Five Indicators of the Damage Being Done By Our Current Narrative

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In his new book, David Korten explains how our current "story" is one of Sacred Money and Markets which emphasizes monetary gain and the use of the planet purely for resources. We need a new story, Korten says, or face our own demise.
We humans live by shared cultural stories that shape our common values and how we structure institutional power. When we get our story wrong, we get our future wrong.

Here are five ways the familiar Sacred Money and Markets story by which we currently live gets it badly wrong—with deadly consequences.

1. Money is wealth. Conditioned to believe that money is wealth rather than just a number, we forget that the only legitimate purpose of business and the economy is to serve living people and the rest of nature. We instead structure and manage them to make money as their defining purpose and allocate resources to maximize returns to money. The inevitable result is growing inequality, environmental destruction, political corruption, and poverty and servitude for all but the few.

2. Unregulated markets combine with the individualistic competitive drive for personal advantage to maximize wealth creation and thereby the well-being of all.
We forget that humans survive and thrive only as members of healthy cooperative families and communities. We celebrate as a human ideal, behavior we might otherwise recognize as psychopathic.

3. Material consumption is the path to happiness. Thus misdirected, we live in indentured servitude to global corporations to feed insatiable addiction to consumption that destroys nature and deprives of us the true happiness of life as members of caring communities.

4. Earth belongs to us. She is our property to use as we find most financially profitable.
We forget that Living Earth is our sacred mother, the source of our birth and nurture. We belong to her.

5. Corporations are just people and entitled to the same rights as any person. Publicly traded corporations are legal entities programmed by their legal structures to function as money-seeking robots that behave like psychopaths in response to signals from global financial markets that value only money and incessantly demand ever greater short-term profits without regard for the consequences for life.

Thus misdirected we believe we get richer as we destroy the living wealth foundational to our own existence to make money for those who already have far more money than could ever possibly use. Money prospers. Life withers. 

Our future depends on awakening to the reality that we are living beings born of and nurtured by a Living Earth itself born of a Living Universe. And that changes everything.


Five Famous People Who Refired Themselves Out of Retirement

In Ken Blanchard's latest book with his coauthor Morton Schaevitz, he explores the concept of refiring -- that is, how to live a more vital and energetic life in the post-retirement years.

There are countless people who un-retired themselves and went on to have vigorous and healthy second acts. Here are just five:

1. Frank Sinatra
Old blue eyes decided to call it quits in 1971 at the age of 55. However, his fan base was rather disappointed and continued to rally for his return. So, Sinatra did return just two years later in a television special. The TV special was so successful that he decided he would keep at it until the mid-1990s.

2. Clint Eastwood
This man has refired several times -- first he was an A-list actor, then he retired and went on to become the mayor of Carmel, California, and then he started directing and making films. He came out of retirement yet again as an actor in Robert Lorenz's "Trouble with the Curve."

3. Sugar Ray Leonard
In 1982, Leonard suffered a detached retina that was supposed to sideline him permanently. The problem was that Leonard just kept refiring. When he finally hung up his gloves for good in 1997, Leonard had retired and refired four times.

4. Stephen King
The famous horror-writer announced in 2002 that he was retiring due to the pain he continued to suffer from a 1999 accident. Despite the pain, he couldn't quite keep away and decided to take up writing again and has published more than a dozen novels since his announcement.

5. Michael Jordan
The retirement-refirement story almost everyone knows: In the fall of 1993, Jordan left the Chicago Bulls -- whom he had led to three straight NBA titles -- to pursue a career in professional baseball. When that didn't work out, he returned to the Bulls in Spring of 1995 to lead the team to three more championships. He retired again in 1999 but then made yet another comeback ion 2001 to play two seasons with the Washington Wizards.