Stop Writing From Your Heart…It’s Dangerous!

Stop writing right now. Disregard everything I’ve ever told you about speaking from your heart and expressing your truth.

It’s dangerous!

You just never know how people are going to take things. You might end up causing trouble, making waves or…worse.

Be careful what you write. Edit yourself heavily. Do not communicate any radical or potentially thought-provoking ideas.

People cannot handle it.

I really didn’t know. I’m sorry I’ve misled you all this time. But last week’s post on Sophie Scholl finally opened my eyes to the problem…and I will from here-on-out only write about safe topics like kittens, s’mores and Lady Gaga.

Well, maybe not kittens. Some people are allergic and that might upset them.

And maybe not s’mores. That might make people with gluten intolerance feel left out.

Lady Gaga should be a safe topic. Everyone likes her, right?

Here’s what happened…in an epic feat of irresponsibility, I wrote the following:

“There is no madman for us to point our fingers and say ‘This! This is the problem.”

A well-meaning chap took my musings the wrong way and decided to fill the gap:

So please, take a lesson from me and be very VERY careful about what you write.

…pfft!!

Labor Fool’s! (Did I getcha?)

Of course I’m not serious. The more madmen the better! This was just my way of introducing you to the latest edition of today’s holiday: Labor Fools’ Day.

Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894 following the bloody and infamous Pullman Strike.

Railway workers for the Pullman Palace Car Company had been complaining about low wages and 16-hour work days. They were also at the mercy of the company to provide food and shelter and thought it fucked up to have their wages decreased while their rent and living expenses kept increasing…all at the hands of the same corporation.

They organized a strike and all hell broke lose.

President Cleveland invoked the Sherman Antitrust Act against the workers claiming their strikes interfered with the U.S. mail’s delivery and represented a threat to public safety.

So the military, in the interest of protecting public safety, gunned down the workers killing 13 and injuring dozens more.

The public outrage was overwhelming and, 6 days after the massacre, President Cleveland tried to make nice by instating a national holiday in their honor.

Today the holiday is little more than a time to barbeque, drink too much and the last chance to wear white for the year.

But in a country where…

  • We rank 75th on the world’s income equality scale, totally pwnd by Bosnia, Pakistan and Ethiopia among others
  • Every art and music teacher I know is laid off because schools can no longer afford art education
  • The median household income continues to fall along with the value of the dollar itself
  • Countless hard-working citizens have had their life savings, retirement funds, social security and even their homes stripped from them because of corruption and greed

…what have we to celebrate?

It’s time to start asking some tougher questions than “Do you want cheese on your burger?”

What can we do, as a community, to begin the path back to a (more) fair distribution of wealth in this country?

How can we make things better for those hard-working Americans who don’t have enough to feed their kids a proper meal?

What can you do to begin to free yourself from the confines our current economy has placed on you?

Or do we just say ‘screw it’ and make it a day for burgers, beer and senseless pranks?

Please, share your thoughts below in the comments section.

 

29 thoughts on “Stop Writing From Your Heart…It’s Dangerous!”

  1. I love where you’re going with this. And, of course and as always, I’ve been thinking along these same lines recently. Thinking about how we’re always looking to the government to solve our issues, to fix the jobs problem, to offer us salvation. It’s time we take our salvation and livelihood into our own hands, and stop feeling like victims to a system that we actually CREATE.

    The idea that what we resist persists has been weighing on my mind a lot. Like, with my blog, you know? How, after a while, I realized I was spending far too much time ranting about companies who put synthetic or harmful chemicals in their products and not NEARLY enough time working to figure out how to solve the problems ON OUR OWN.

    So, ultimately, I think it’s time we just turn our backs on the institutions we believe are harming us or keeping us down, pull up our big-girl pants, and fix our own problems within the communities that encourage support and growth.

    And these communities? They’re ones we’re going to build ourselves. Allons-y!

    1. Have I told you lately that I love you? “Pull up our big-girl pants” ….yes!

      Changes are a’comin’ and we get to create them. Given all the gloom and doom, it actually really is an incredible time to be here…and to be who we be.

      I’ve wasted too many years feeling like a “victim” or a “survivor” for so-fucking-many reasons. It gets one nowhere, and fast. 

      Much better to be an instrument of change. And I’m SO grateful we’re singing the same song, sister!

  2. Yeah, you kinda read my mind on this one, Jennie.  I’ve got to admit I’ve got no quick and easy answers, but I do think we have to make an end-run around the bureaucrats on this one.  They’re too busy pointing fingers at the other guy and covering their behinds and running for re-election to actually — well — work for a living. 

    Maybe we need to get together in our local communities and create mini brain trusts to see what solutions we can come up with.  Maybe we need to realize that we really are our brother’s and sister’s! keeper and that’s not a bad thing.  It might even come in handy the day we need a bit of a helping hand ourselves.

    1. I love the idea of mini brain trusts, Carol! I feel blessed to have so many like-minded people in our online community to discuss the issues and possible solutions. 

      The moment we all realize we are each other’s keeper…well, what a wonderful world that will be 🙂

      1. me too.  on everything.  especially bacon and 29. and suiting up.  and owning our responsibility to ourselves, our families and our communities.  people.  it’s ALL connected.

  3. You didn’t read my mind here, Jenny – you inspired my mind! Love, love, love how you look at the big picture and invite thought and action (you do that in your one on one work – and here on the blog) – always some thought-provoking going on around you!! I really appreciate you!!!

    Yea to what Carol and Crunchy Betty said — about fixing this ourselves. And yea also to LaVonne’s victory shout: Fuckin’ A-Right!

    1. Aw, thank you Karen! That’s quite a compliment, especially coming from you (she has an *amazing* mind you guise).

      Can that be our new battle cry? “Fuckin’ A-Right!” I think it makes more of an impact than “See-thru Purple Panties Unite”

  4. Lady Gaga…  Not a safe topic for shock burlesque performers.  I won’t go there. Just sayin’.

    As for the work situation:  Domestic agriculture desperately needs more people who are willing to work at all.  There is a severe shortage of farm labor, but no one is taking those jobs, not even the human trafficking victims… err… undocumented workers.  Traditionally big agribusiness pawned those jobs on slaves (you read that right,) but the types of mega factory farms already that would hire them have left America (for cheaper labor,) so they’re loss is the gain of citizens who want to work.  I am not kidding.  
    - http://vaslittlecrow.com/blog/2010/12/19/nimby-people/

    Organic and corporate family farms NEED people.  NOW!  There’s a reason my husband works all the overtime he wants and has one hell of an insurance/investment benefit plan.  See the food prices?  That’s because there’s not enough people to work all the available farm land and to help farming operations deal with the damage done by funky weather.  Commodity prices go up, ethanol prices go up, which drives up fuel.  It costs more to transport food and crops, which makes everything more expensive.  
    - http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2011/08/17/opinion-we%E2%80%99re-eating-our-seeds
    - http://moneymorning.com/2011/05/27/extreme-weather-conditions-to-threaten-u-s-agriculture-for-next-decade/

    It doesn’t help the environment either when all our food comes from China and Brazil because family farms are forced to close because. Farmers are aging out of the industry.  People would rather go on unemployment or welfare than take an active interest in preventing a major  cost-induced famine 3-10 years from now.  I wish I were kidding.  The situation is bad enough that farmers are lobbying for legume promotion subsidies.  Why?  Because we won’t have enough crops to feed animals, waste on greenwashed B.S. like ethanol and still meet demand for imports and domestic.  I found out about this from my MIL, who currently runs our family farm.  The situation is really that dire.
    - http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-op-roberts-grier18-2008jun18,0,1187893.story
    - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/agriculture/geneticmodification/8703519/Genetically-modified-corn-grown-for-fuel-rather-than-food.html

    Unfortunately, people stereotype the industry — hell, any industry that involves honest labor, where people make things with their own hands.  No one likes doing unskilled labor anymore. Hell, I’d be happy if more people created content or infoproducts.  My mom was a lawyer/insurance industry software developer; now she’s an transitional organic farmer working out of her own back yard.  She loves the inspiration that farming provides and she’s incredibly.  Living in the country as a disabled farmer’s wife is amazing.  The simple life is hard, but fulfilled. No one wants to do it because, that’s work no one wants to do.  Everyone wants their damn smart phone, second car and cable TV, and a “good” job.  We don’t need these luxuries.  We need to save our country, even if it mean short term inconvenience.

    Wall Street and government share a lot of the blame for this financial disaster.  However, the people who buy corporate junk and vote for government as if it were a betting pool for a football game are to blame as well.  We the people are the ones who allowed these louts to rob us blind for the sake of comfort.  When we as a Nation start growing up and accept our share for the blame of the mess we created, I’ll be more optimistic about the future.  When we start thinking, “What can we do for our Country,” instead of “What can this Country do for us,” then we might make it to the moon again.  Until then, we’ll continue falling into a pit as a nation.

    Clinton and the Republicans turned around a economy that was on the verge of falling apart in TWO years, because as a nation we got our heads out of our asses and stopped towing party lines.  No one remembers that though, and no one seems to care that it happened.  I hope we start working together as a nation and as individuals fully knowing that we will have to sacrifice a lot.  Because that’s what will take.  We’ll reap what we sow.

    Sorry… I am on a warpath right now.  Harvest is coming and I apparently got my long-forgotten Indigenous pagan rage on.  (Which is funny because I am Christian Taino.)

    1. Wow Vas! Thank you so much for sharing all that great information. This is exactly what we need more of…exchanging ideas/solutions instead of just talking about our next product. (NOT that I don’t LOVE to talk about my next product, don’t get me wrong.)

      The problem I have with what was done during the Clinton administration (and I was a huge supporter at the time) was that the economy was saved by deregulating the banking industry. Basically, the banking industry forced his hand just as they did during the recent mortgage meltdown. He had little choice. While it led to a temporary boom (or bubble), those deregulations were what ultimately led to the housing crisis and, subsequently, our current global economic crisis. 

      I used to give Clinton props for that miraculous economic turnaround, too. Until I learned the back story. Then it just made me sad.

      The only institution who has any real control over our economy is the Federal Reserve. And there’s nothing “federal” about them. And now I should stop myself before I go on a tangent about how what we really need is a people’s currency…like our founding fathers fought for.

      See, now you got my brains rolling, too. Thank you for that.

      Maybe we all have some of that Indigenous pagan rage going on. I don’t know about you…but I kinda like it 😀

      And CRAP…I can’t even be safe with L. Gaga?!  Meh…fuck safe 😉

      1. Fuck safe indeed!  LOL!!!

        Actually banking deregulation was not so much the problem as was giving carrots for banks to engage very irresponsible practices for social change and the propping up of Fannie and Freddie (which were a bad idea to begin with). And I do agree, the Fed was a very bad idea, but then, it has always been since it interferes with the effects of basic supply side economics.
         
        Having said that, during that period of time for all of its failings had a very active exchange of ideas between government and the private sector. It was really amazing.  There was a lot of communication and general peace.  In fact, if you look at it from a historical standpoint, it worked well enough that Bush Administration pretty much kept on course.   This relative harmony was noticeable enough that the news media bitched about how boring the Bush Administration was 

        What destroyed our economy and civility happened on 9/11/2001.  The Patriot act, combined with all of the other government interference and  corporate welfare disguised as deregulation is what killed our well being as a nation.  Our government, whether by accident or designed really did a great job fostering a mindset of paranoia (and by extension partisanship.)  No one took responsibility for ANYTHING.  

        PC speech codes had already began an attitude of veiled communication and people being afraid of being offensive in the 1990’s.  The Patriot Act made this institutional passive-aggression even worse, and it elevated it beyond fringe elements in academia and overly religious/patriotic people who like to complain about everything. 

        To make matters worse, in the 80’s and 90’s teachers overemphasized self-esteem, exaggerated the virtues of jobs that require a college education (thanks to school funding corporations looking for mid-level management) and (the reason I left the teaching profession in absolute disgust) exaggerated the impact of “privilege” and “institutional (insert -ism here.)  As a result we ended up with an entire generation of people with an inflated sense of importance, an ingrained sense of victimization/entitlement and a complete disinterest in “dirty” work — who have no idea how to communicate honestly.

        More than the Fed, more than the banks, people’s unwillingness to be humble and speak honestly has been absolute poison to our nation and our prosperity.  This is why I believe is important to teach people how to disagree vehemently in an elegant and intellectually sound manner.  We need to learn manners and civilized debate, while still feeling okay with saying “fuck” and “shit” when it is appropriate (or funny) to do so.  Once people learn how to swallow their pride and communicate once again, then our country should be able to recover.

        Now that would be something!  A class on how to disagree without being hateful or losing your temper.

        1. “More than the Fed, more than the banks, people’s unwillingness to be humble and speak honestly has been absolute poison to our nation and our prosperity.”

          …I just felt that needed to be repeated :) Wise words, indeed!

  5. WHEW!!!

    Didn’t think you would cave into all the crap, considering all the crap you’ve come through with your head held high, but good to have this confirmed! 😀 :>

    Absolutely we need to stop whining and start doing!

    So many of my ‘friends’ have been telling me for years to just give up and go on disability.

    Which I would do if I needed it, but since I don’t, I’d much rather just get ‘The Avian Empire’ up & running and go from there!

    Here’s to Underwear & Action! 😀 :>

    1. hehe, no worries Birdy. You’re not getting rid o’ me that easily.

      We always end up talking about underwear here, don’t we. And it warms my heart!

  6. I’m trying to run/start/grow three businesses right now.(yes I am insane) I don’t make any money. zero. I take full responsibly for my biz lameness. I working on it though. 

    I have always found to so weird that ppl think the government or anyone is going to save them or that they are entitled to something and aren’t going to have to work for things. 

    There is no one to save you but you. You are your only knight in shining armor. Suit up bitches. 

    1. “You are your only knight in shining armor. Suit up bitches.”

      That is the best thing I’ve read all day! 🙂

  7. Beautiful Jenny! Just beautiful! An inspiring call to action filled with clarity for a nation that’s begging for it 🙂

    I’d like to add: Framing things in this powerful way can be very inspiring, and I for one love it and feel moved by it.  At the same time, the large amount of ‘global/community’ oriented talk can at times feel overwhelming for us change-promoters 😀 To balance it out or make it more digestible… “We can all change our community, our nations, our world by changing *ourselves* – What thoughts or beliefs can we select right now, this instant, that contributes to the upliftment of all?”

    Eat Breathe Blog featured some info-graphics I created on this very thing, if anyone’s interested 🙂

    http://www.eatbreatheblog.com/taking-control-of-our-beliefs/

    Keep rockin’ everyone!

    @delisac:disqus I’ve totally been there 😀 It is do-able, it can work. I run multiple businesses and they generate cash. I started them all on my own, on a shoestring, and they’ve grown and begun to integrate themselves with each other!

    1. Thank you so much, Jason. And I could not agree more, the changes that deliver the biggest impact on our world are the changes we make within ourselves.

      I’m very grateful you came by and added that to the conversation. It’s key.

      And thanks for the link! Infographics *omnomnomnom*

      1. Yay! Collaboration! 🙂 Glad you like! I’m off to browse around your stuff, I recently re-invented myself and have a completely fresh twitter account…

  8. Any large organization will grow to the point where its mission becomes defending its own existence instead of carrying out its original purpose. And over time its leadership devolves into becoming beneficiaries instead of leaders. This is the way of things and it will never change. This is our government in the U.S. 

    Democratic notions of social action are fragmented among a million non-existent possible futures because there are a million ideas about what “progress” means. Anything would be D.O.A. from the sheer bureaucracy and ass-covering and thousands of little personal extortions and compromises.

    Republican notions of “smaller government” and “less regulation” are a joke as well, because no institution willingly gives up power or budget dollars and less regulation leads to criminal exploitation (which led to the rise of labor in the first place). You can cut any program except the ones my constituents care about, right?

    There is not some finite amount of wealth as if it were a pie and we can only distribute it by cutting thinner or thicker slices. It’s easy to think that if you’re used to handing over to someone else the responsibility to give you money in exchange for work: they have the money, you don’t; they have power over you. If things swing too far one way we have capitalist exploitation, too far the other way and we have socialism’s “efficient” resource management schemes.

    We can create income out of thin air the moment we figure out how to create something that’s worth more than money to people and sell it to them. It’s also way harder than just “getting a job” (if you can, nowadays) and your chances of making it are not good. But because of the internet and how it lowers the barrier to entry, more people are trying and that means more are able to make at least a living or supplement their income. I saw an example the other day where someone had set up the most basic of free websites to have an errand-running service. I mean, shit, anybody could do that. 

    It does sadden me how little solemnity there is on holidays, but we can make our own personal Labor Day meaningful, even while we kick back with a beer and a burger.

    And yes, I certainly do want cheese on that. 

    1. Well said!  Would you mind if I republish that comment in my blog?  I’d be happy to pay if need be.

      As for jobs.  I’m dead serious, if people are willing to live in the country,  at least for the season, they will be hired.  Half of our potato harvest positions are unfilled because we won’t hire undocumented slave labor, yet the pay and benefits are much better than fast food.  Many farms are in the same position, and demand for food doesn’t get any smaller as the world gains more mouths to feed.  People are buying.  :-/

    2. It’s the illusion that we actually have two separate political parties that perpetuates these issues. So frustrating.

      Just a minute ago I saw someone tweet that they were preparing for another 12hr shift and were asking God for the strength to get through it. My stomach sank. I remember that feeling too well.

      When you give yourself to a job like that, and still can’t afford the basics it can be soul-crushing.

      Luckily, as you point out, we have real options today. 

      And for the record, I have NOTHING against beer and burgers any day.

      (I haz bacon too, just sayin’)

  9. Wow, Jenny. Just WOW. Thank you so much for posting this. I have so many thoughts, opinions, and ideas about this and the government and the people that I can’t seem to complete one before starting the next and they don’t all go together. I just want to say thank you for being a spark.

    1. Thank you, Nathara! To be your spark, if even for one day, makes me happier than I can say. (I didn’t mean it to rhyme but now I can’t delete it, either lol) 

  10. Hi Jenny,

    You didn’t fool me with that title. I knew you were taking us somewhere instructive and meaningful.

    Two things we can do:

    1. Find out the origin of these holidays we so blindly celebrate without a thought for their sometimes bloody beginnings. Then create ways to commemorate them that make more sense for us.

    2. Make it our business to become informed and take whatever small action we can take in our immediate neighborhood, communities and cities. So often we fail  to take action because we think what we do doesn’t count unless it’s huge and monumental. Not! There are hard-working, unsung groups all around us putting in countless hours helping feed, clothe and encourage the homeless and working-poor. Sharing from our bounty and volunteering our time are priceless ways to contribute to solutions.

    1. Such an important point, Flora! Even the smallest measure of compassion, generosity and forgiveness can have untold consequences on the world around us. 

      I’ve been thinking a lot about volunteering for our local shelter…maybe it’s time to stop thinking about it and GODOIT 🙂 Thanks for the gentle nudge!

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