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Mean Economy Spotlights Mean Spirits – Op Ed

February 8, 2009

We must not take our personal woes out on each other!  How we treat our families, neighbors, co-workers, pets and fellow drivers is critical.  Aggression is not the solution and does not make our stress go away.  If you are convinced this is the “Final Tribulation” from the bible, just leave everyone else alone and wait for your “Rapture”.  This is not your opportunity for revenge on your fellow human.  If you are convinced your desperation justifies an opportunity to rob, steal or inflict damage on others, step away and think again.   Pain is not a personal affront on you.  Pain is the effect of a cause that is out of our hands at this point.  How you handle your personal stress will determine how other people handle their own stress.  Our response to perceived threats causes a chain reaction of  responses.  This is cause and effect.  Do not start a chain reaction unless it is a “Random Act of Kindness”.

More and more news stories involve people being mean to other people.  The general condition of America is stressing everyone.  That does not mean we have to take it out on each other.  Tempers are ready to blow at the slightest trigger.

Americans are getting meaner!

Yes, crime rises as personal desperation spreads across the country.  People are fast to blame a segment of our population for their woes.  Their children, their spouses, their neighbors, the system and the government are becoming targets of animosity.  This is a symptom of  personal tribulation, distress and suffering resulting from economic depression or perceived persecution.  The news media focuses on the worst case scenario and targets perpetrators of specific crimes of deception to scam money   from trusting people.  Trust is on the decline.  Skepticism is on the rise.  The mental attitude of  too many have been rebuilt as confrontational.

Conspiracy Theories are rampant as frustration explodes.   However, finger pointing and blaming does not improve your own personal crisis.  Looking directly at yourself will be the first step toward recovery.  How can you personally adapt to the conditions facing you?  If you can read this editorial, you have the resource to find help.  There are numerous web sites that offer constructive alternatives.  There are ‘self-help’ sites everywhere.  You are responsible for yourself and your family.  If you have a family, recruit everyone in self preserving decisions.  If you are alone, there are support groups.  Whether faith based or community based, there are others with similar problems.  This is called a co-op.

Wiki: A cooperative (also co-operative or coöperative; often referred to as a co-op or coop) is defined by the International Co-operative Alliance’s Statement on the Co-operative Identity as an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise[1].

Do not sit alone and grieve over your situation.  If everyone did that, this America would have totally lost it’s definition.  You will have shamed your own ancestors.  You cannot compare your situation with anyone elses, so your solution must be unique to you.  History is full of revenge based solutions.  Any excuse would precipitate violent or oppressive behavior.  We have evolved beyond that.  We should know better.  We must act and behave smarter than those who preceded us.  We must restore the ability to adapt.  We must become a community again.  There is no excuse and no single person to strike.  Holding people accountable for criminal behavior is necessary.  Holding ourselves accountable for our own behavior is also necessary.  There is no place to run.  We must all be responsible.

Welfare economics is no longer an option.

Natural resource economics is our personal and social responsibility.

If we are to survive, we must rethink how we live.

Motivation is the set of reasons that determines one to engage in a particular behavior. The term is generally used for human motivation but, theoretically, it can be used to describe the causes for animal behavior as well. Human motivation. According to various theories, motivation may be rooted in the basic need to minimize physical pain and maximize pleasure, or it may include specific needs such as eating and resting, or a desired object, hobby, goal, state of being, ideal, or it may be attributed to less-apparent reasons such as altruism, morality, or avoiding mortality.

There are others who want major personal transformation, who aspire, to quote Henry David Thoreau, “to live with the license of a higher order of beings”.

Thoreau also wrote that most of us live lives of “quiet desperation”. Why? Why do so many people settle for drifting in the status quo sea of a second-rate survival? There are four reasons why most people settle for living on and on with negative issues that they could eliminate or dramatically improve. Each reason is associated with a category or group of people … While there is no such thing as a panacea that will magically make all your problems go away, advances in personal transformation now make positive personal change a reality for just about anybody.

Thoreau’s Four Reasons

“The first group of people has actually tried to make positive changes in the past but have had little or no success. They have relied completely on conscious mind technology and its tools of willpower, traditional affirmations, talk therapy and positive thinking. These tools of the conscious mind have their place, as far as they go. The problem is they usually don’t go very far. Willpower, for example, is excellent for brief bursts of activity or denial. But it usually proves useless for lasting results.

Second, many people, with their busy lives, are simply unaware that advances in personal transformation technologies have made relatively rapid and dramatic changes quite possible.

A third group of people have heard about such changes but are skeptical; they are especially skeptical that it will work for them.

Finally, a fourth group of people is neither unaware nor skeptical but have settled in to a comfort zone below their potential. They have become rather apprehensive about change, even positive change. Eventually, as the years pass by, these people frequently have major regrets about their failure to act and to make the most out of their lives.

The bottom line is that no matter what categories you do or do not fall into, positive change – often of a dramatic nature – can be yours. Yours no matter what the past has been, if – and it is a big if – if you really want it and are committed to it.”

  1. February 11, 2009 8:18 pm

    Thank you Cordieb, as I blush. I found the reference to Thoreau and loved it … so I shared it. The link was too small, so I added his quote. Thank you for showing me the reference was incomplete without the “rest of the story.”
    Visit often and help me fill in any blanks you find.

  2. February 11, 2009 3:51 pm

    I love this article/Op Ed. I’ve re-read it several times. . .between yesterday and today, as to digest it fully. I do believe you are correct in your assumption that Americans are becoming meaner. . . I wonder if this is happening across the globe? We always have a choice in how we react to any given situation. So many times we react in a manner which we have been taught or which has become second nature of sorts. But, if we take a moment to change our reactions, especially our reactions to perceived negative stimuli, perhaps we will see a different, and even positive outcome. I began practicing this some time ago, and I find that my blood pressure has dropped to healthy levels and I’m measureably a happier, more content human being, than I was when I reacted negatively to perceived negative stimuli. . Anywho. . . I will not bore you with my meanderings. . . but I do have one question. You wrote. . .
    “There are four reasons why most people settle for living on and on with negative issues that they could eliminate or dramatically improve. Each reason is associated with a category or group of people …”

    Please elaborate on the four reasons and categories of people whenever you have a chance. I would be ever so greatful – as you have peaked my curiosity. I loved this. . .Thanks for creating and sharing!!!

    Blessings as always! CordieB.


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