#Justice seekers come in a range of colors, sizes, shoe style, brain ability, heart expanse, and head gear. A few generate golden halos, yet most are hopefully involved to drudge and purge for the greater good. What has perplexed me for decades roaming around the edges of the power elite is how sustaining remains the Peter Principle* in leadership. How come resumes and vitae are more important than the strength of innards, innate mettle or a high index reading on a compassion meter? I realize it is who you know, not what you are that propels one forward into Murica’s civil society leadership. This is not news – ask any recent #Yale or #Harvard grad how they expect to get their career launching position.
#America suffered a head-on collision when it fell in love with corporate paid academics, corporate consultants, and politically handsome adept talkers (read bullshitters). Cultural creative problem solving and multitude deployment of common sense went out with a tsunami tidal surge of greed and fear in favor of public conformity (read miniaturizing of the soul) to maintain generational status quo as the be all, end all. Do not read what follows as if i am anti-tradition, for i am in many aspects of my perspective a thumper for the observance of rituals and an advocate of heritage of family, culture, and community.
What brings me to this rant is reviewing a govt. board of leaders in NY State who manage energy policy. I was researching their bios and their spouses bios – this is normal for me to look for the usual bedrock of nepotism and overt cronyism. Every single one of these folks I bet at age 17 was a dynamic individual in waiting. They then went out into society and subsequently bought into the empire’s paradigm of following the leaders who follow the leaders to become the leaders.
Getting the big bucks wearing suits taking up space on the bench is a lifestyle. Never solving quickly the systemic problem is the institution. What i call ‘the get along to go along m.o.’ to win the five bedroom home on the cul-de-sac. These elephantine feeding fests define and divine America’s postulates for the good life. A good education barely evolves toward innovation let along pushing the culture forward toward equality and balance. Americans seeking shelter and #Armani sell out stuck in fear believing they are doing it for family and flag. It is a convenient play to cultivate same same.
Recently, I raised a query with an activist journalist how a newbie activist was a lifelong consultant for the business as usual mind f*cks who are destroying Earth. Her response was classic, “Well, everybody has to make a living.” Then she went on to explain her time served for Big Pharma. Justification is fate?
I too slaved for the #empire as a creative director and whipper snapper VP for the third largest ad agency on the planet. But, then one cloudy day, not that old, I got up and walked out leaving projects in the lurch and future lawsuits pending (regarding performance contracts). I am unsure what was my exiting epiphany. It was a foggy morning by the city by the bay. I could not see a damn thing through the giant windows of the 22nd floor corner office I was inhabiting – except a yukky putrid yellowish grayish color. Somehow, this highrise view triggered massive pings of consciousness and conscience. Or maybe, it was the manifestation of the pineal gland seeing not just looking. It was one of my better life changing decisions.
Ethical regards is a term i use, but not like cotton candy or to slather up the room replete in too many memories. It means something significant because without values American humanity would be nothing but cash machines and shopping sprees. Oh, you noticed, too, eh?
The entire argument over a $15 per hour wage is ridiculous. No one can live on that, or less, inside mall brained, credit-card scared, war-binging America. Let us get real. It take more constant ingenuity and astute daily emergency planning to live at the poverty level than any Wharton School of Business grad has ever known. A living wage is available at $100K annually, for everybody, if we awake and take the throttle away from the war mongering overseers.
About 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, which the federal government defined in 2013 as an annual income of $23,550 for a family of four. In 2007, the year before Obama took office, the poverty rate was 12.5 percent. There are an estimated 320 million Americans. The American diaspora (expats living overseas, like me) is estimated between 3 and 7 million, but i would venture the number is growing exponentially. Those living in extreme poverty inside the US of Constant Wars ($2 per day) is up 159% since 1996 at a current estimated 1.85 million.
Cutting to the front of the flock – there should be citizen activists not caught in the corporate trap serving on every govt. ruling body in America. They should be appointed but not by resume, merit, hair style, friendships, or social relevancy. They are there because they exhibit a value structure of endurance not cooked by ego, familial or political connections. They are connected because they are noisy advocates for life. We use to call these citizens advisory committees but what I am proposing is a realignment of leadership, from middle to top to bottom. We would not junk competition and ego ambition but insert into the human equation of paying it forward thoughtful folks with passionate ethics and raging empathy.
Resumes never told me anything mind blowing about a person, but then again I had portfolios to review, music to listen, and writing samples to read.
In my idealism as commandeer of the wholistic world where ethics over ride greed, every single govt. appointed board would include members who were not from the prevailing status quo. The new blood might be everyday Joe or Jill citizen or a far out artist – but each exhibits a fresh vision for his or her community. They are the people who refuse to accept what it is under the pretense of that is all there is, and why change it. They look for the simple pathway through the mazes of the bureaucracy because they have survived it to the best of their imaginative ability.
Too many of us are taught sheepskin dullness is sparkling and we acquiesce to the power structure constrained by its own pitiful inane smallness. Wholism is expansive – it is experimental, it is harmony, it is energy. Education is not limited to residing in the artificial lit halls of demagoguery, academia, or cubical corporations. Some of the most inspiring appeals i witnessed at the podium originated from ‘regular’ folks who used common sense coupled to simple organizing of thoughts. They saw from the original light with no special interest pulsing from the darkness “do this, not that.”
Pettiness is inherent in organizations designed to exist ad infinitum. This is why term limits are vital to a living govt. No one should be elected in govt, appointed to govt. posts, or serve in govt. without a sunset clause. For a US Senator or Representative to hold court for anything more than 12 years is a set-up for situations of control and narrowness as it is sadly human nature to fuss protecting a dominion once it becomes solidified.
Change is pandered about as not normal for humans. This is a crock of crap. We are the most adaptable species on this gorgeous blue marble. If you doubt it, look at the abject shit people put up with in the ever widening spectrum of horror shows. We know how to change. The empire sells this status quo myth to keep the service economy plantation working and the war machines pumping out profit for the elite. It repeats constantly (at least in the western world) this is how you get ahead in life. You follow form. You conform to what is expected and viola you excel in life. This is the ‘you are what you drive’ mythology of contemporary existence in prozac nation.
Every artist, scientist, thinker, doer, believer, and tinker who does not buy into the mental madness of conformity succeeds. They innovate. They create. They solve the problem. They excel. They become their dreams.
What are you waiting for? Nothing changes if nothing changes.
“Change unleashes people’s creative energy.”
*The Peter Principle is a concept in management theory formulated by Laurence J. Peter in which the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. Thus, employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and “managers rise to the level of their incompetence.”