My thoughts on changing the World! Unsecured Debt 97.29% Hi-lo fund .45 months

The Occupy movements around the world have without question gained peoples attention. Seems like everyone has an opinion and you can't get through 10 minutes of a newscast without something being mentioned. This virtual obsession on the topic has me absolutely intrigued with the source of the media madness. Personally I find myself an outside observer to the whole affair, as a Realtor and accountant my professional background and education would set me up as sympathizer of the 1% but as a Christian who has a deep conviction of Christ's views on social justice my heart is greatly concerned with many of the issues being called on by the 99.  As an outsider, one could easily over simplify the situation and say its all about Evil Corporate America vs A Whiny Bunch of Hippies. As I ponder it more and more though, I realize that the facts simply aren't that simple (they never are). As you look deeper into the situation you begin to see a commentary on our culture both good and bad emerging and I think the most apparent conclusion and the inspiration of this weeks blog is that there is a growing dissatisfaction among the majority of people with how our world works. 


We Need an attitude change!


The greatest hinderance to social change catalysts such as the Occupy movement is the amount of energy being spent on talk that could be used on action. The root of this inaction I believe is that most people do not realize their personal empowerment. As long as we live in a free democracy we have the right to our choices but many of us need to make better decisions in order to affect the changes that we desire to see. The fact is we live in a capitalist consumption based economy and while I realize my ideologically left minded friends cringe at this notion, it is fact. But if we can accept that this fact is unlikely to change our attitude will be amended from fighting the system to working it to our benefit. People must realize that in a consumption based economy it is the consumer not the corporation that ultimately has the power. Unfortunately values such as sacrifice and delayed gratitude have been eroded so deeply that we have become slaves to our own desires and unquenchable need to consume. Therefore if we can change our attitudes and how we consume we can have financial freedom and in turn we can use that freedom to affect social change in our world.


5 ideas that I believe could change our world:


Change your focus - focus on what you have not on what you dont. An attitude shift to thankfulness would rid our generation of the cancerous attitude of entitlement that currently rages among us. If you need help with this attitude shift come with me on a trip to India or Africa and I will introduce you to my friends who live under bridges or in township shacks. Ten minutes with them and you will stop feeling sorry that your TV isn't 50 inches wide and be thankful that you've eaten this week.


Buy Local - Did you know $45 of every $100 spent at a locally-owned business stays in local economy. Only $14 of that same $100 spent at chain store stays. Now take that further and imagine how much stays here if most of the items were supplied from here as well. Look for ways to develop your local economy and realize that it may be worth spending $110 at a local shop if that means that you help feed someones family and not Walmart's bottom line.


Get out of debt - Visa and Master Card last year had revenues of $8.1 and $4.5 Billion respectively. Two companies over TWELVE BILLION DOLLARS, imagine what that would do for wealth distribution if we kept it in our hands instead of giving it away. And we need to realize that we do just that we willingly give these corporations BILLIONS of dollars because we are unwilling to live within our means. Personally take a moment go through your credit card statements from last month and add up how much you paid in interest, now take a few moments and think of the things you could have enjoyed had you had that money stayed in your pocket rather than being given to them. Do this for 6 months and I promise the resentment that builds towards your credit cards will keep you from using them.


Stop watching TV -The average person spends 34 hours in front of a television per week, thats just about 5 hours per day. During those 34 hours a person is constantly bombarded with advertising telling you that you need more than what you have to be happy. Instead take this time and enjoy your what your world has to offer. Walk to your local park and just enjoy the moment, read a great book and expand your mind, get a hobby that allows you to interact with people, head down to the shelter and hear someones story. Take those 5 hours and enjoy your life rather than being convinced that its not good enough. I promise your perspective will change.


DO NOTHING (just for one day) - I watched the movie Ghandi recently and one of the most impactful things for me was to watch and see how he managed to organize his protests. In a time where the flow of information was slow and inefficient he was able to mobilize an entire country to strike, what more could we do with todays technology. Now consider this, if a few people sitting in a park can create the media stir that it has, what would happen if the people who felt the need for social change effectively organized and hit corporations where they actually would feel it, on their bottom line. What I am speaking of is a true buy nothing day, where we go beyond not buying anything but to consume nothing (or at least as little as possible). Turn off the power, don't start the car, don't use your cell phone and spend one full day fasting and praying (regardless of religion). What would that do to the bottom line of the corporation. Would that be enough to get their attention, because that's what needs to be accomplished. 


The one thing we must remember is that no man is an island the choices we make always affect one and other. If we want to stop the shrinking middle class and povertization of people we must begin to make better more responsible decisions for ourselves and our communities.


Please comment, I would love to hear more of your thoughts 


Till next time, Plan to Prosper!


David Whitrow, CMA
Royal Lepage Regina Realty and Trademark Homes
www.davidwhitrow.com



Comments

  1. Nicely done, David!

    I especially like your moderate tone - as you said, the basic system isn't going to change anytime soon. In seeking systemic change, activists miss the biggest, ripest targets - the companies that rely upon them. One of my biggest dreams would be to show consumers just how much power they really have.

    It is odd you mention giving up television. I got rid of cable several months ago and have never been happier. Now, I spend my free time reading books, exercising and doing some wacky activist things!

    Great article!

    G

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