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You Vs. Wall Street: 6 Secrets for Survival
You Vs. Wall Street: 6 Secrets for Survival
Jed Diamond, Ph.D. has been a health-care professional for more than 40 years. He is the author of 9 books, including Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, Male Menopause, The Irritable Male Syndrome, and Mr. Mean: Saving Your Relationship from the Irritable Male Syndrome . I offer counseling to men, women, and couples in his office in California or by phone with people throughout the U.S. and around the world. To receive a Free E-book on Men’s Health and a free subscription to my e-newsletter go to http://facebook.com/menalivenow. If you enjoy my articles, please subscribe. I write to everyone who joins my tribe of followers. My new book, MenAlive: Stop Killer Stress with Simple Energy Healing Tools is due for publication in May 2012.
It seems clear that the world as we know it is coming to an end. The “Occupy Wall Street” movement is the latest expression of that reality. Václav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic, recognized the coming changes in a talk he gave at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, July 4, 1994. “Today, many things indicate that we are going through a transitional period, when it seems that something is on the way out and something else is painfully being born. It is as if something were crumbling, decaying and exhausting itself, while something else, still indistinct, were arising from the rubble.” I got my first glimpse of the momentous changes that were impacting our lives in a Sweat Lodge Ceremony with 20 other men at the Wingspan Men’s Conference in 1995. During the Sweat Lodge I had a vision where I saw the sinking of the Ship of Civilization and the survival of millions of linked lifeboats. Since then I’ve been trying to better understand what the vision had to teach me and how we can all survive and thrive during these transition times. Here are my thoughts thus far:
1. Open our eyes, our minds, and our hearts to the reality of change.
“People don’t seem to realize it that it is not like we’re on the Titanic and we have to avoid the iceberg,” says Rob Watson, CEO and Chief Scientist of The EcoTech International Group, who Pulitizer-Prize winning author Tom Friedman calls one of the best environmental minds in America. “We’ve
already hit the iceberg. The water is rushing in down below. But some people just don’t want to leave the dance floor; others don’t want to give up on the buffet. But if we don’t make the hard choices, nature will make them for us.” 2. Understand that there is life beyond Civilization. If it seems like Civilization is sinking, you may be right. But don’t let that fact terrify you. Pulitizer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond says, “Civilization is the worst mistake in the history of the human race.” Visionary author Daniel Quinn says, “Because it's intrinsically hierarchical, civilization benefits members at the top very richly but benefits the masses at the bottom very poorly--and this has been so from the beginning.” But Civilization is not the end of the road as many fear, but just the beginning, as Quinn reminds us in his book Beyond Civilization: Humanity’s Next Great Adventure. 3. Don’t panic. Breathe easy. The wheels of “Civilization” are coming off and things are beginning to get dicey. In order to be around for the next chapter we are going to have to adapt and become comfortable with the unknown. The serenity prayer, originally written by philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr, and adopted by Alcoholic’s Anonymous can be a powerful reminder. God grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference. 4. Understand our adversaries are not our enemies. When the world becomes more complex and stressful, we have a tendency to polarize into “us” and “them” and to make “them” the bad guys. It helps to focus our energies by having an opponent like “Wall Street.” But the rich aren’t our enemies. Warren Buffett is super rich and he’s a strong advocate for greater economic equality in the country. Everyone wins when we all pay our fair share.
5. Put our roots down in community. We need to find our place in the world, plant our flag on Main Street, and make our stand. Nothing good happens until we become committed to a place. My wife and I moved to the small town of Willits, California and helped start the WELL, (Willits Economic LocaLization to develop a secure safety net for the coming changes. We joined the Willits Chamber of Commerce which was the first chamber in the country to become a member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). 6. Join a tribe for mutual support. We often think of tribal culture as being dead and gone, but tribes are as essential today as they were in times past. “The people of our culture don't want to acknowledge that the tribe is for humans exactly what the pod is for whales or the troop is for baboons: the gift of millions of years of natural selection, not perfect--but damned hard to improve upon,” says Daniel Quinn. In his book, Tribes, business guru Seth Godin says a tribe is a group of people connected to each other, to a leader and to an idea.” Find yours and get on board. As David Korten reminds us, we are experiencing the “Great Turning” as we move from Empire to Earth Community. In WorldShift 2012, Club of Budapest founder, Ervin Laslo says “we are involved in a shift from a path of unsustainability, conflict, and confrontation to a path toward sustainability, well-being, and peace.” This is a wonderful time to be alive.