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Posts tagged ‘greed’

Is Modern Society Nearing the Apocalypse?

60’s Poets Saw the Apocalypse Coming

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22896868@N05/37793838064/in/photolist-ZzHikE-6CLwBp-PyxN8-ANdzYM-SSM2A-6Qk9hs-69XAJ-9MdXjn-uvM4e-5eEek1-B2g413-dfkzCM-3mvMPJ-sy5eXJ-6yqFqt-aMJyV-8PvV75-ex6FWc-dhhyHa-2gY3Afr-8PtSRX-d8oLd7-ex9Tbw-xL1LrQ-dbHZaf-ca4FGu-iRYLu-ecb2N3-dn657c-SjQ7Hr-bfBYr-ex9TuE-5ezLqM-5t7ew8-kTbbqe-feiC3p-DnH61-KqTHNu-5qAV2d-ex6Fyn-5Tgzt4-8mGSbW-8mGPjs-8mGSpS-8mGQ6Y-GCWsgx-8mDHWt-8mGRyY-Dt1i4M-8mGTs9The music of the 60’s was eerily prophetic, at least from where I’m sitting right now. Whether it’s “Rioting in Africa” by Bud and Travis, “Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel or any of the countless songs of protest penned as a result of war, inequities, and the general unrest of the time, they spoke of the frustrations felt by many—both then and now. Little did the poets of the 60’s realize how much more their words would resonate 60 years later.

As I sit here listening to “Sounds of Silence”, chills are running down my arms. My fellow humans are screaming: in pain, in frustration, and in rage, but is anyone really listening? Are they screaming into an unforgiving silence while those they love are dying alone in hospitals, being murdered in the streets, or starving when they can’t afford basic needs like food and shelter? Or worse, having those sworn to protect and lead us acting like we’re little more than collateral damage on their trajectory towards some kind of science-fiction inspired world domination.

The 60’s were a scary time. Rioting in the streets, though people like Dr. Martin Luther King spoke out for peaceful protests (and ironically, was murdered for his efforts), police shooting into a crowd of college students at Kent State, killing students needlessly, young men being called off to a war we never should have entered—all in all, a lot of senseless deaths, much like today.

Prophecies In Song

But the 60’s also gave rise to some of the most amazing, and in hindsight, prophetic poetry ever https://www.flickr.com/photos/marceldouwedekker/49891971556/in/photolist-z8hBHk-24nHh6f-6g5wa6-952Txu-zGy5E-Chk8m-34B2ZU-dvYLyg-rr4cze-64DKuu-7fTQCt-saSKT-9ChZnk-7Y4Red-e89Qyf-5zXEEt-6yVGCM-9JKiV4-2j1MoW9-2j1MsxN-6g9Hy3-7sew4-6g5wzp-236Nq6p-2LZxYH-ewZ8d-7YJsEq-6g5wH2-6g9GKN-2j1NXAS-bUVm1B-Ds762B-6g5x8Z-6g5x2P-2hPNfeP-2hPEL8A-2hPvjM5-2hPs14D-2hPc2yb-6g5wfK-26cDt7c-6g5wwa-9rX7Bq-6g5whv-541dL2-6g5wRp-6g9HfU-2imkrLd-mh1MN-a75SrYput to music. In fact, when I was in high school, English teachers believed it so important, part of the curriculum was to analyze the songs of Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Simon and Garfunkel, and more. Did they suspect those songs would come back to haunt us as they are today? Or am I the only one revisiting them and seeing how much they, like the works of my favorite sci-fi authors are coloring our present? And not in a good way.

Though I was too young to truly understand, the protestors of the 60’s knew things weren’t right, and did what they could to try to change the trajectory, or at least make people wake up and see where they were headed. Perhaps the world woke up for a second, for all the good it’s ultimately done.

Corporations continue to alternately poison, or rob us. Racial, cultural, and religious groups continue to be the scapegoats and targets of people who are morally and ethically bankrupt; using them to create unnecessary infighting so they can ignore laws, and even human decency to rape both Earth and Humanity without penalty or remorse. They whip the ignorant into a frenzy of insatiable entitlement; using the voices of the ignorant to mask their actual intent behind a smokescreen of greed.

A Morally Bankrupt Society

Interestingly, human decency is at an all-time low, but it’s also at an all-time high. It depends where you’re looking. The common folk are doing more to take care of their own, despite increasingly high odds. The least ethical and moral among the rich and powerful are feasting on the rotting bodies of their supporters and opponents alike. To them, blood is blood, and they can’t get enough. Yet the rich and powerful who do have a social conscience are denounced by the pawns of their peers as having unseen agendas.

To me, it’s not unlike a cheating spouse who can’t see there are plenty of people who honor and respect their marriage vows. In the minds of those who rape and pillage the masses, anyone in power must believe as they do.

The bright light in this darkness is the numerous stories of people contributing to the greater good rather than to increasing their own wealth at any cost. It’s the people who don’t have much themselves, yet giving of themselves to others. It’s the voices who dare to breach the silence and speak the truth despite being shouted down by louder, more well-funded voices spewing not only lies, but viciousness and hate.

A World on the Brink of Self-Destruction

https://www.flickr.com/photos/75772706@N06/17063113812/in/photolist-rZNVgs-KB9SQC-8oVa4K-dCghic-8oVa4F-dCgi8Y-UkHziJ-3y7uM3-p2wf7x-oZuqmh-BExHkf-8mu9yW-9WwGuk-GtaeiZ-BrZNh7-oK2rrz-2hPcnFn-2hPzxPz-2hQ1MLS-2hPLs7R-2hPM2ie-2hPyiAR-QWv9G1-Pj9F7p-2hQ6J7w-2hPVoem-9eygdP-9eyhBF-9eBnkh-9eyfxp-9eyfgX-9eBn6C-9eBmo1-9eyhc4-9eBnTE-by85fB-2hPpvr1-nyWsQk-9SEP4R-21oJotS-2iFQhWs-2j2frWE-a4ujzh-PfArk5-xwLRzw-74CTdD-x19mWu-Vhw2Kf-9Wzxus-dj77cNThe part those at the top don’t see yet, and won’t until it’s too late, is this kind of world; this society we’ve built, not only in the US, but around the world, isn’t sustainable. People are dying at the hands of both seen and unseen enemies, and the unseen ones don’t recognize money and power. Denial of their existence isn’t an antidote or a vaccine. The firm foundation they believe they’re standing on is riddled with holes, and rotten from the inside out.

Just as people can be infected by hate, greed, entitlement, and other destructive behaviors, so, too, are they susceptible to the unseen enemy we call COVID-19. I can’t help believing this purge, which doesn’t differentiate is somehow meant to purge humanity of some of its ugliest and most destructive traits. Sadly, it’s already taking many who epitomized Humanity’s better qualities, and will continue to do so while people have to make hard choices like feeding their families vs. staying safe inside their homes.

Those who could, and should be doing something for the struggling masses are too busy shoring up their rapidly toppling castles in the sand to realize they, too are fighting a losing battle. But in their case, it’s because they’re too busy supporting the wrong objective. They also ignore how historically, those who get drunk on money, power, and greed ultimately self-destruct along with the unholy empire they created on a flimsy foundation of hate, lies, false promises, and ignorant sycophants.

In the words of Sir Winston Churchill in a speech to the House of Commons in 1948:

Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

Sadly, they always seem to take a lot of other people; good people down with them in the process. My hope right now is the rest of us learn something, and build on a more solid, more compassionate, more accepting foundation next time.

Finding Gratitude in the Midst of a Shit Storm

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for people who continue to prove we can have a social conscience in spite of tremendous odds.
  2. I’m grateful for the ability to put my thoughts and feelings into words on the page, though sometimes, they need to be coaxed out instead of flowing freely.
  3. I’m grateful for a private space I can shield and protect against the insanity that creeps ever closer to my admittedly insulated world.
  4. I’m grateful for an “off” button. When I become overwhelmed by everyone else’s emotions, I can still turn off social media, the news, and even the world, if only for a little while.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; compassion, kindness, social consciousness, good people, sparks of sanity amidst the chaos, friendship, love, hope, balance, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

A Life Made Better By Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss Kept it Simple For A Reason

More than a couple of generations of children cut their literary teeth on the works of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. I’m no exception. I couldn’t have been older than three when my mom introduced me to Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat”.

Dr. Seuss had a unique way of not only engaging the young reader, but imparting moral lessons in an easy, undemanding way. Yet he cut to the heart of our world’s most basic and far-reaching issues in a timeless manner which is still relevant today.

So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.

So Many of Our Society’s Ills Could Be Cured By Following the Lessons in “The Lorax”

One of mine and my daughters’ favorite Dr. Seuss stories is “The Lorax”. In fact, my eldest has a Truffula tree and a series of Seuss-isms tattooed on her leg. I recently caught the last few moments of the movie, and as the credits started to roll, this timeless quote from the book filled the screen for a few seconds:

UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

As I sat staring at the screen, a shiver ran up my spine. How like Dr. Seuss to put what should be obvious to an adult into a simple phrase even a young child could understand. And how farsighted of him to realize how much the generations who’d grown up with his stories would need to be reminded.

Many of his stories have been made into movies, or re-enacted on stages. Who hasn’t seen “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, or “The Lorax” at least once? I admit I’ve yet to see the movie version of “Cat in the Hat”, but it’s on my ever-increasing To-Do list. But first, I have to re-read “The Lorax”.

A Lesson in the Repercussions of Greed and Environmental Insensitivity

If you’re unfamiliar, let me briefly summarize. In a town de-void of nature (flowers, trees, grass, etc.) a young boy goes in search of the truth. He learns a greedy, conscienceless man used up all the Truffula trees and fouled the environment to satisfy his own personal agenda. He disregarded the admonitions of the Lorax who spoke for the trees, until he’d hacked down all the trees, fouled air and water, and driven all of the wildlife away in search of greener pastures. Without a steady supply of Truffula trees, even his business died out and left him living alone in the decaying remnants of his factory and home. The neighboring town with its plastic “nature” was dependent on another greedy man for the very air they breathed.

Sound familiar? But then, Theodor Geisel was also known for his political cartoons. Small wonder they seeped into his children’s stories. Perhaps he hoped he could instill social and environmental conscience in our formative years. I like to think he was successful, at least with a few.

Though Millennials as a group are getting a bad rap from the Baby Boomers (and vice versa, I might add), they are, like every other generation, a group of individuals, each with their own perspective on the world and idea of where they themselves need to take responsibility. Despite the seeming oblivion and obsession with electronics attributed to their peers, many are working hard to make a difference. They are perhaps even more socially and environmentally conscious than we were in the 60’s and 70’s. I attribute part of that to their ready access to information courtesy of the internet.

Lessons In Social Consciousness From Early Childhood Make For Better Adults

I wonder if part of that consciousness comes from early exposure to the lessons embedded in Dr. Seuss’s books?

Quotes from one book or another pop up on Social Media too frequently to be mere happenstance. They’ve become as much a part of our vocabulary as the Instant Messaging and Text-driven shorthand we use today. Every single quote encourages us to be better people, or to appreciate our differences rather than trying to be carbon copies of each other. I’m sure I’m not alone in turning to the good Doctor when my spirits need lifting or my confidence is waning. Here are a few which are guaranteed to lift me up and get me moving.

Dr. Seuss had a unique way of reminding us each and every one of us is special and has a reason for being right here, right now. He didn’t believe in hanging back or fitting in or hiding your light under a bushel basket. Instead, he taught us to be our very best selves, and to respect others, nature, animals, and this planet we call home.

If you ask me, we could all benefit from re-reading some of his books a couple of times a year to remind us, not to be humble and silent, but proud, strong, and outspoken. But most of all, to be kind.

One Small Pebble Causes A Thousand Ripples

What we do and say has impact. It might not seem like it in our own small view of the world, but every pebble we drop in the water creates ripples. We don’t see where those ripples go, who they touch, or what they affect. Most of us would be surprised our tiniest actions have any impact at all, much less the snowball effect each one is capable of.

In the past month or so, an individual not only stopped speaking to me, but began acting like I wasn’t even there. Ordinarily, I might be hurt about it, but I know in some way, my own actions or words sparked his behavior. He feels justified in denying my existence, and I truly have no reason to disrespect his wishes. Though the venue where we used to interact isn’t all that large, we manage to stay out of each others’ way, interacting with the same people and both enjoying our time there.

I share this story because it’s a clear example how something we do or say, seemingly in a safe little bubble has implications we can’t possibly predict. I suspect I’ll never know what my word or action was, but it has reminded me to be more aware of the ripples I create, and to revisit #28:

Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s a great balancing act.

Gratitude is Always in Style

I think one of the many things I learned from Dr. Seuss was to appreciate what is all around me. My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the many lessons I’ve learned and continue to learn from Theodor Suess Geisel.
  2. I am grateful for the many times life reminds me to go back to the basics.
  3. I am grateful for a strong personality and the ability to be comfortable being different.
  4. I am grateful for like-minded friends who have eschewed society’s expectations of same-ness for delightful, inspiring, and unique one-ness.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; friendship, lessons, inspiration, joy, respect, acceptance, forgiveness, motivation, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She specializes in creating content that helps entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

 

 

 

 

December 1, 2014 Conspicuous consumption #shericonaway

Shopping for Christmas takes on a whole new perspective when your income is sporadic.

In years past, I’d hit the online Black Friday sales like a demon, picking out gifts for my loved ones with wild abandon, typically spending between $1,000 and $2,000 before all was said and done. But since I ventured into the world of the writer where income might take a very long time to materialize, I have a whole new perspective, and frankly, I think it’s a lot healthier.

Every day, my inbox is filled with emails encouraging me (and I’m being polite, here) to buy more from this vendor or that one. Even sites I joined for spiritual input are inundating me with emails claiming that this is my last chance for such amazing deals. I realize they’re just people trying to make a living, but do they have to be so…conspicuous about it? Do they need to fuel the beast of rampant spending? Do they have to join the pack who have nearly destroyed the holiday spirit completely?

I’ve set myself a budget this year, and if I underspend it, so much the better. I want to find more lasting ways to show people I care than a bunch of stuff. That doesn’t mean I’ll skip our family traditions, but those are easily managed: Pajamas, a book with a personal inscription, socks and underwear have always been welcomed and appreciated in my house, and can be acquired at reasonable prices.

Slightly less disturbing, but equally prolific are the requests for charitable donations.

While most of the charities that find their way into my inbox these days are those for which I’ve expressed an interest, there are still a large number of requests to “give for the holidays”. I can’t really fault them as there is certainly ample competition for our dollars in this season of joy, but after awhile, it simply becomes too much. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve already chosen the charities who will receive my dollars, and I make those donations at my discretion, not because someone shows up in my inbox repeatedly, holding their hand out in supplication.

But the award for most blatant misuse of her email list goes to…Virginia Jester. I signed up for her daily forecasts last week, and to date, I’ve received one welcome email, one daily forecast and four emails talking about her Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Seriously, Virginia? And you have the nerve to call yourself a site offering free daily forecasts? Clearly, your heart isn’t in your forecasts, but is in the rather quirky Tarot deck you’ve created.

On the bright side, it all goes into my folders for copywriting research, both what to do and what not to do! So even the bottom of the heap serves a purpose. Meanwhile, I’m free to choose where my money is best deserved, and make those choices without any guilt over those who don’t make the list.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the legitimate charities who will use my money to fill a need in our crazy, mixed up, sometimes greed blinded world.
2. I am grateful for opportunities to learn, even when they come in packages which could prove annoying if I didn’t find the humor in them.
3. I am grateful for friends who know where the Joy in life really lives.
4. I am grateful for my furry kids who don’t ask for much other than regular feedings, regular skritches and a warm lap to snuggle in.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, joy, charity, humor, philanthropic opportunities, friendship, kindness, compassion, health, harmony, integrity, imagination, progress and prosperity.

Namaste

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