Massage & Yoga

Improving overall health, vitality, and lifestyle through the integration of Massage Therapy and the practice of Yoga

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Monday, November 14, 2011

What About Unity?


I hesitate to post on this subject since it does not directly pertain to the work I do through Prana Healthworks but with the Holiday season approaching, I thought I might share some of my thoughts on how we as individuals can use the spirit of giving to help our country and its citizens through this difficult financial time.  Before I put forth my idea, I want to first draw attention to what I see as a major disconnect between all the inhabitants of this great nation of ours.  It seems everywhere I look these days there are signs and symbols of patriotism and nationalism.  “Support Our Troops”, “God Bless America”, and other similar themes echo from the bumpers and tailgates of our cars from coast to coast.  “Old Glory”, the stars and stripes is proudly displayed on buildings and houses nationwide as well as being tattooed to nearly every Harley Davidson I see, both man and machine.  Nationalism is everywhere but something equally important is missing from message.  Unity! What about unity?

My father was a veteran of World War II.  He fought in the Philippine Islands and in Korea.  The freedoms he fought for are a great source of pride in my family.  Like many of his fellow soldiers, he came home with a desire to apply those freedoms to his country thus they created a great sense of national pride.  Along with that pride was a common bond that was forged on the battlefields of Europe and Asia as well as in towns large and small back here in America.  That bond was their unity in a common cause and everyone from my parent’s generation fought the same war for that cause.  To them, rationing the staples we take for granted was a way of life and each family supported the next in order to ensure that the men fighting abroad had what they needed to succeed in defeating their enemies.  After the war, our country flourished like no other time in history because every man, woman, and child was unified behind that cause.  The goal was to make every product the best and provide impeccable service to all patrons because that what America stood for.  UNITED States of America!

On September 11, 2001, our country was attacked in a horrific way.  Many of us watched mesmerized as thousands of our countrymen perished in the collapsing buildings and plane wreckage.  That day was a turning point.  Our national hearts were stirred once again.  Unfortunately, soon after, the 9/11 spectacle was replaced on our televisions and computer screens with more current affairs.  We all detached ourselves from the most devastating event in our countries’ history in the last 50 years because it didn’t directly impact our complacent lives.  There was no rationing needed.  Prices remained relatively stable.  No one except the families of the victims had to sacrifice their day to day lives, thus what should have unified our country actually further segregated us.  Our economy took a nose dive, greed and corruption were exposed in our financial institutions and apathy for the war Iraq and Afghanistan divided our nation politically.  Today, the rich continue to get richer, the poor remain poor, and what was once a stable middle class family, now has to rely on savings and frugality in order to maintain a modest living.  Despite the fact that we all witnessed how quickly the world can change in a matter of minutes, none of us seem willing to commit ourselves to solving the problems exposed by that cataclysmic event. 

What we need is to believe in each other again and support each other as Americans from the greatest nation on the Earth.  The nation our fathers and mother, grandfathers and grandmothers sacrificed so much to protect and rebuild.  We need to be diligent about choosing locally made goods and services and stop relying on foreign imports of oil, goods, and services.  Our nation is being sold lock, stock and barrel to the highest bidder and we are all standing by watching, mesmerized.  This attack is not coming from hijacked planes though, but from corporate greed and foreign outsourcing.  We have the resources, the ingenuity, and the man power to regain our strength as a nation but to do so, we have to put aside our selfish, capitalistic, corporate dictated mentality and become a nation who is not only proud of its heritage but one that is willing to sacrifice the allure cheaper goods and labor in favor of domestically made products and services produced by small businesses.

What I am proposing this holiday season is simple.  Instead of purchasing mountains of Chinese made electronics and plastics, or boxes full of sweatshop produced clothing that support corporate excess; buy into local small businesses and domestic entrepreneurs.  Purchase your friends and family members gifts made by hand in this country.  Give gift certificates that support service industries like hair stylists, personal trainers, and massage therapists!  With near double-digit unemployment in this country, it is time for Americans to unite behind one another and make a stand in favor of quality not quantity.  Share the wealth at home this holiday season and keep it out of the pockets of foreign millionaires.  You’ll be putting food in the mouths of your neighbors.  You’ll be buying clothes for the children in “your” child’s classes.  You’ll be making a difference in the lives of people in your home town who really need it most.  Your hard earned dollars become their hard earned dollars.  It our turn to be the heroes and protect the freedoms that our ancestors fought and died for.  Keep your dollars in America this year! 
God Bless You and God Bless America!

Matthew Corrigan, CMT, RYT
Prana Healthworks 2011

8 comments:

Sue Ann Gleason said...

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Sue Ann Gleason said...

Thank you for reminding us to buy local and to be conscious in all of our endeavors. I, too, believe we sometimes purchase without thought or looking at labels and thinking about where these products come from. For me, "intention" is everything. I avoid multi-level marketing schemes even if they put food on my best friend's table. I want to know where the product comes from, who is making it and who stands to profit from the purchase. This is big but it really starts at home. What I am I doing to honor and support small businesses, do I really need new clothing or is my closet full enough, what am a modeling for those in my wake? I opt for simplicity. Thank you, Matthew.

susan k said...

Nice post, Matthew. I'll be making scented eye pillows for the holiday giving this year. :) You need a new one?

Kimby said...

Matthew, I imagine you feel that "disunity" more than most with what you do! This was an excellent look at the complacency that has pervaded our "modern" society.

Maybe that's why I enjoy visiting with older people so much -- they retain that sense of unity and treasure what this country was founded on, fought for, and "fellowman" outlook. Too many people interpret freedom as "free license" -- everyone for him/herself.

We've shopped locally for several years now and it's worth the label reading and extra effort (and even extra money) to know that we're supporting our own. Thanks for this!

Kathleen said...

I can feel and am touched by your powerful sentiments in this post, Matthew. And though I have some different perspectives on some of the issues and villains, I do agree that we have the power in our actions to really support those in need in our country right now. The power of your feelings have touched me in such a way that I am going to really explore different ways to do just that over this season. Thank you!

Marion said...

Hi Matthew!

Can I say Amen to this section of your post?!

"What I am proposing this holiday season is simple. Instead of purchasing mountains of Chinese made electronics and plastics, or boxes full of sweatshop produced clothing that support corporate excess; buy into local small businesses and domestic entrepreneurs. Purchase your friends and family members gifts made by hand in this country. Give gift certificates that support service industries like hair stylists, personal trainers, and massage therapists! With near double-digit unemployment in this country, it is time for Americans to unite behind one another and make a stand in favor of quality not quantity."

For me, I like to apply this principle on a daily basis. My local community is of absolute importance when it comes to spending my dollars. My husband and I head down to a local arts center, which used to be a glass factory, on Black Friday and buy holiday presents for family there. People also seem to appreciate the gift a lot more when they realize that a local artist created it.

And, naturally, this principle applies to our food as well!

Thanks for reminding everyone to look within their own community to see how they can have an impact.

All my best,
Marion

Tracey said...

Matthew:

Thank you for this wonderful reminder to buy and shop locally. In NYC its an easy thing to do: we have so many craft fairs with local artists and markets that sell locally-grown food. One thing I've noticed, since I have a young child. So many toys are made elsewhere, even when they're marketing says otherwise. It's interesting to see something marketed as a mom and pop place but then with further research it's made in a sweatshop.

That being said there are many wonderful homegrown companies from which to purchase gifts.

Thank you for a great reminder.

Tracey

nasrine said...

Dearest Matthew: Thank you so much for such a thought provoking post. Yes UNITY! Where is the unity?I too see nationalism everywhere, it haunts me, scares me and makes me feel very uneasy. Are we not one. Have we not learned in the past decede what needs to be done with our humanity? Thank you so much for the wonderful reminder, I will do my best to purchase gifts this year that have a deeper meaning, that exist in good faith and allow both the place I purchase the gift from as well as the one I give it too to benefit. Again, thank you.