“The Decision is Ours … “

“Those that create the problems are not the ones who will have the vision to provide solutions to those problems.”

Late in March a began a series of four blog posts called, “The Power Have the Power.”  Early one Sunday I had just finished the first post, but didn’t have a name for it. In fact I didn’t even really know there would a follow-up piece let alone three. I was watching a segment about Patti Smith on CBS Sunday Morning … and then there it was, her iconic song, “The People Have the Power.” Thus the name of some of the most important pieces I’ve ever written.

Over the course of the series, I’ve attempted to shine some light on the importance of the masses, the 99% – taking action to take back our future from the narcissistic corporations, special interests and our pathetically dysfunctional government. Hopefully, I showed how this these self-obsessed gluttons are not only affecting our lives currently – but also our future if they are left unchecked.

I’ve bemoaned the effect of the religious right’s self-righteous social campaigns have had on the rights of women and children. I’ve been appalled by the actions of our government in turning back the basic tenants of our constitution – back to a time when there was no constitution. And I’ve become sincerely embarrassed to be part of a country that would so bluntly disregard a portion of its population by refusing to give it a hand-up in their time of greatest need.

But these problems are no secret. They’re in the media every day and the Occupy Movement has been demonstrating in the streets for the last six months. Unfortunately though, most of the attention has gone  to having the government the fix. There’s cries for more legislation, and there’s cries for less legislation. Most believe somewhere on the horizon a savior will appear. But on what color horse is anyone’s guess.

Speaking to no one

Aside from a few tireless individuals pursuing community based solutions, we are putting our futures in the hands of those who created the very problems to be fixed. But there’s no incentive for those who are benefiting off the status quo to change anything. Yet that’s where we look. It’s the same door we keep knocking on … expecting someone different to answer.

It’s time for us to wake up!

These problems are not the not the problems of  Fortune 500. They’re not the problems of Washington or even of those in our state capitol buildings. These problems we face … are ours! We’re the ones that will have to fix them. And we’re the ones that know what the solutions are.

Over the next two months I’m going throw out my ideas on we can attack these neglected issues head on … head by using you and I, by using our friends and neighbors – by using our communities. To give a taste of where my head’s at, here’s a few I’ll be running by you.

  • making small business more competitive by using data-driven marketing along with company sponsored cause volunteer projects
  • breaking down the silos of need assistance by providing “concierge programs” and liaisons
  • using the “breaking windows” concept in providing elderly home repairs and at the same time increasing overall property values and decreasing crime
  • creating teenage tutoring and mentoring programs designed for “real world” transition value
  • creating community food production in conjunction local area schools
  • providing elderly assistance by taking advantage of cross-generational “back and forth” mentoring
  • creating community and neighborhood-wide fitness programs and competitions using Twitter and Facebook as leverage
  • and using “resource maximization” to create entrepreneurial co-working sites housed in vacant buildings and using creative “sweat equity financing”
These are just a star. How to make these ideas and others you come up work and specifically work in your communities … is all about you!
Or we can just expect the corporate “lords,” overlooking their fiefdoms – all of a sudden gain a conscience. Or we can expect all the lobbyists they employ to “just go away” … and our elected officials actually do the things we elected them to do – just because we jump up and down and scream!
Or we can just wake up … and take care of things ourselves.

The decision is ours.


I can be reached on Twitter at @clayforsberg


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