The Case for Action: Our world needs us now!

The last couple weeks have been good for activism.  Protesters won several battles: the Susan G Komen foundation reversed a decision where it had decided to pull funding of breast exams from Planned Parenthood, PIPA and SOPA at least temporarily derailed, Keystone XL pipeline also temporarily dismantled, Health and Human services is now allowing Naturopathic physicians to serve in the Indian Health Service, the Obama administration has stated that it will begin investigating the banks that played a role in the economic and mortgage crises, Washington state is now licensing gay marriage.  It has been a nice respite after months of gloomy news!

Much of the pressure for these changes has come from online petitions such as Credo and move on  .  These groups have made it extremely easy to add your name to a plethora of online petitions, usually just one or two clicks.  Great for busy folks that want to help but are busy working hard to pay banks for a variety of debt.

Two upcoming battles of utmost importance need to have mass action:
1.  Overturning the Citizens United ruling which has allowed corporations to give money to political campaigns due to being ruled that they too are people (ridiculous i know!).
2.  Banning Natural Gas fracking, it will not solve our energy independence needs and will likely contaminate the water supply for millions of people.  Please see Josh Fox's "Gasland" for a look at how this is a catastrophe in the making.

In honor of those who have gone before and made changes so I can enjoy drinking from the same fountain as everyone else, sit where I like on buses, attend medical school, date who I want, and have reasonable work hours and safe working conditions; I have decided to begin  taking action against the things in the world that need rapid change.  Some changes I have made are big, I am 9 months car free.  Other changes small.  I no longer bank with corporate banks.  I have paid off my credit cards and have not payed a dime of interest to them in 6 months.  I have solar powered lights for reading at night.  I walk to work.  I am attempting to make 25% of my Internet time productive, rather that passive consumption, this blog is part of that project.  Every time I hear a negative news story I try to do something small to affect change, even if it is only signing a petition.

These changes have enabled me to feel empowered in my situation and have begun encouraging my patients to do the same.  You begin to feel less depressed about things and you can sleep at night.  Action releases the pent up emotion that gets trapped in your body from reading about and experiencing that world around us.  For all the negative news that is around us, there are masses of people working on the solutions to all of our problems.  Join them and support them!  You will become a part of a movement bigger than yourself.  Anger is good when used well as it creates energy from within that  can be used to evoke change.  It is two sided in that it can destroy when out of place or context.

Sometimes change is about where we put our money.  Stoneyfield farms is now in Walmart because it is now profitable to do so.  Vote with your pocket book.  Avoid companies with known problems.  I have a retirement plan that does not invest in guns, oil, banks, ect.  A bulk of it is in alternative energy technologies.  If you have a retirement plan and you have not specified it, you likely are investing in things that you may not wish to be.

I will now end with one of my favorite quotes from Chief Seattle;  "This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself."

Let's turn this thing around... Together we can create a society, economy, and planet that works for all.   But only if we act.  Now.  It is time.