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Reclaiming our Lives from the Corporate Empire

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Oftentimes we are stuck in a mentality of pointing the fingers outside of ourselves in blame.   To see how this works, point your finger at the screen and say "It's your fault everything is a mess."   Now, look at your hand.   Is it any accident that Nature has designed your hand to where you inadvertently have 3 fingers pointed back at yourself?

My wife just shared a dream with me.   Her daughter Jessica had come home from college and she and Jess had gone to the church where she used to be in the youth choir.   They were sitting in the pews and Jessica was making some ruckus.   When the youth choir came in to sing, Jessica joined them and became over dramatic in her singing.   She was basically showing off.   To top it off, she went out front and said "ta-da."

The choir director was very angry and said "you owe an apology to the congregation and especially to the two lead choristers."   Jessica then replied "they were laughing, they loved my performance".   The choir director became angry and went to get a switch to beat Jessica with, to punish her.   Somebody in the congregation then questioned this action.   Somebody then said it was in the rules of the church to spare the rod you spoil the child.

My wife then stood up and said, "Isn't anybody going to stop?   It's abusive, it's absurd."   Nobody was going to come to Jessica's defense.   Merry then said, "This is crazy, we're out of here."   She then grabbed Jessica and went out.

Once outside, Merry said to Jess, "What was that all about?"

Jessica broke down crying and said her best friend in choir had gone away to college and committed suicide.

Merry then said "it's a reason to grieve and be angry but not an excuse for your behavior.   But, your behavior was not as bad as the choir mistress, the Priest, or the congregation."

What the dream implies is that all the characters in the dream are responsible for what had happened.   In like fashion, we are all responsible for the state of the world.   It's not the republicans, it's not the democrats, it's not the corporation".it's all of us.   What Merry did in the dream was to say "no" to the pattern of all the characters.

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It is in this same spot that we all find ourselves today.   We all need to take responsibility for the environment, for the economy, and for the horrid educational system that we have.   Yes, one can say that our standardized educational system is horrid for our kids.   So, I would say to you, "so, build a new one."

It's the same with the environment.   We can blame the oil companies, and we can blame industry.   Yet, we continue to buy cars and keep ourselves in jobs that pollute the environment.   So, what would happen if we stopped working for and supporting the corporations and changed our lifestyle?   In other words, what would happen if we changed by taking responsibility for ourselves?

This is exactly what the sustainability movement is doing.   Through Transition Town, Permaculture, and other groups such as Time Banks, where the focus is on helping people and communities become self-sufficient.   Through these movements, we are taking responsibility and are working towards a world in which we no longer depend upon the Priests, Preachers, Politicians and Corporate Heads to rule us.   We take charge of our lives.

There are also people out there who are helping to empower us by teaching us old skills.   One of those persons is John Favreau who is the co-founder of Long Branch School and Store in Bowdoinham, ME.   John used to own a movie theater in Brunswick, ME, where he would often show movies to educate people regarding what was happening in the world.   Being a highly aware man, he decided to sell the movie theater and begin the Long Branch School.   The school helps people to learn blacksmithing, weaving, looming, mending, kayaking, preserving food as well as classes teaching people how to set up their own businesses.  

In essence, John is teaching people to take charge of their lives.   By doing so, he is reducing their dependence on the government-corporate complex.  

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If you'd like to hear John speak to his school, visit my wife's interview with him at .   You can also visit the website of the school at


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Burl is an avid writer and publishes to OpEd News. He is author of "Sophia's Web: A Passionate Call to Heal Our Wounded Nature." As of this writing, Burl is planning to self-publish the book. Alongside his wife, Burl co-hosts an on line radio (more...)

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