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Open Letter to My Readers: 2011 Year of Plan ‘B’

January 18, 2011

January 18, 2011 – Open Letter to My Readers

2010 was a year of reflection for me. My father died. I had to place my mother in a nursing home. I am facing what is for most people one of the milestones in one’s life, losing one’s parents. I, like so many others, am also suffering from the economic downturn. I am considering closing my small business after eleven long years. I have taken no salary for many years. The bottom line is I can no longer compete in my market. How to move forward on my own path to well-being is my challenge.

Reconnecting With People through Purpose

I am writing two more books. They are a three-part series that deal with issues that affect most of us: psychological, social, and cultural change and challenges in our global world. The first book was about how we deal with unhealthy narcissists, people who control others, dependency issues, how to move on from destructive relationships with narcissists, and ideas on how to pursue a life of well-being afterward. The second book is about collective cultural-socially reinforced narcissism. It will talk about the affects of globalization and the challenges we face in the dominant consumer-corporate culture. And the third book will be about the path to well-being…how do we create a life apart from self-centered and socially reinforced narcissism? How do we become self-sustaining and more autonomous rather than remaining dependent on the corporate structure. How do we live a socially responsible life and what can we do to be more personally fulfilled? I will write about alternative methods of living, returning to localization, and choosing cooperation over competition. As a society, reorienting our economics, our businesses, our politics, and our culture to a local level where we will have more control over how we live – and how well we live – is the key to the path to well-being. But it starts with what each of us does personally.

The latter part of 2010, I reported on this blog many stories about the political, economic and environmental issues of our day. I wanted my readers to know just how bad things are, and knowing the score will help them to decide to do things differently. For economically, there is more pain on the way as state and local governments grapple with deep debt. Social programs of all types will be cut or scaled back. There will be protests, and many state workers will lose jobs, and it will likely get pretty ugly. As I wrote in my December open letter, how do we navigate in this, the most challenging of times? Job creation will remain anemic for many years. Environmentally, we are witnessing global warming in full swing as Australia is experiencing historic flooding, Brazil and the Northwestern United States are recording record rainfall, and snow and ice cover the Southeastern United States. And politics remains contentious even in light of the recent shootings in Tucson. Our politicians are basically in politics-as-usual mode. So, the answer is we must trust ourselves, supply our own answers and be proactive in our own solutions.

Buy Local, Not Global

As I have said, we cannot change others, we can only change ourselves. By changing ourselves, we then change the complexion of our communities. In 2010, I hinted at answers at how we may approach such changes. Now it is the time to promote the ‘how’ of well-being. It is not some secret. It is not a self-help formula. It is real change available right now. It starts by becoming more self-reliant. It starts by understanding that if you want more jobs locally, you will have to stop buying so many imported goods and buy locally. Support your local businesses. It is also about getting healthy. That means eating better; eating locally grown produce; or growing your own urban or suburban garden. I started mine this month.

In a world where mega-corporations are only interested in promoting their corporate presence and further expanding globalization at the expense of our environment, our health and well-being… we must reject these companies. many of these mega-corporations profits are born on the backs of cheap labor in foreign countries. That is morally reprehensible. We must also reject banks that invest overseas in emerging markets rather than in their own country. We must reject a consumer culture and way of life that creates disharmony, suffering, and conflict. Globalization exploits resources, including human resources. It is a system that is is inequitable and unsustainable. We need to create a new way. That way is localization. Globalization is a top down, oligarchal system — it is the anti-thesis of a democracy. Localization is broad based, empowers the individual, and encourages strong communities. One promotes dependency and weakness, the other independence and strength.

Plan ‘B’ Becoming Self-reliant

This year, 2011, will be about Plan ‘B’ – Becoming self-reliant. I will focus more on how we live, over what we have. I will talk about urban gardens, solar energy, rainwater recapture, bio-diversity, localization, community building, community credit unions, farmers markets, and ways in which we can be healthier and happier. I will provide resources and guidance.

I hope you will join me in this endeavor. Keep reading, keep visiting here often, because we have a lot of work to do – to do what? Take back our own lives.

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