Archive for February, 2008

Stay Strong To Your Convictions

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

In a world where we are assaulted by media and popular opinion, it can be difficult to differentiate right from wrong.  While we know what seems to be right, the actions of administration seem to negate our beliefs.

I was recently reminded of this fact when a law firm I worked for twenty years ago was the subject of a recent FBI investigation for improper billing practices.  The law firm represents a variety of school districts, superintendents of school and other municipalities.  In fact, it they basically monopolize this sector in a very affluent area of the country.

I remember questioning billing practices, conflicts of interest and other related issues when I was just a kid hired at my first full-time job.  Because I was under twenty-one and had minimal life experience, my employers always told me I was “uninformed” or just “didn’t understand”.  What I knew what that right was right and wrong was wrong.  Being a person with few shades of gray, I continued to oppose certain procedures.

After being offered more money and political positions, I decided this was a way to recruit young, innocent and intelligent blood into a what appeared to be a corrupt system.  I decided to leave my job and pursue another position elsewhere.  The firm was displeased and let me know in certain indisputable ways.  I stood my ground and moved on to stay strong to my convictions.

I worked for several other powerful law firms in key positions.  After years of watching government officials and attorneys shuffle money to pad their own pockets, I decided it would be a cleaner job to wash toilet bowls for awhile – which is exactly what I did.  After spending a few years getting real and talking to everyday people in jobs such as cleaning, retail and telemarketing, I decided to use my education again and become the writer I always wanted to be. It was a difficult decision and my family and I wondered how we would ever make ends meet. If I returned to law, we wouldn’t need those care packages from the church anymore. I got over it and realized I had given many care packages to the church myself over the years and life is simply a cycle of giving and receiving – you take when you need and give when you can. With love and faith, we struggled on and stayed strong to our convictions as I decided I would never return to law again.

Five years later, we are in a comfortable position again and I did not have to compromise my values or turn my head the other way. There are times I’ve worked seven days a week, twenty hours a day but it’s worth it. The path of least resistance is clearly not always the best path and anything worthwhile involves effort, sacrifice and struggle. Reading in the newspapers about the demise of the first law firm I worked for was reassurance it was all worth it. It also confirmed that I was not “uninformed” or “didn’t understand” what was going on – I clearly understood.

This applies to all of us when it comes to current conditions in the world. Politicians, government leaders and media hacks are always trying to tell us what to think and how to feel. When we oppose their position, we are “ignorant” masses who just “don’t get it”. As corporate leaders and municipalities get in on this bandwagon, there seem to be fewer people that actually “get it”, making it even more difficult for those of use who do. In trying to make you doubt yourself, a corrupt system gains another supporter – or loses a valuable adversary.

We all feel the pressure. Rising gas prices, outrageous housing costs, astronomical utility fees and even the price of everyday food is overwhelming. We tend to remain in certain frame of mind or position because it’s comfortable or it pays the bills. We fear stepping out of the box to make a change. However, change begins with YOU. If you are unhappy in your situation, there is always another way. When you can make those changes within your own world, you can strike out beyond yourself to help others achieve greater changes.

Personally and professionally, I am a happier person now because I do not spend my days feeding into a system I don’t agree with. I do not have to stay awake nights wondering if my employer will go to jail or if I will be questioned about his behavior. I don’t drive to work so I don’t consume more gas or make an environmental impact during these controversial times. I can choose my own destiny rather than have someone else tell me what it will be. Even if that is unpredictable at times, it is still more predictable that employers who ultimately wind up the subject of federal investigations. I also feel a lot better about how I spend my life. After all, how can you feel good about going to a job everyday that is clearly not in accord with your personal beliefs?

Making change is painful, difficult and sometimes involves major sacrifices. But the only constant in life is change so we cannot fear it. Without positive change, we can never hope to progress in a positive direction. This starts in our own lives and ripples out to the world around us. Today, more than ever before, you must remain strong to your convictions. Mamasaid there’d be days like these…

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

In my last post I spoke of the ending of the year 2007. I tried to cover most of the important issues in the world stage, and more have arisen still in the mere two months since. Lets take a moment here to evaluate the current situation and what I think is the setting of the final stage before the final planned WW3.

Kosovo is ‘independant’ from Serbia, with the USA and some EU nations actually accepting this illegal move and recognizing the rouge state. Already there has been mass protests and the burning of the US embassy along with the Croatian.

Turkey is becoming more bold in its attacks on Iraqi’s PPK, really shows how well of a job the USA is doing in protecting and securing the country doesn’t it?

Pakistan is going to play a major role in all of this, of that I am sure. Iw ish I could say more but this is a gut feeling and I have no idea what exactly is going to happen. Musharraf does not want to give up his grip on the country that is certain. He recently resigned from his military post as General trying to secure his position. The assassination of Bhutto did not help him in this though, which makes me a believer that he was not involved in her death, as it is not beneficial to him. I welcome any informed input on Pakistan.

Anyway, off to Lebanon and Israel again. Nasrallah is speaking more boldly now about striking Israel and removing the regime, after the damning report on the 2006 war which stated that Israel had actually lost the battle.

What does all this mean though? When woven together into a fabric this chain of events starts to take shape. All we have to wait for now, is the Eu peace keeping forces to arrive in Kosovo, the Serbians will strike (relentlessly) and should receive help from Russia and possibly China. Then USA comes to assist in the struggle… alliances become broken… bombs start dropping.. and nowhere in the world is safe anymore. I said in my last post and I will say again. I hope you all enjoyed 2007, as 2008 is upon us… and things are going to start going downhill VERY fast.

Best of luck to all of you, I leave you with this inspiring poem as my parting.

RISEN FROM THE ASHES

Economy collapsing; feel the squeeze of capitalism.
As all the money flows back to the rich.
Battle for resources; greedy hands sow the profits
Whilst working man has no benefits.
Time is drawing nigh
We have only one shot.
World collapsing; lets stand up and shout!
No more corruption or greedy oppression
Its time to fight for the human race.
No more materialism and flamboyant conceitedness.

If we don’t wake up soon and stand up for each other

We will certainly fall further into a chained society.

Police units roam the streets, local thugs to the governments.

Military operations in other lands; the governments arm of greed.

Read my words and think what you will,

But you will never stagger me,

Me and my solid will.

Is it wrong to believe… in the need to be free?

I’ll fight for freedom until the very end.

-Author unknown