|April 21, 2007|
|Want to be Happy?....Change the World|
Posted at 06:04 PM by Will Marre
Want to be Happy?.....Change the World
I just read a review of Ghetto Nation, a new book about how the worst of the hip-hop culture is sweeping through teenage America. It seems that many suburban, middle class teens are embracing the language of gansta-rap, the obsession of flashy materialism, a disdain of education, and trashy disrespect of women. Underneath the vulgarity is a rapidly growing quest for meaning found in recent social research among American?s youth. In study after study, today?s high school and college students reveal themselves as America?s most idealistic generation in fifty years. If you visit our latest home page you?ll see recent video interviews of random students talking about their dreams and concerns. What you?ll see and hear is astonishing. They already know how to pursue happiness. Perhaps it?s time to help them and at the same time help all of us.
Perhaps it?s time to institute a mandatory national service requirement for at least 12 months during everyone?s 18th year. The range of service could be broad from preschool teaching, to the military, National Park restoration to city beautification, inner city tutoring, or reading to the aged. The year would be also one of personal growth and coming to self-knowledge. Every 18-year-old could take talent, interest, and trait assessments, do life-planning, receive training in leadership, time management, goal achievement, relationships, conflict resolution, decision making, financial literacy, and budgeting, as well as the responsibilities of citizenship in our 21st century democracy. This is a life-changing, society-renewing vision. We don?t need to create a huge new bureaucracy to do this. We can link together a vast network of existing for-profit and non-profit institutions to provide training and service opportunities offering real accountability and tangible results. Collecting current delinquent taxes could pay for it. There are 2.75 million Americans turning 18 every year. There really is no excuse. Can you imagine what an impact universal service would have on our society in a decade? What would happen if every young American had a genuine experience and the deep satisfaction of meaningful service? All we have to do is decide. It might just increase all of our happiness.
What do you think? Is it time to put this squarely on the national agenda? To view the video click here.
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|April 14, 2007|
|Choose to Live the Life You Most Envy|
Posted at 10:41 PM by Will Marre
How would you like to live on a beach in Hawaii while you?re young enough to enjoy your children? What if your nicely tanned family could live on one parent?s full time income on a 40 hour a week job? What if this was absolutely true right now, in 2007? It is. It?s what a young couple, friends of mine, are doing today. They have made some very mindful choices. A recent poll reveals that 93% of Americans agree that we ?are too focused on working and making money and not enough on family? (New American Dream Survey. www.newdream.org). 93% is a big number. It?s almost as if we?re hypnotized by our current work and lifestyles whether or not it brings us satisfaction, let alone joy.
Are we allowing the financial-industrial complex, the Grid, to suck the life out of our souls? This morning I just read that 3 million Americans commute 90 minutes one-way to work. Three hours a day, 66 hours a month, 31 days a year. Millions of us are actually spending a month a year just to get back and forth to work. What are we doing? A brand new Harvard study labeled Americans the ?unhappiest country on Earth? because we lead the world in clinical depression, stress related illness, and prescriptions to medicate us from our pain.
Well, the revolution is starting. Last week some Stanford law students started a campaign for graduating students to boycott law firms that don?t offer new associates balanced working conditions including a 50-hour workweek (Lattman, Peter. Wall Street Journal: Eastern edition, April 4, 2007, B2). While there are some of us who?ve become so addicted to never-ending work, cell phones, emails, texting, business travel, non-stop work related thinking and doing that we think it?s normal; it isn?t. Research is clear. Work without sustained breaks makes us stupid (HPinstitute.com). Ruins our judgment, clouds our ethics, and socially isolates us. (The guys at Enron loved to work.) The rat race is poison wrapped in success candy. And the race just gets faster.
It?s all a choice. If you doubt me, let me introduce you to Mark and Patria. Mark?s a 31-year-old father and Patria a 26-year-old mother of 2, Ruby and Atticus. Mark and Patria met and got married during college in Hawaii. Patria went on to get a Master?s degree in Social Work at Columbia University. After working in New York and northern California, they fulfilled their dream. They just moved back to Hawaii?s northeast shore. Patria is a social worker at a local hospital. Mark is a stay-at-home dad. Get this. They rented a home on the beach with a slide from their back yard to the sand surrounding a coral fringed lagoon.
They did all this without financial help from parents or permission from the Grid. They did it because they?ve been very clear on what they most valued, and they both agreed to ?travel light.? They just choose to do what so many of us wish we could.
Well, you can. Our life is our choice. How?s your commute?
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|April 05, 2007|
|Make Your Difference Everyday|
Posted at 12:28 PM by Will Marre
After spending the past three years giving speeches throughout our country, I have a powerful conviction that, deep down, we know we have the solutions to our own confusion. Answers seem to be on the tips of our tongues, like a memory that has just slipped our mind. The answers we seek are already embedded in our spiritual wiring; we are merely fumbling in the dark for the switch to turn the lights on.
Amidst the darkness of the evening news, the never-ending war on terror, the decline of the middle class, the tidal wave of national debt, and the corruption of our institutions, there is another voice calling out. A voice calling for a rebirth of vision. A vision in which the greatest good for each and all is once again the ideal. It?s a new model of governing without the corruption of special interest and financial favors. A new model of sustainable enterprise that aims for the Greatest Total Value for all. A new model of free education focused on lifelong learning without the crippling costs of bureaucracy. A new model of personal action based on understanding our own unique design and our most noble human desires.
This is all more than a dream. It is The Dream.
The genuine American Dream. Our research of over 12,000 Americans reveals that the exhausted refugees of Boomer World and our meaning-hungry children find themselves longing for the same five things.
We want enduring relationships and families that work.
Love, loyalty and intimacy are our greatest needs because that?s what has been missing. It?s time for a re-commitment to commitment. For us and our children.
We want a lifestyle we both value and enjoy.
We want to live in a safe, attractive place we can afford. We want to do things that feed our soul and engage our emotions. We want community, meaning and sanity. For us and our children.
We want a career that embodies our Dream.
We want real work with real meaning and real rewards. We want to make a meaningful contribution, express our talents and follow our interests. For us and our children.
We want growth.
We want the tools to reinvent ourselves as often as we choose to in this constantly changing world. We want to learn whatever we need in order to excel at our priorities. We want affordable, efficient, stimulating education and access to enriching experiences. We want genuine spiritual growth. For us and our children.
We want real leadership.
We demand truth, not spin or hype. We want leadership of vision, substance and honesty. In our homes, factories, stores, schools, banks and churches?everywhere. For us and our children.
The change levers of the 4th American Revolution. The first four dimensions of Relationships, Lifestyle, Career and Growth are the make-or-break factors in living the life of our dreams. The 5th factor, Leadership, is the X factor.
We are that X factor.
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