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Discussions from the Fringe
The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!
What good would I be serving
if I didn’t stir things up?
And add a new perspective
to the half-filled-empty cup?
What better could I offer
if the path I tread’s the same?
The known and worn and tried and true
the same old lame old game?
I have to believe that the two or three people who read my column (hi, mom!) do so to hear something new and different. If I were simply saying what others are saying, there’d be no point. With that said, I’d like to call your attention to a few items available for your discussion.
Because of where I tend to reside (on the fringe, as it were), these are the sorts of discussions of which I partake and which inform my awareness of reality. These are not mainstream discussions. Few prime time news spots are interviewing experts about these items. Although, if you search for them online, you will find a lot of information. They are issues of concern and of worldwide consequence, despite the limited time and attention they receive.
Discussion 1: The Disappearing Bees
For the past several years, scientists have been observing a unique phenomenon. They’re calling it Colony Collapse Disorder—the disappearance of worker bees from hives. The number of bees in hives across the U.S., and now increasingly in other countries has been declining.
There are likely a multiplicity of causes: pesticides on the plants the bees pollinate, high fructose corn syrup that’s fed to the bees and weakens their immune systems, genetically modified crops with built-in pesticides that kill insects (bees are insects), factory-farmed bees which lack diversity and nature’s safeguards, artificial insemination of queen bees, and other factors which boil down to a woefully incomplete understanding of nature’s order and bio-systems.
So why is this an important discussion? Well, in nature, bees assist the growth of many types of fruits by carrying pollen from plant to plant, which causes flowering and the growth of fruits and vegetables. As a business interest, bee keepers travel around wide regions selling their bee-based pollination service to farmers.
What happens to the worldwide food supply, or the availability and price of food when bee farmers’ stocks of bees—which they use to pollinate fruit trees to provide us with fruit—is gone? What happens when the food supply decreases? What items or services may become more desperately needed?
Discussion 2: Decreasing Oxygen Levels
I remember learning in high school that the Earth’s atmosphere was composed of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 1 percent trace elements. There is evidence, however, to support that the oxygen level on the planet may at one time have been as high as 50 percent. Our oxygen levels have been steadily decreasing.
So why is this an important discussion? Well, the availability or absence of oxygen affects life on the planet. We, as humans, thrive in an oxygen-rich environment. Naturopaths know that many illnesses can be cured by oxygen therapy. When the level of oxygen in our system is compromised, we do not function optimally.
Viruses, bacteria and germs, on the other hand, thrive in an oxygen-poor environment. In other words, the less oxygen there is, the more these life forms grow. Might that explain the rise in illness in our society? Might the lowered and compromised immune systems of our children be explained? Might the increase in various flu cases, and their resistance to treatment be explained by this decrease in oxygen?
Discussion 3: Mutating Bacteria
It’s been recognized that antibiotics, those once widely-praised saviors of humanity, have been increasingly ineffective against certain strains of bacteria, leading to the growth of antibiotic-resistant strains, or “ superbugs.” Antibiotics are increasingly ineffective because they are often used to treat viral infections that might be more appropriately treated naturally.
As these superbugs mutate and replicate, science responds by creating even more powerful versions of the antibiotics, which in turn leads to even hardier strains of bugs.
So why is this an important discussion? Well, what happens to our food supply, and our own health and resistance to disease when these antibiotics are used in chickens and fish and cows? What happens to our water supply when these antibiotics end up in the waste from farms and factories that run off into the soil?
Discussion 4: Health Freedom
Also on the survival front is an issue that typically passes beneath most people’s radar. It is the concept of “health freedom.”
By health freedom, we mean the right to choose the quality of the food you will eat, and the way how you heal yourself should you become ill.
Doesn’t it make sense that I should have the right to avoid chemicals, pesticides, radiation, drugs and other unnatural additions and methods in the production and ingestion of my food? Doesn’t it make sense that if I want to live a healthy life that I should have the right to take vitamin C for my cold, or treat it with herb teas rather than with antibiotics?
If, also because of my beliefs, I want to avoid (often compulsory) vaccinations, (mandated) fluoride and chloride in my water, mercury in tooth fillings, irradiated and genetically modified foods, shouldn’t I have the right to do so?
Well, it’s becoming increasingly more challenging to do so. Nations are being forced to comply with certain practices and mandates in order to receive economic benefits from world banks and other entities. These mandates, compulsions and practices are heavily influenced by corporate interests, and therefore are often helpful to corporate well-being but not to human and environmental health.
So, why is this an important discussion? Well, what happens when vitamins and herbs are outlawed, or their distribution is controlled by private interests who can then charge exorbitantly for access? What happens when all seeds used for farming are no longer organic, but genetically modified, and thus patented by corporations who can force farmers to pay patent fees for using their seeds? [visit healthfreedom.org, or search for “codex”]
Discussion 5: As the Market Shakes and Shudders
Finally, this is a biggie, and I risk being ostracized to even suggest such a thing, but as the market shakes and shudders, one discussion that few dare to have is of alternatives to the current paradigm.
It is of course, akin to blasphemy to even suggest an “alternative” to capitalism. The rich seek to maintain their position, and the poor fear not getting their turn at wealth. So everyone continues on the journey without even questioning whether it makes sense at all. But, as mentioned in a previous column, there is a fatal flaw in the manner in which capitalism is engaged in our society. Could there be a better way to define and pursue a type of “progress” that doesn’t require the exploitation of others and the rape of natural resources? By bailing out companies that might simply be succumbing to the fatal flaw, are we simply delaying the inevitable demise of a system which seeks infinite growth based on finite resources?
Without an adequate and truth-based perception of reality, the choices you make in response to perceived conditions will fall short of providing you the results you seek. In other words, if you don’t know what’s really going on, you can’t do anything real about it.
Is your information complete? Are you getting the full story? Are there elements of your perspective that need to be filled in? From both a personal as well as business perspective, knowing a bit more about what’s going on in certain fringes can help you survive, and thrive as things change. Yes, sometimes the world makes more sense when seen from the fringe.
Your comments are welcomed!
* * *
Note: The African American Cultural Preservation Committee is calling for entries for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Essay and Elocution Contest. The topic this year is “What Would Martin Say?” All students in the CNMI are invited. See the www.blacksonsaipan.com website for details. Fliers are being distributed to the schools this week.
Note: For more tips on overcoming your fears, acting on your ideas, changing the game, and creating a passion-centered lifestyle, visit www.passionprofit.com!
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Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!
Walt F.J. Goodridge is author of 12 books including Turn Your Passion Into Profit. Walt offers coaching and workshops to help people pursue and profit from their passions. Originally from the island of Jamaica, Walt has grown several successful businesses in the US, and now makes his home here in Saipan. To learn more about the Saipanpreneur Project and Walt’s philosophy and formula visit www.saipanpreneur.com and www.passionprofit.com.
WHERE IS SAIPAN?
Located in the western pacific, a short flight from Guam and 3 hours from Japan, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is a popular tourist destination rich in history, culture and natural resources. Saipan, just 5 miles wide by 12 miles long, is the largest and most populated of the 14 islands making up an archipelago that stretches 400 miles (north to south) along the edge of the Marianas Trench.
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