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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/10/09

My Present Path Toward Advocacy Journalism (aka Reflections On Independence, Volume 6)

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This is the sixth essay in my not quite annual series of Reflections on Independence. In the past I've published these thoughts around July 4. By that time this year, however, I'm expecting my advocacy journalism to be in a whole new place, to which this begins the transition. I will probably only make a few more posts here at the We Do Not Consent blog. Then, as with the suspension of my prior blog, GuvWurld, another free e-book compiling the most essential pieces from WDNC will serve to promote the launch of my next site, a video blog.

For the last six plus years I have done this public service work while assiduously avoiding reference to my wife and the business we built together. At the end of last year I exited our professional partnership, and our divorce will be final soon. This has given me time and space to create the life I'd like to lead now, a natural extension of the communication strategies and organizing experiences I've blogged about, and most definitely a new debt-free era of multi-faceted independence.

Friday morning I'll be embarking on an extended road trip, itself a reflection of my new independence. I'm hoping to have a new video camera by next week and possibly to begin posting content by the end of the month. The reunions I'll have between now and then are all with people who have greatly supported and deeply affected this part of my life. I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to explore the nature of my future collaborations with these folks.

In addition to the emphasis on video, I can also say at this point that my next blog will launch with a glossary I have already written to summarize and define the dozens of terms and concepts I have coined and cultivated over the years. I intend to continue developing these ideas, using them to create a talk show based on the Project-Based Format (see Time To Check Your Least, 11/24/07). In the long run, the glossary will grow and expand, providing a frame of reference companion piece for the program.

The launch will also include publication of a proposal detailing how the show would work, to be followed later this spring by a demo of the program. In a nutshell, I am going to be seeking out people and organizations doing public service to ask: If you had unfettered access to media to promote your work, what would you do? How would you use this exposure to achieve your goals? This is where the content will begin to come from for the talk show. I welcome e-mail from those ready to participate. Here are just a few of the topics I think we can advance:

Helping returning veterans re-adjust to society; Understanding environmental implications of diet; Building sustainable local economies; Triple bottom line; Green building; Alternative energy and transportation; Emergency preparedness; Identifying edible plants; Supporting conscientious objectors and war resisters.

Basically, if your work empowers people at the grassroots, I want to hear from you. If you are a citizen journalist making independent media, let's work together. If you are about manifesting positivity, building the better world the corporate/military/government media juggernaut doesn't even want us to imagine - we are on the same page. E-mail me.

Meanwhile, independence has already allowed me to volunteer on several other projects, including the art site BARDoodle; the future wilderness therapy retreat now called Veterans Spirit at Incopah; the media committee of Vets For Peace Chapter 56; and the next edition of the independent magazine The Steelhead Special, due out July 4. This issue of the Steelie will demonstrate multiple examples of advocacy journalism through interviews with various Humboldt community organizers, including one that Tom Pinto and I will conduct in May. By the way, I recently learned that Wikipedia has an entry for advocacy journalism and this 2004 essay of mine is cited as the first reference source.

I can't say any of this will be in a context that is more or less political than I've been until now, but I can say my changed circumstances and personal growth will be evident. For now I'll just recommend two books I've recently gotten a lot from. First is Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth," a very popular book that has helped me view ego in a new way, separating my sense of self from the thoughts and emotions I have, ultimately leaving me happier, more loving, and better able to calibrate the intensity that I project (in a word, present). I have found myself discussing this book with dozens of people, one of whom recommended another powerful paradigm changer, Rob Brezsny's "Pronoia," which essentially is the belief that the universe is conspiring on your behalf.

This is quite a departure from my previous Reflections on Independence, all of which were written during the Bush regime, all harkening to the Declaration of Independence as the master change manual bequeathed to us by the nation's founders. In keeping with tradition, I have posted the historic document in full below and encourage you to read or hopefully re-read what may be humanity's most hopeful and inspiring expression of freedom.

When we remember that our rights are unalienable; that government exists only to secure, not create or grant, these rights; that government legitimacy derives entirely from the Consent of the Governed; when we Reflect on Independence, we realize our Life, Liberty and Happiness are birthrights to preserve and never give up, never allow ourselves to be denied; we realize our Consent must no longer be taken for granted lest we sabotage ourselves through complicity in the harm being done to us all; and we realize that nothing less than "our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor" are at stake - both what we stand to lose and what it will take to survive, sort of a cosmic use it or lose it.

* * *
Read past installments:

Reflections On Independence 2002
Reflections On Independence 2003
Reflections On Independence 2005
Reflections On Independence 2006
Reflections On Independence 2007

* * *

July 4, 1776

The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united* States of America.

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Dave Berman, C.Ht. has extensive training and experience in Hypnosis, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Life Coaching. He is also a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, Ivy League graduate (B.S. in Communication from Cornell University), and a (more...)

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