The Impact of Sharing in Education

Features-of-Google-GlassWith the invention of the Internet, will we do away with teachers? I think we will actually have more teachers than ever, just not the traditional ones. Education has already undergone a massive transformation and it will continue to evolve. You don’t have to copy everything a teacher writes out on a blackboard anymore. Heck, you don’t even have to be in the same room as the teacher to get taught! What do you call it when someone writes an article on a blog or creates an instructional video online? What is another name for two people who share information? It’s a “teaching moment.” If they share it with each other then it is a “peer-to-peer” teaching moment and requires no pre-defined teacher role.

Parsing the Thoughts

Search engines do nothing more than parse sentences and match verbal patterns. Texting is a form of parsing in that you take out the non-essential vowels, in many cases, and end up with sentences full of abbreviations that mean the same thing. Information is becoming denser and more cryptic, yet it is conveying much, much, more meaning. Some might call that a decline in learning, but it actually is creating more opportunities for people to pick only the information they need exactly when they need it: A teaching moment. Every major company makes use of teaching moments when they encapsulate an idea in a logo and create a brand. They wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t effective! Now, everyone else can get in on that game, too.

Finding Your Keys

Do you ever have that instance when you’re ready to head out the door, but can’t find your car keys? What happens then? You stall out. You spend time looking everywhere for the misplaced keys. It keeps you from moving and delays you from reaching your intended goal. Forgetting a password is a similar experience. What if you could get that key or password to pop up every single time you realized you were missing them temporarily? That is where we are headed towards with information. Put on a pair of Google Glass and now you can Google him or her even as you’re ordering the appetizer. Smartphones that educate you on the deal next door (as you are eyeing the price tag on an item to buy in the store you’re in) educate you towards a smarter purchase. What if every time you had a question and wanted more information, you could access it via a custom teaching moment that helps you learn more and become networked into other people’s knowledge bases? Then, everyone becomes a potential teacher!

Sharing Information to Create New Worlds

These mini-blurbs of useful information are as powerful as hour long classes and can influence daily actions of millions of people, creating new social movements. If you can learn what you need from someone willing to share their knowledge, then you open up opportunities for people who cannot pay for it via expensive tuitions. You create a mindset where people become less dependent on institutions and more interdependent on each other. That can only be a good thing.

The Politics of a Dark Cherry Dining Room Set

cherry table and Leather Alderwood ChairsThere’s lots of talk about what women are discussing around their dining room table when it comes to the issues of the day that affect how they will be voting. For an instant, though, let me just talk about my own table. You see, I own a light-colored cherry dining room set that I took with me when I divorced my husband. You may think it had some sort of sentimental value or that I really liked the style or the color, but none of that is true. I took it to prove a point: Even when you think you’ve fooled me into getting your way, it’s going to cost you later. I don’t think I’m that much different from the average woman. Republicans are playing with fire if they think they can pull the wool over women’s eyes and not let it come back to haunt them in the end – especially when they talk about issues they don’t have any interest in whatsoever.

The Set-up

You see, my dining room table was a set-up. I told my then husband, I wanted a dark cherry dining room set, and instead of telling me he didn’t like the idea, he told me to go out and price them to see if we could afford them. So, I spent weeks going to one furniture store after another to find just the right table, but every time I brought the details back there was always something wrong with the table. It was not sturdy or it was too expensive or not the right size. The color was never mentioned. Then, magically, one night we were at a furniture outlet and there was the type of table he had mentioned, and for far less than the others I had priced! But, instead of buying it, my ex-husband told me he liked a different dining table better – it was far more expensive than anything I had previously priced and it was light, not dark wood. As he demanded that we buy this offensive monstrosity, I realize that he never meant for me to have the dark cherry dining set – it had been a total set-up. So, when I finally divorced him, I made sure to take that dining set with me and the china cabinet, too. I figured that if he got such enjoyment out of dangling some fake promise in front of me to see me work my butt off, knowing full well he would never agree to buy a dark cherry dining room set, then I was going to take his favorite table away from him so he could feel what it’s like to be deprived of something he really wanted, too – even if I didn’t like it. That’s my idea of fairness, and I really don’t think I differ from most women. Now, that table is one of the most favorite pieces in my home. It represents fairness to me and my ability to right a wrong that should have never happened if someone hadn’t been so intent on deceiving me.

Republican Double-Talk

Let’s face it, all this talk about Republicans honoring the ideal of motherhood is just another cherry dining room set. That’s right. It’s something they don’t believe in, can’t relate to, and will only buy if it comes in their preferred color. What is that color? White. There, I said it. It doesn’t matter that they deprive millions of women who happen to be black, single, or poor mothers the dignity of their choice, for those women – they should be outside the home working and they’re lucky if they’re not called sluts. The argument they give is that poor, single, or black women are too poor not to work and we should give them the “dignity of work.” Yet, white women like Ann Romney who are rich  and have husbands should stay at home and not work outside the home because that’s what “good mothers do.” The whole it’s “too expensive” to stay home business smacks of a certain dining room table that was “too expensive” to buy until a different color was found.

Women Buy It

Unfortunately, like me, many women buy this whole “fiscal responsibility” argument from their husbands and political candidates. I know I did. I bought it when my husband lied to me about the cherry table. I bought it when the Tea Party people told me they wanted to be in office to bring more fiscal conservative policies to Congress. Yet, every time that argument is used, I find these same people go in and spend much more on programs and ideals that they just simply prefer, that’s all. Whether it’s a light cherry dining room table or millions spent to find ways to block access to contraception or women’s programs. The point is to deprive you of what you want and what you think is best for something they want. So, women, please don’t buy the money argument. It’s a red flag meant to distract you from the real reason your desires never get funded: They simply don’t like the idea. Don’t believe me? Just watch…

The WORK Act

Okay, so according to Republicans all mothers should be at home with their kids and that’s the ideal of motherhood? Poor mothers have to work because it’s “too expensive.” Then, let’s fund it and make it possible for low-income mothers, too! Democrats have introduced a bill called the Women’s Option to Raise Kids (WORK) Act. If raising kids is the same as working, according to Ann Romney, then the ideal should not be to make poor mothers work outside the home, it’s to support them so they don’t have to. The Act removes the current work requirements for mothers of children of 3 years of less, and allows them to still receive welfare benefit. So, that should be a total bipartisan landslide, right?! You watch as the GOP blocks this Act.

Just for fun, I told a Republican woman friend of mine about this new bill and the look of horror that crossed her face was priceless. As expected, the first words out of her mouth were: “How are we going to pay for it?” Yeah, right, I forgot! We have NO MONEY, we’re trillions in debt, and God forbid, that money be available for a social issue like motherhood that the Republicans all say they believe in. Do I need to say more? Cherry table, cherry table, cherry table.

Another friend, who is an Independent sat down and noticing her obvious state of agitation asked her what was wrong. When she told her and echoed:”How will we pay for it?” She shrugged and suggested that some of the money might come from daycare programs that were being subsidized so mothers could work. Duh. No, no, no, let’s NOT figure out how we want to pay for something, let’s just assume that if we don’t want it, it’s simply too expensive! ESPECIALLY, if we’re going to be forced to pay for the WRONG COLOR table.

I will repeat it once again in very simple words: While you’re being “fiscally conservative” your political interest is probably out plotting how to spend your tax dollars on their selfish wants and desires. The major issue for women “around the dining room table” right now is not the budget, it is how the budget will be approportioned. Will the money go to large  corporations and the 1 percent that claim to be “job creators” yet have failed to provide any credible evidence that is the case? Will it go towards more wars? Or, will it go to education, building small businesses, and building up the middle class? And, yes, maybe some of it should go to help single mothers to create sustainable families instead of forcing them to work when they have kids in the home.

Why Equal Pay for Equal Work is Morally Right

Money QueenIt is 2012, but some politicians are still living in the 1950s as the War on Women continues to take center stage with some very old-fashioned views coming forth from the political arena. Take a look at this one:

“You could argue that money is more important for men. I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday…” – Senator Glenn Grothman (R)

How many times have you heard the myth:

“Men should get paid more because they need the money to support their families.”

Well, let’s be realistic – family demographics all over the United States have changed. It used to be that almost 80 percent of people were the traditional father/mother married couple where the woman stayed home and did not work. Now, the number of married couple is actually less than 50 percent and a majority of women work in double income households, many without children. Yet, men and women stuck in a time warp believe that men are still the breadwinners? That more men than women need the money to support families? Assuming that “family” means kids, this fact is easy to check using the BLS and 2010 U.S. Census data.

The Data

On March 24th, 2011 the BLS put out an Economic News Release detailing the employment characteristic of families in 2010. To be fair, we can’t just compare how many men have families to support without comparing it to female heads of households – the biggest growing demographic in the United States today. Then, we get a very accurate picture of what’s going on with the American family and how the “Father Knows Best” retro-ideal is actually hurting children in America and putting them into poverty. If the basis of giving men $1 for every .77cents a woman earns is the social obligation to care for our nation’s children, then one must ask:

Who exactly is caring for the children and what are they making?

From http://www.bls.gov/news.release/famee.nr0.htm:

 Among the 34.5 million families with children,87.4 percent had an employed parent in 2010, down from 87.8 percent in 2009. The 2010 proportion is the lowest since the data series began in 1994. The mother was employed in 67.0 percent of families maintained by women with no spouse present in 2010, down from 67.8 percent in 2009. The father was employed in 75.8 percent of families maintained by men with no spouse present in 2010, little changed over the year. Among married-couple families with children, 95.7 percent had an employed parent in 2010, unchanged from the prior year. The share of married-couple families where both parents worked fell to 58.1 percent in 2010 from 58.9 percent in 2009.

The problem with these figures is that 34.5 million is for all families, both married and single parent families that worked. However, the percentages of married couples where both worked is 58.1 percent of married couple families. In order to find out how many married couple families that only had one spouse supporting it, we have to work our way backwards, which the total number of married couples that worked being 95.7 percent not 100 percent.

Remember that the BLS states that in 2010, 34.5 million families had children. How many of those families were single parent households and how many were married couples? Of the single parent households, how many of those families were headed by a man alone and how many by a woman alone?

We find that information in the Stat of the Day: The Amazing Decline of the Iconic Household.

They list for 2010:

11.1 million single parent families (11.6 in another survey  listing 9.9 single mothers and 1.7 million fathers)

AND

23.58 million married couples with children (some with double incomes)

______________________________________

= 34.6 total families supporting children (very close to the same statistic offered in the BLS).

Then we need to remove the double income families because they already make more than any other household demographic so the reasoning that they need “extra money” to support kids is a moot point. They already make more due to the nature of the fact that both individuals work.

Going back to the first stat, we still need to figure how many of the 23.58 million married couples with children had a double income and those that had a single income. First we start by taking 95.7 percent to figure out those that actually worked (23.58*.957=22.56 million). We know that 58.1 percent of the total were also double income families (23.58*.581=13.70 million). That leaves 8.86 million married couples where either the father or the mother supported the family alone, despite being married.

Now we want to know: How many married households of the 8.86 million had a male single earner and how many had a female single earner?

From the 2010 Census and information at http://activerain.com/blogsview/1449754/census-more-women-take-on-role-of-sole-breadwinner-  we know that in 2009,  7 percent of all families with children had a female head of household or 1.65 million. So, the rest of the married households that were supported on one income had to be male: 8.86 million – 1.65 million = 7.21 million.

The Final Results

For all the households with children in the United States that depend solely on a male “breadwinner” the actual numbers are 7.21 million of married couples and 1.7 million of single parents.

Grand Total of Male Breadwinners:  8.91 million households.

For all the households with children in the United States that depend solely on a female “breadwinner” the actual numbers are 1.65 million of married couples and 9.9 million of single parents.

Grand Total of Female Breadwinners: 11.55 million households.

EXCEPT FOR A FEW MORE FACTS -

The majority of men supporting children “by themselves” are in married relationships and have a spouse working to care for the children which adds tens of thousands of unearned income to the household. The majority of women supporting children by themselves are single and have no one contributing unearned income to the household, providing free childcare, and other types of stay-at-home services. However, the women are making only .77 cents to each $1 a man earns. They can’t afford to hire it either. Tell me again who needs to be making more to support their families – the men or the women?

It’s obvious from this analysis that if the Federal Government enforced equal pay laws, they could probably save a ton of money on TANF.

Can Giving a Gift Land You in Debt?

GiftThe custom of gift-giving is one that is missing in the United States, even as we prepare to celebrate Christmas. Why? Gift-giving in other cultures does not stem from a capitalistic commercialism, but rather from the spiritual interaction between a gift giver and a recipient. It has less to do with what you give, and more to do with how you give and to whom you give. It is a practice of cultivating a generosity of spirit that includes rightful action to a community.

Dana

In Buddhist philosophy, dana was the spiritual practice of giving that helped to reduce the imperfection of greed in a person and improve their karmic score. Hindus give dana and have very elaborate rituals over what type of gifts will produce what type of karmic benefits. Give a gift of sesame seed to a temple and you get a karmic bonus of fertility. Beyond giving a gift, the recipient also has certain obligations. They must respect the act of the giving as a sacred act, just as the recipient offers it in that same attitude. If the gift is not respected, it is said to lead to the downfall of both the giver and the recipient. Also, giving certain types of gifts actually boomerang on you karmically, rather than raising your karmic score.

It is also suggested that you should not give gifts to people who are not in your spiritual lineage. Some traditions say certain people can only receive gifts. I’ve even heard of other teachings where women must always give, but never take. In Hindu gift-giving one should try to seek out Brahmins to gift as the act is considered “rightful giving” and reaps many spiritual benefits, unlike giving to someone who uses the gift but returns no spiritual teachings to a community. Obviously, I’m not here to argue over whether these traditions are correct or not. I am just suggesting that the act of giving is intrinsic to spiritual wealth, but it comes with some responsibilities. It also has to do with why so many people land into debt.

Generosity

There are supposedly five stages in the Buddist practice of dana. In the conditional giving stage, you give something because you expect something in return. That is not considered bad, but merely somewhat ignorant. You are expected to do this practice until you can give without expecting anything in return. In America, this amounts to our ideal of “earning one’s wage” or even a fair business transaction. It is tied into our beliefs about integrity and work. We expect that everything we work at will yield some result. However, that’s just not realistic. There are plenty of hard workers that never get the fruits of their labor, for various reasons. I am not about to dump more on them to suggest that they have bad karma either. There are plenty of people who give of their time and efforts working for companies that destroy our environment, steal from people with usurious interest rates, and generally have unethical business practices. And, they make a fortune at it while they’re doing it. I’m not going to suggest they are due bad karma either for doing it. For one thing, this type of teaching has no effect on people who willfully sow bad seeds and it does nothing to help those that have sown good seed, but failed to reap a harvest. Thus, for me at least, gift-giving is not about bettering my karmic odds at all.

Maybe I’m a Miser

I admit that I have no patience for a consumerist Christmas, whether it is giving out tons of presents or sending out Christmas cards. The earth is not going to jump up and down for joy because several forests were decimated over the practice of giving out Christmas cards. I don’t like the unspoken obligation that stems from our puritanical roots that when you get a gift, you’re supposed to give one in return. For one thing, some families have no understanding that the annual Christmas-giving frenzy is a horror for single individuals, with or without children. One family of four (a couple and two children) can give one present of high worth to one individual, but the expectation is that that individual should give back four presents of similar worth each because “the kids are too little to give.” This is despite the economic inequality of that family earning twice as much as the individual that is now responsible for four “gifts” of similar value. In a commercial and “equitable” way of looking at things, the gift recipient is a miser for not giving gifts to everyone on Christmas of similar worth. In a spiritual sense, the GIVER is the one committing a sin against the sacred act of gift-giving. Regardless, that gift-giving act then becomes something that puts both people in debt. The kindest thing one can do then is to opt out of this madness.

Proper Gift-Giving

Do I know what the proper way is to give a gift or receive one? I really don’t think our American culture has an inkling about that. It is something we need to learn from Asian or other similar gift-giving cultures. I know that I have plenty to learn in this area. For one, I have learned over the years that it is not proper to give for altruistic reasons alone. One MUST consider how the gift will be used and who is getting it. I suppose that’s rather judgmental of me, but I consider a gift given to a stranger of far more value than one given to someone who will feel obligated to return something to me. I consider my time at work a gift and that means that sometimes I don’t give as freely in some projects that I consider will produce a negative community result or uphold ideals that will bring down the company or harm others – despite them being framed in altruistic terms. On the other hand, sometimes I give way more than is expected because I know it will be of benefit to others, even when it is framed in commercial terms. In this respect, I do not believe giving one’s life in a fruitless war is appropriate gift-giving unless it is to defend a nation’s peoples. Similarly, some people who work in companies that are unethical are there to plant good seeds in a field full of thorns. You really can’t tell the wheat from the tares until it’s time for the harvest. You might think that an individual or company that gives lots of money to a specific cause is generous and altruistic, but later you find out that they are trying to “greenwash” themselves to fool buyers into trusting their brand. They may give with the right hand a little and take back way more with the left hand – causing tremendous damage to the community all for the sake of hidden greed.

For instance, the IMF has been accused of giving loans to struggling countries only to later use those loans to bankrupt and take over an area. This trickles down to farmers losing needed credit to farm their lands and losing a heritage that might have been in their family for generations. The bank takes the lands and it is not even worked or harvested. It is used to amass wealth and control territory and gain political power by buying politicians. That same land may end up being “gifted” to people in support of the corrupt political system as a thank you for their support. This is a prime example of gift-giving at its worst and the giver and the recipient land both in debt. Ultimately, I think that if we figure out the proper attitude towards gift-giving we may be able to heal what is wrong with our capitalistic system. After all, how many experts have said for years that we are headed for a “gift economy”? Yet, we still have no idea what the proper way is to give and take in a responsible fashion that does not harm others and creates abundance for the community.

How a Person of Integrity Gives a Gift

These five are a person of integrity’s gifts. Which five? A person of integrity gives a gift with a sense of conviction. A person of integrity gives a gift attentively. A person of integrity gives a gift in season. A person of integrity gives a gift with an empathetic heart. A person of integrity gives a gift without adversely affecting himself or others. – http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.148.than.html

*This is the first part in a series I am going to be doing on gift-giving and the gift economy.

Can We Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell?

24World-Renowned Speakers Come Together for the 7 Graces Telesummit

In February 2008, at the start of the global economic recession, Lynn Serafinn’s television blew up. Six months after she made the decision not to replace it, as she watched everyone around her become more and more stressed about their finances, she suddenly realised she shared none of their anxieties. In fact, she realised her spending had gone down, and that her financial situation had actually improved. She began to wonder if there was a connection between this and the fact that she was no longer consuming a daily dose of the nightly news and television advertising.

It was then that Lynn started asking the question, “Is marketing making us ILL?” And by marketing, she included anything that was in the business of “selling ideas,” including politics and the nightly news.

This began a two-year journey for Lynn, as she researched and wrote her new book, The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell. She wanted to discover the unspoken marketing mechanisms that were making our society, our economy and our environment ill. But most of all, she wanted to discover how we human beings could create a new paradigm for marketing, business and living that could heal both humanity and the planet.

And now, Lynn’s ground-breaking book The 7 Graces of Marketing is finally coming to Amazon and all major retailers on December 13th, 2011.

To celebrate the launch of The 7 Graces of Marketing, an illustrious panel of 24 of the world’s leading minds are coming together to discuss how we can bring back ethics and values into business and marketing, so we can start the change the world together at:

The 7 Graces of Marketing Telesummit

A FREE 7-Part Online Happening!

December 6th-9th, 2011

Register FR*EE at http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/free-telesummit

Over the course of four days, you will hear seven dynamic 90-minute discussions on the “7 Deadly Sins” of marketing and their corresponding “7 Graces” from Lynn’s book:

  • Part 1: Disconnection vs. Connection
  • Part 2: Persuasion vs. Inspiration
  • Part 3: Invasion vs. Invitation
  • Part 4: Distraction vs. Directness
  • Part 5: Deception vs. Transparency
  • Part 6: Deception vs. Transparency
  • Part 7: Competition vs. Collaboration

And take a look at this fabulous panel of guest speakers:

1. Joe Vitale – world-renowned media guest; appeared in the film The Secret; bestselling author of The Attractor Factor and dozens more

2. Greg S. Reid – Film maker, speaker, bestselling author of Think and Grow Rich: Three Feet from Gold and many others

3. Eric Pearl – World renowned energy healer, Founder of The Reconnection; author of  The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself

4. Dan Hollings – mobile marketing expert; the brains behind the marketing campaign for the film The Secret

5. Pamela Slim – Award-winning author of Escape From Cubicle Nation; speaker; media expert

6. Liz Goodgold – Branding expert, author of Red Fire Branding and DUH! Marketing

7. Allison Maslan – Life and Business Mentor; founder of 9 successful businesses; bestselling author of Blast Off!

8. Suzanne Falter-Barnes – Business and Marketing coach; Co-founder of The Spiritual Marketing Quest

9. Tad Hargrave – Founder of Marketing for Hippies

10. Richard S. Gallagher – Communications skills expert; bestselling author of What to Say to a Porcupine and How to Tell Anyone Anything

11. Ward Vandorpe – International marketer; Founder of Expert Marketeer

12. Misa Hopkins – Consultant, author of The Root of All Healing; Spiritual Director of the New Dream Foundation

13. Barbara Altemus – Producer of The Calling; author of The Gift of Pain

14. Andrea Conway – Attraction Marketing Coach, marketing executive

15. Renee Baribeau – “The Practical Shaman;” Director of Desert Holistic Network

16. Renee Duran – Graphic designer; web developer; former advertising art/creative director; designed the book cover of The 7 Graces of Marketing

17. Michael Drew – Book marketer; speaker; Founder of Promote a Book

18. Jeffrey Van Dyk – Business and Marketing Coach; Co-founder of The Spiritual Marketing Quest 1

19. Chris Arnold – Award-winning creative innovator; expert in ethical marketing; author of Ethical Marketing and the New Consumer

20. Kate Osborne – PR at Solarus Foundation; resident author for More To Life Magazine; former editor of Kindred Spirit Magazine

21. Tanya Paluso – Empowerment mentor; community leader; Leader of Tribal Truths

22. Shelagh Jones – marketer and Founder of Spiritus Spiritual Marketing Directory

23. Paula Tarrant – Transformation and Transition Coach; Founder of Inspired Women Work

24. And, of course, Lynn Serafinn, author of The 7 Graces of Marketing

This special 7-part telesummit is Lynn’s FREE gift to you, to celebrate the launch of her book, which is coming Tuesday December 13th, 2011.

Register at http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/free-telesummit

During the broadcast, Lynn be telling you how you can receive a complete library of beautiful free gifts, kindly offered by dozens of her friends and colleagues, when you buy The 7 Graces of Marketing in paperback or Kindle from Amazon on December 13th. AND when you buy the book on the day of the launch, Lynn will also give you the complete set of MP3 downloads—that’s 10 hours of content-rich audio from 24 international thought leaders—absolutely free. And as a special gift, Lynn is also offering a full 1-year membership to her new 7 Graces Global Community starting in 2012, where you will be invited to hear exclusive interviews with thought leaders throughout the year, so we can all work together to shift the paradigm of business and marketing. If you can’t make the live event, do register anyway, because Lynn will send you the links to listen to the audio playback. This is a topic that is so needed in this transitional point in our history, this event promises to be THE online event of 2011. I hope you will join us online on December 6th-9th.

Again, the link to register free is http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/free-telesummit

Why We Don’t Have a Global Market

MarketAll this talk about global markets and how it’s good for capitalism is double-speak. A global market requires freedom on both sides of the supply and demand chain, but that certainly isn’t the case. Take for instance, employment. A global market, according to people who say we are now competing in a “global marketplace” is a complete fallacy. It would be true if a native of another country could simply walk across a border and tender their resume for any open job, without a visa, or without additional employment costs for obtaining that new job. Otherwise, what you have is a lopsided global market. One where the employer or demand side makes all the rules and can play the supply side off each other since they don’t get the same privileges. It’s only a global market for the elite politicians, not for the common every day person. For the average person, this “global market” is a governmental monopoly, similar in many respects to a dictatorship.

Google

Has anyone noticed how Google is trying to “corner the global market” using multiple strategies aimed at convincing people that doing business with them will be more profitable than doing business with someone else? That’s the core principle of capitalism: self-interest. However, more and more people are awakening to the fact that healthy self-interest has nothing to do with the monetary systems. True profit comes when engaging a business model increases sustainability of a community and the freedom to engage a wider community without penalty. It really is anti-monopoly, whether that monopoly is a business, a search engine, or a political government. Any business strategy that seeks to corner the market on anything in “the pubic interest” is actually an enemy of true capitalistic values as our founding fathers understood it. The establishment of any monopoly is just a hair away from converting to a dictatorship. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be the United States, we’d be the Federal Government of America; Free commerce across state lines is essential, but each state has the right to set up their own rules voted into effect BY THE PEOPLE, not via Federal mandate.

What We Can Do

Take the profit motive out of it. Yes, it’s a radical idea for a capitalist, but it is important if we want to maintain our freedoms. Granted we all need to work within the system, but there is a portion of our time or income that can be tithed into putting forward the foundation of a different system. Capitalism strictly run on the profit motive is not a balanced way of life. It leads to greed, bullying, and ultimately spits out control freaks at the top of the system who aren’t willing to give a penny without two or three back. However, you can use the idea of the parallel systems architecture to remove the old and establish the new with very little conflict or warfare. It means more work on our side, as we have to engage two systems at once, but it can also mean a peaceful way to overthrow a monopoly from the ground up by taking daily actions that encourage new systems to grow that are cooperative, not competitive, and that remove borders to actual free market dynamics.

Here are a few ideas on how to engage simple actions to overthrow “monopolies” in your life:

  • Engage more than one social network, don’t let a single one monopolize your time or attention.
  • Include a few American made products in your shopping cart, so they can compete with those made in China.
  • Reduce your debt as much as possible, so it won’t matter what the money lords decide to do or not do.
  • Engage peer-to-peer lending to circumvent bank monopolies on lending.
  • Be your own global soloproneur and use PayPal to take transactions from overseas.

What actions can you take to have a true global market and not just one that enriches the 1 percent?

Reflections in a Coffee Cup

Fresh Roasted CoffeeI don’t drink coffee very often, but today when I went to visit the farmer’s market I decided to look for a cup of coffee. I never got to look at my face in the cup of coffee, but never-the-less I saw the reflection of myself and humanity in it.  Amazingly, there was only one stall that sold coffee in the market and the pot and server were nowhere to be found. So, I asked a couple:”Where do they sell coffee?” They told me they were in line there because they had been told this was the only place that sold coffee there, but they couldn’t find someone to serve them. So, I went to the back of the stall to look for someone to inquire about the coffee. The grandmotherly-type woman followed me back to the front saying the pot was usually right in front – and, suddenly, there it was even though all three of us hadn’t seen it. However, someone had “cut the line” and was now serving themselves a cup of coffee. What followed next was beyond humorous to me.  I decided right then and there that probably the carafe held four large cups of coffee, with one being served up right then and there. The couple would make it three, and if I was lucky, I might get one. So, I told the couple to go first, because they had been there first, in the event the coffee ran out. They said, no I should go first, and while we were discussing it, the person who cut the line signaled a friend to take another cup of coffee and cut the line, too. The elderly couple took one look and left in disgust. So, I figure there might be a cup left for me, but no sooner did I think that, then this same guy invited several more friends to take a cup and cut the line. Was he aware of what he was doing? To me, it didn’t matter whether he did it on purpose or not. I rarely drink coffee, I prefer tea. I think I create my reality, so I chalked it up to a humorous almost “Laurel and Hardy” moment and left.

Are We Entitled to a Cup of Coffee?

I was still mulling this funny happening and I mentioned it to a couple of friends I came with to the market. You would have thought I told them that someone had taken a child from me. All sorts of belief systems I hadn’t bothered to engage suddenly entered the conversation. One woman thought the guy was “rude” but I never said he did it on purpose. We were standing in a crowd, he just may not have noticed there was a line. Another woman wanted to know why I didn’t tell him he cut the line and demand “your cup of coffee.” Again, it was a carafe set in the middle of a crowded market place and my name wasn’t on it.  Was the man selfish or just sharing a good thing with friends? Was he cutting a line or did he just not notice it? However, for some reason the fact that I desired a cup of coffee was paramount in my friends’ minds and they decided that I should have insisted on getting one, even though I mentioned to them before the whole thing started that I preferred tea, but was thinking maybe coffee would be good. I had already prepared not to receive the cup of coffee as I had volunteered it to the couple waiting. In my mind, I had not lost anything, no one had been rude, and it was just something funny that happens when people get together in a confused setting.

Twisted Leadership Values in America

I guess my reaction was just too laid back because all of a sudden I was told about the proper way to “demand my cup of coffee” in an assertive manner and suddenly I understood why our species loves to make war. There are so many beliefs about what is mine and what is yours, and it is all based on desire first. I had a desire for a cup of coffee, and for some reason that means I claim “dibs” to it. What a childish view of the world. In my mind, the coffee was a resource to be shared and I was happy to share it and let others enjoy it, even if I wanted it. All the more reason to share it and not get any of it. I know it sounds odd, but knowing others are enjoying it is enough of an “experience of coffee” to satisfy me since I prefer tea, anyways! It wasn’t like there isn’t coffee available in the pantry at home, I can’t find another cup somewhere else, or having it right at the moment was more important than sharing it – even if that sharing is what others perceive as “theft.” For that view of the world, I am now looked on as not having sufficient “leadership” qualities or that I am not assertive. They’re right. If they think I will ever argue over a cup of coffee, insist on rules of behavior, and engage judgments and morals for a sharable resource that is to provide enjoyment to people in the end, then I make a lousy leader. I prefer to view life differently. I am not the type of leader that would ever wage war over a cup of coffee.

Underlying Energy Expressions of Leadership Values

This ideal that a leader is the person who gets what they want all the time is really nothing more than veiled greed. The ideal that I should make the decision for others on how to act is another word for control. These two energies, if I were to put them into action would do nothing for me in the end, and would end up destroying those around me. You see, I know how energy works, and I know how to create my reality. Just because I choose not to have a cup of coffee does not mean I don’t know how to lead. I was asked once how I lead, and I gave a methodical answer of hierarchy. Why? The reason is that leadership, the way I exercise it, is practically an unknown model right now. It relies on understanding energy and that is a concept that would take way too long to explain in one blog or one interview. I cannot explain a high level concept like that when the majority of people right now are willing to fight over a cup of coffee – completely missing the energy this puts into place! Frankly, I don’t have to lead, in the traditional sense, to get what I want. I also do not need to be in a position of authority to lead. I exercise leadership only when I am trying to get what others want for them. It is completely voluntary, not appointed, and sometimes, I may choose not to lead as an example to people around me on what happens when they refuse to balance the energy relying on me to do it for them, instead. In that situation, I may turn from being a very warm and helpful person to a flat, cold, mirror and you can expect havoc, but it’s not my fault. It was not my energy that caused the problem, I merely withdraw my energy and watch things break down. Of course, people like it better when things are balanced, but I won’t balance an environment if all it does is give people an excuse to fail to balance their own energies. That would be counter-productive. The minute I leave, things would fall apart, anyways.

Demands are Victim Beliefs

Now, I’ll let you all in on a secret. What’s the real reason I didn’t demand that cup of coffee? I rarely demand anything because I know my needs are always met. Only someone who believes they are a victim makes demands (whether they are in a position of leadership or not) – someone who doesn’t trust that the universe can provide for them what they need. Someone who engages war, not peace. There is a lot of talk about why the Wall Street protestors are not issuing demands. There is also talk about how this movement is ineffective without a traditional leader. Just sit still for a while and listen. Listen to the energy being expressed. Listen to the belief structures falling. Listen to change finally coming in from people who actually get it. It will not even matter then that they aren’t even firing a shot or demanding their cup of coffee – or maybe it matters more than ever. The universe will mirror back that energy and it will express itself in objective imagery suitable to people engaging their Divine Creator matrix that does not even acknowledge that there ever was a victim in the first place.