news. The mainstream press is, in the main, owned by the corporate world and used as a vehicle to promote corporate interests. This was most evident during the Covid pandemic, when virtually every mainstream form of media did not dare to question the official narrative about lockdowns, vaccines, etc. and actually abetted the governments in ridiculing and silencing many doctors and scientists with viable alternatives.
Many ‘health’ columnists are in some way beholden to the pharmaceutical industry – one reason why there is virtually no coverage of anything but fluffy-bunny alternative medicine anymore. Journalists of the mainstream have very little latitude to keep a Fourth-Estate watch on the corporate or political world. In fact, most young journalists have never been taught how to do so.
Stop reading the daily mainstream press or watching mainstream TV, particularly the outlets that represent your political persuasion. They will only reinforce your long-held prejudices, not teach you anything new. They can no longer be relied upon to tell you anything useful and will make it appear that life is more hopeless than it really is. During a recent visit to the States, I was shocked to observe that even late-night hosts were pandering to their political demographic. Don’t just listen to what you agree with. Widen your minds by allowing yourself to read other points of view. And don’t, for God’s sake, continue to read about celebrities.
2. Radically redesign your finances. Remove your money from the multi-national banks and find a local bank or community savings-and-loan or building society. Look for an organization that is a cooperative (owned by its customers). That way, you will be supporting your local community, and a local bank will be able to support local jobs and local enterprise.
3. Learn to barter. Use your incredible expertise, life experience or assets as currency. All of us have extraordinary resources and skill sets that we can ‘trade’ in order to pay for what we need without money. Post a noticeboard up at a local Wholefoods, Unity Church or public place, offering your skills (tutoring, painting, gardening, accounting, etc) in exchange for whatever it is that you’d like (a holiday away, food, gardening, etc).
4. Help to build a bipartisan social movement. In order to change the way the political and social and economic system works, we have to join hands. This requires a critical mass of people working together. These usually start locally with people communities, who eventually connect with others.
Uncover the hidden connections between you and other people – whether in your faith, your locality, your citizenship, your sex, your local or national interests. Both Republicans and Democrats have many identical interests – a love of family, God, children, home, and country. All of us want to “fix” the economy, the roads, the government, the high price of gasoline, our educational system. Keep alert for ‘us and them’ thinking, language and actions. As soon as you start generalizing about one race or ethnic group of people – whether Republicans, Muslims, bankers or even ‘anti-vaxxers’ (a term I hate) – you have defined a group as ‘them.’ Expunge this kind of language from your vocabulary.
5. Form a Power of Eight® group and meet weekly. I have seen tens of thousands of lives changed through the simple process of meeting weekly and holding intentions to heal each other. It works on every level. Altruism heals the healer – as does community. We need an intention family now more than ever.
In your neighborhood, for instance, you could hold a regular social gathering that also explores how to improve the way your community works, so that it is closer, happier, safer, supportive, self-sustaining and interdependent. Deliberately invite people to join who are not like you.
6. If you have free time or are out of work, look to create new business models locally: cooperatives, local currencies, community markets. Set your sites locally. What needs doing? What resources are lying fallow? Are there disused buildings that you can use for new business? What can you do that doesn’t require big start-up money? What is your skill set? Or the kind of work that makes your heart sing?
Whenever possible, work toward decentralization in your locale. Mohandas Gandhi also advocated village development. He was the first to develop a compact spinning wheel and introduce it into villages as an ‘appropriate technology.’ This was only one of the many types of ‘micro-capitalism’ he employed to decentralize economic development.
7. Move beyond your virtual world. Take the time to get out from under your TV and computer and meet your community. Start by holding a small meeting in your living room. Meet with people in your neighborhood and community and decide what needs doing. Just do it.
8. Use the power of local government. In America many local communities are ignoring Washington and setting down their own laws against corporate interference. Lately, they are even ignoring laws passed by the Supreme Court allowing corporations to pay unlimited sums to political candidates. Get involved on a local level.
9. Trust in the power of the fair and the good. I was inspired some years ago when I was on the phone with a guy who runs a corporate development program at very tight margins, making at best a few hundred per member. The entire idea of the project is a new form of cooperative capitalism that does not run on the ‘I Win-You Lose’ model of the West. People are encouraged to help others in the organization, based on a model of cooperation, integrity and service.
Although the organization barely makes money on it, thousands of entrepreneurs rush to join and agree to give of their time as faculty for free without the ‘payback’ of selling their projects or skills. Nevertheless, among all the big guns in this corporate development arena, this company was one of the few that was in the black during the last financial crisis.
Please stay tuned as I announce my plans and offer free tools in the coming weeks for you to participate in our own peaceful ‘revolution’.
Are you ready to be a global change-maker?
In the meantime, what are your thoughts about what you can do to help reinvent us and our world?
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