I’m with you

Being locked down has us thinking about people who are separated from others – missing them, and wishing they were close.

As I appreciate our front line helpers, I am reminded of how our ancestors were keenly aware of how much we count on our community.

“I’m with you” is a tribute and an encouragement to everyone as we conquer Covid and reimagine a world with more kindness, where people matter more.

We are all separated from others – missing them – and wishing they were right here with us. Life loves, new loves, people who are hurting, and people needing to hear us say:

I’m with you.

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Now is the time for NeoPeopleism

As far back as June 2012 I realized a deep and unsettling truth: that our financial and political systems treat people badly, including in wealthier countries.

As I listened to words like NeoLiberalism and NeoConservatism I wondered, where is the word that mean “People matter most”?

So I created the word NeoPeopleism. The meaning behind it was already there, and has been throughout history – from the first ancient circle of humans sitting around a fire. We have always known that caring for people and sharing prosperity are vital for stable and successful communities and societies.

It is clear that denying people a fair wage and respect is increasing social tensions, including division, racism and nationalism. Healthy, respected and employed people spread compassion and inclusion, not violence and division.

We are also seeing the unsettling force of social media pulling people’s attention toward unfiltered, often inaccurate information sources.

For 5 years I explored the concepts of community, poverty, corporations, equality, social change and politics. I read hundreds of articles and tried to understand both the big picture and the small details with an open mind. I created dozens of posters that – at each moment – helped me crystallize an element of NeoPeopleism.

As the 5 year mark arrived in 2017 I had a deeper but sadder understanding of how widely some people’s love of money and power had diverted our world into greedy corporatism, disrespect for people, and ineffective politicians. And things were not getting better, with many more bubbles of inequality, institutionalized mistreatment, and misguided decision-making by business and government.

Today, it is clearer than ever that things must change.

As you’ll find in these NeoPeopleism pages and posters, changing the world is something each of us can do.

Literally every person has ways to show that people matter most. But to be clear, no one person can be active in every single area that needs change.

We need to be supportive and encouraging of righting all wrongs, but just as each person is different we will each find unique ways to show people matter most. If we get into arguments about whether one wrong (say financial inequality) is more important than another wrong (say bigotry toward aboriginals) then we are defeating ourselves. We need to honour and support each others’ choices for advocacy because there are so many wrongs to right, and we need our individual passions and skills applied in personal and unique ways. Improving our world will take a lot of love and approaches.

Change takes action. It takes getting involved. It takes repeated and respectful voicing of concerns and calling attention to wrongs. Change takes better decision-making, and that goes in personal, work, community, political, social and business situations. Change also requires exploring variations of systems and accountability that make more sense. As an example, our winner-take-all, tax-dodging economic system needs reworking. Generating billionaires ever more rapidly does not make sense while hard working families barely get by and infrastructure crumbles. That does not at all mean switching to communism, but it does mean sharing prosperity fairly, as people experienced from 1950 to 1975, and as our ancestors sitting around the communal fire knew we had to.

I don’t know how many different actions are needed to help our world, but I do know that inaction will get us more of what we’ve already got: more overly-rich, uncaring, business-blinded politicians and more mega-rich, unaccountable corporations.

Here’s to each of us finding ways to put people first, and to encourage others to show that people matter most.

 

In a time of change, find the positive path and go together

There is a lot going on right now, and most of it is unsettling. But that is good, because so much of our world is based on bad ideas, including having an economy that’s rigged to generate billionaires instead of shared prosperity.

It is actually good to be unsettled by corporate greed, politicians who care about their rich buddies instead of us, and gigantic forest fires that didn’t used to happen. It is good to wonder why our jobs and futures were taken away from us, instead of us having so many opportunities that everyone could have a good future regardless of their skin color.

How did the land of opportunity get turned into the land of divisions and poverty?

We know we are in a time of change. We want things to change for the better but we don’t know how that could possibly happen. Can regular folks actually remake our world to be better? Yes, we can.

Here’s how we make positive change happen:

  1. We start by being kind to each other. Nothing good is going to come from yelling and hating others.
  2. We acknowledge that every one of us has been denied opportunities by self-serving politicians and greedy corporations.
  3. We build our local communities by sharing our skills, time and good will. We can create the joy of belonging!
  4. We listen more and recognize that every one of us needs love and seeks fairness. We can generate understanding and see our shared values and strengths. Yes, we have some differences, but we all have a lot in common.
  5. We hold our politicians accountable for inclusive, widespread prosperity and focusing on people.

We are in a time of change. The end result can be really good! It can be a new era of community, good health and waking up knowing there’s even more good things coming.

That is what humans do. We work together. We figure things out. We follow the ancient wisdom:

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

We’ve seen what happens when a few of us go fast: they get rich and leave us behind. It’s time for us to go far, together.

 

Selling out our Sons and Daughters

ChrisVelan-sqrMontreal singer-songwriter, Chris Velan, wrote “un-American Gothic” to remind us how far our society has strayed from the positive principles that America was founded on. From the early hopes of freedom and peace, we’ve gone too far down the dark alley of greed and pollution. The powerful and greedy are stealing the future from everyone else. Writes Velan: “When did we give up on trying? Blinded by the dream.” Where are the politicians and business leaders willing to share the prosperity with hard working citizens? Where are the advocates showing that people matter more than money? Have we really gone too far to reclaim the American dream?

You can watch the music video for un-American Gothic here: youtube.com/watch?v=zdDLCmCaO08


Visit chrisvelan.com

Neopeopleism-un-american-gothic

Here are the lyrics for un-American Gothic, by Chris Velan. The words are deep and sadly accurate in describing the American journey.

We arrived upon the tide
Dying to be free
I made you my young bride and we claimed destiny
Westward through the Plains
We killed everything
We left no remains
We wrote songs we could sing
We were young, we were the poorest
It was ours for the taking
We built alters in the forest
We shared in all the making
We assembled our masters
In the cities of regretting
Ever forward, ever faster
We got too good at forgetting

I’m afraid we’ve gone too far
No one can save us now
Yes, I’m afraid we’ve gone too far
No one can save us now

So we rallied ‘round the story
With the armies of our hearts
Through the shame and all the glory
We bled for a new start
And we knew that we were right
But still we got the blues
We danced into the night
We stood too much to lose
Then we found love at the speedway
In the twilight’s last gleaming
Though we ignored where the greed lay
As the fireworks were streaming
Now the poison’s in the water
But we tell ourselves we’re winning
Selling out our sons and daughters
Just to keep the wheels spinning

<continued>

I’m afraid we’ve gone too far
No one can save us now
Yes, I’m afraid we’ve gone too far
No one can save us now
Did I ever belong to you?
‘Cause you never belonged to me
When did we give up on trying?
Get blinded by the dream
I’m afraid we’ve gone too far
No one can save us now

There was going to be peace in the valley
We were going to build a better day
Now you’re ducking down a dark alley
I can’t look at you too long
Before I have to turn away

I’m afraid we’ve gone too far
No one can save us now
Yes, I’m afraid we’ve gone too far
No one can save us now
Did I ever belong to you?
‘Cause you never belonged to me
When did we give up on trying?
Get blinded by the dream
I’m afraid we’ve gone too far
No one can save us now

Credits
From chrisvelan.com Mix, released January 25, 2016
Produced by Howard Bilerman and Chris Velan
Recorded and mixed by Howard Bilerman at hotel2tango, Montreal
Mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market MasteringChris Velan: guitars and vocals
Jamie Thompson: drums
Morgan Moore: bass
Max Henry: keys
Ngabo Kiroko: backing vocals
Ariel Engle: backing vocals

Economic inequality – let’s not hit the wall

The people steering the economy are drunk with power. They are siphoning off 85% of the wealth and leaving the rest of us on the side of the road. Being rich should not mean you get to control the economy and everyone else’s lives. We need politicians to care more about regular people than the rich and the giant corporations. #Extremegreed needs to get out of the driver’s seat.

who are the crash test dummies

The world does not have a remote control

The world doesn’t have a remote control. To change things you have to get up and do something. If the focus of change is providing more fairness, dignity and community involvement then you are on the right track. Here’s to better days for everyone, not just the top 0.1%.

neopeopleism-life-doesnt-have-a-remote-control  neopeopleism-fairness-dignity-community

We need a new hammer

Our economic system has been bent to serve one purpose: to build wealth for just a few. So it’s not surprising that it hurts the environment, creates unemployment, and denies people a fair share of the immense global prosperity.

What we need is an economic system that works for everyone, not just the rich. Here’s to an end to #ExtremeGreed, and a new commitment to widespread prosperity.

neopeopleism-the-world-needs-a-better-hammer

Bridging the gaps between groups

Dividing people and serving the rich are the goals of most political leaders. They love money more than people, and it’s easier than changing the system. Their tools are making people angry at each other and afraid. It keeps each group in a box, and isolates us from cooperating in a wider, shared society and prosperity. The way out takes personal effort: finding ways (in your life) to bridge the gaps between groups, and holding politicians and big corporations accountable for the mess their #ExtremeGreed has made of our world.

neopeopleism-we-are-better-together neopeople-people-can-change-the-world

The changes that people need

neopeopleism-making-a-difference-for-us The changes that people need start with people changing how they participate in business, politics and community. The business and political leaders have long ignored the declining prosperity of hard working people, and allowed corporations to be the only voices heard. People have stayed hopeful, working more jobs for less income, and kept quiet by big screen TVs and fancy cell phones.

But now it’s clear that widespread prosperity isn’t coming soon, and that the people with the most money and power want even more of it.

The world needs more people involved and active in the issues and organizations at every level: city, province, state and country, to ensure that the needs of people are factored more seriously into business decisions and political plans. That takes people exploring the possibilities, sharing their skills and concerns, and working together for an inclusive economy and a safe environment.

  neopeopleism-it-doesnt-take-rocket-scientists-2016-dec-3