Nick Vujicic’s Empowerment message vs. Income Realities of Expat & DE’s Harz IV | Chomsky ‘Profit over People’

This is the second time I’ve encountered a video featuring this man’s message, an Australian motivational speaker, Nick Vujicic, who has no arms or legs, yet manages to make the most of every moment of his life. Nick_Vujicic_inspirational_speaker “We become so preoccupied with what we don’t have, that often we forget what we DO have.”

Kids responding to Nick's positive message

Kids responding to Nick’s positive message

Well, after seeing his message, being engulfed in my own sense of worth and well-being, concerned with how I’m going to make my next dollar, seems petty. Yet, after trying to screen (after putting out online ads) who is sincerely responding with legitimate offers for work and who is trying to scam me, it is rather daunting. The majority have been scams, from asking ‘how old I am’ – after listing my skills and offers for numerous types of honest work – to sending a pdf form asking for my bank account and yes, a signature to send back to them as well.

Per Nick’s video message, what is important in life is not how much money one has, or power, or beauty…but one’s attitude. Yet, I, as everyone else, am inextricably part of a matrix of what we’ve all decided is a currency, exchanging the work that we do. Living in a foreign country, in a WORLD in which ‘nationalism’ prevails, doesn’t make things easier. All the German bureaucracy ( no doubt all Western European countries & US ) put up roadblocks to offering one employment. Yet in the three months that I’ve been here, I’ve encountered a LARGE number of young, healthy capable people from 20’s through 50’s in age, who are willingly committed to the German Hartz IV program. They obtain money from the government while unemployed, ‘arbeitslosgeld/unemployement compensation’ and go through the motions (as if) they are looking for work – just enough – to keep this flow of money coming; just enough to pay rent and buy food. It turns out to be more attractive to some people (a substantial number of people), than to actually push ahead in the work force to develop their crafts. I’ve been informed that this is not at all representative of the rest of Germany, but predominantly happening in Berlin. Reflecting Berlin’s unique history as an island of capitalism existing within the clench of a Soviet dominated fist.

Besides the fact that many inhabitants of the developed world have comparatively a great deal of wealth, at the same time, many of these people have a lot of ‘issues’. Issues which lead to unhappy, unfulfilled lives, resulting in various addictions and distractions. We live in a finance, commercially driven time with a lot of brain-washing, regarding what to strive for. A world which holds up false/photoshopped images and ideals of beauty and promises from material acquisition and power. Messages which are based on false ideals, to stay on top of the game, that actually lead to pitting people against one another. Nick’s point, is to forget about feeling ‘not good enough’. There will always be people who are drop dead gorgeous, or with incredibly brilliant minds, others with fabulous wit, extreme dedication…to compare ourselves to. Yet, each of us has something to offer through our love and genuine joy of doing what we love. Our responsibility is to follow our hearts and find what it is that we love to do, and therefore do well, to offer to others.

To me, seeing all of the kids listening and receiving this man’s message, is wonderful. It reminds me that we do all genuinely feel better when we are kind and compassionate and loving, and can care for what another human being feels. And we all do feel better exchanging positive energy and prompting smiles in others. This has absolutely nothing to do with how one looks or how much money one has in their bank account. Because yes, it is each and every one of us that have the gift of life, and we forget just how precious this is. Nevertheless, I still have to make 150 euros in 2 days, because I am challenging myself to do it. I am also down to no milk, no vegetables or fruits, used up the potatoes, the oatmeal is gone, still ample onions and garlic left. Great that I drink a lot of water primarily anyway, rather than buying anything else. ‘-)) I don’t know if I just love a challenge. Or, if by genuinely following my heart and speaking what I feel, is so against the grain of the consensus of modern society, that not to accept these ideals, appears to be naive and foolish. I say consensus in the context of Noam Chomsky’s messages about ‘Neoliberalism and the Global Order’ excerpted from his book “Profit Over People”. “The “principal architects” of the neoliberal “Washington consensus” are the masters of the private economy, mainly huge corporations that control much of the international economy and have the means to dominate policy formation as well as the structuring of thought and opinion.Chomsky has been a highly influential academic figure throughout his career, and was cited within the field of Arts and Humanities more often than any other living scholar between 1980 and 1992. His work has influenced fields such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, logic, mathematics, music theory and analysis, political science, programming language theory and psychology.

This stage will pass, but it is now a bit scary

Halloween Geist

Ghost Figure for Hallowee

 

 

 

– good thing that Halloween is coming.

 

Scary halloween pumpkins

Carved Halloween pumpkins

Joe Paterno’s ‘old school’ values | not bought-out by BIG Money |

Having watched the memorial service for Joe Paterno and attended Penn State University when I lived in Happy Valley for two years, I was really moved and inspired by what I witnessed in those two hours. Joe Paterno – as a coach, teacher and mentor – influenced so many peoples’ lives in such a positive way. A kid who was raised in Brooklyn and went on to coach college football for over 40 years; he left a legacy of honesty, loyalty, integrity and commitment. Beyond what has become the big business of football, Paterno was never bought-out. He remained loyal to his commitment to Penn State and to the players, whom he personally recruited and remained in touch with throughout their lives. He encouraged each player to strive for discipline and excellence; not only in sports, but also scholastically; emphasizing to ‘do the right thing’ ethically. Paterno communicated to each; to think first and foremost about the team, to play fair and to respect their opponents. He recognized that whereas success is measured externally by society, personal excellence is something internal, involving the satisfaction and clear conscience of knowing you have done your best.

There are a list of great quotes that Joe Paterno made, one of which one player stated has remained with him as a personal challenge throughout his life; “Today you’ll either be better or worse, but you’ll never stay the same … which is it going to be? It’s your choice!” His message always emphasized the “we” and “us”, recognizing that we are all in this life together, and that it’s up to each of us to help one another grow, and to make an impact towards making this world a better place! I’m humbled and honored by this man’s life, who has inspired so many to strive to be at their best, and to work together – regardless of race, creed, socioeconomic standing, for the sake of all.

Paterno represents an ‘old school’ of thinking, that our country has been moving away from; when credit and notoriety come to a person or establishment commensurate with what achievements and values they display, instead of being measured and valued quantitatively, by monetary means alone. A message diametrically opposed to what has overtaken our country today; in which BIG money infiltrates the media, government, sports and other arenas. A world in which “corpocrisy” surrounds us, and short-sighted goals are dictated by a few (the 1%), often resulting in crippling the lives of the rest, in addition to causing environmental degradation. These values that Joe Paterno revered were once the prevalent messages that the United States had imparted to the world, with great leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., before the myopic, economically driven pandemic rose, in which money has become THE incentive, choking out the spirit of these loftier aspirations. We absolutely need to honor leaders of this caliber, to disseminate similar messages, that will inevitably ripple throughout the world.

A fuse has been re-ignited today for me to presently write further on the topic of BIG money, which I’ll be posting on my other blog http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/the-collusion-of-big-money-eroding-the-quality-of-life-for-alls /