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