So You Want To Change The World?

Alan Macmillan Orr

All content public domain Alan Macmillan Orr 2011 Share Freely

Lets face it. Changing the world is no easy task, even if you have superhero powers! And anyway, why do you want to change the world? The world, and the animals, and the universe, and the fish, and the insect, and the trees all seem to be quite happy, and have been for a very long time. Oh I see, you mean you want to change the human world, and the species that has been the most inventive and the most destructive of all the species? Ah, well that's a different matter! That I can help you with. Who am I? Well, nobody really. My parents named me Alan, I was born in Scotland 42 and a half years ago, and have had a fairly ordinary life. Up to my 30th birthday I was like everyone else, just trying to get on, to fit in, to make enough money to enjoy myself on the weekends, have a holiday a couple of times a year, and have an attractive girlfriend. I didn't really care about anything, apart from myself, not because I was a bad person, just because I had no awareness of anything in the world, least of all myself, and the impact I was having as one small human being amongst billions. I'll spare you the details, but all I can say is I am still one small human amongst billions, but today I have woken up. And it's like a curtain being drawn back, where you can finally see everything for what it truly is. Which is a blessing and a curse! It is now 3.55am on a Monday, and for the last few days an idea has been forming in my mind that I can no longer wait to get down on paper. I wish I could just go back to sleep, but it seems my path now dictates that I wake in the middle of the night and have to get up and start writing. You may not agree with any of it, you may think it's the stupidest idea you've ever heard, and that's ok. We 're all different. But if you have any better ideas, get in touch and share them. So before I pass out from tiredness, without further ado, this is the content of the idea.

Chapter 1 Background
We all talk a good game don't we? We all want to change the world, to make the world a better place for our children, to bring peace to the world... Blah blah blah... The reality is, as we know, a different story. Greedy, powerful men (and women) control the world we live in, and whilst talking peace, are busy at war. Jealous husbands are beating their wives, animals are being murdered in their billions, our rivers and seas are being polluted, our land is sick from all the pesticides being used, human waste in the form of toxic metals, chemicals, and plastics are being buried in the earth, and everyone is being encouraged to buy, buy, buy! We are on a collision course with disaster but no one cares. Someone says the climate is being adversely affected by the CO2 emissions, from industry, cars, planes, and everyone's favourite bit of steak, the cow. Meanwhile someone else is saying that the climate isn't changing. Someone says organic farming is the way forward, and the next week someone prints an article in the newspaper saying it isn't. Someone tells us to use less, meanwhile someone else is paying millions to advertise to us to use more. Someone tells us we need to be more healthy and someone else sells us food that is bad for our health. Had enough yet? I have. You see whenever someone tries to “do the right thing” someone else is working against them. I guess some might say that that is the nature of balance in the universe. And anyway, who knows what the right thing is? Of course we know who knows! It's your local friendly government. And if you live in a democracy, you put them there, to represent you (and your interests). That means if you are a pollution causing heavy industry they are there to represent you. If you are an environmentalist they are there to represent you. If you are a tree logger they are there to represent you. If you are a vegetarian they are there to represent you. If you are a bank they are there to represent you. If you sells arms they are there to represent you. If you are a charity saving

child victims of war they are there to represent you. And even if you don't live in a democracy (whatever a democracy means) the people in power are still representing people's interests. After all, even a brutal military junta have to make money. So do you understand so far? Your government is the poison and the cure. Which means catch22, no way out, no possibility for real change. The government must balance the books. So if one group complains about tree logging on environmental grounds they will listen. But they will also listen to the complaints from the tree loggers on financial grounds. They will then barter a solution and as long as everybody's happy, the government can be assured of their votes when the election comes around. So before you go running to your government or their officials hoping to change the world, don't. They are not in the business of saving the world. They are in the business of being in power, keeping the rich happy, and everyone else quiet. So as long as everyone has a job, or social welfare to pay their bills, they won't be thinking of revolting any time soon! Keep Quiet and Carry On. That is the government's underlying motto! But what if you don't want to keep quiet. What if you want to shout your dissent from the rooftops? Well, in quite a few countries you are free to do that, as long as it's legal, but in lots of other countries, expect summary arrest, possible torture, detention without trial, and maybe a quiet execution. Judging from the “Occupy” protests currently going on in the United States and other places, I'm sure the government there secretly wishes it could just make the scruffy band of protesters go away (permanently!).

Protesting! It's the way forward. Right?
Yes, of course it is. What you need to do is gather up a group of like minded individuals and march on your capital city, waving banners and demanding “change”. But in truth you'd have more chance of getting some spare change from a passer by than effecting real change in the world. Sorry, am I being too harsh? Am I being cynical? “Look how far we've come!” shout some of you. “Look at where protesting has got us”. Yep. Just look how far. May I please refer you to the first paragraph? OK, ok, so you have done some good, there have been changes, but the system that originated the ideas is still in place. No, not the government, the human mind. So protest all you want, but whilst the sick human mind is trying its best to undermine your good work, good luck, you're going to need it.

Your brain. It's up to no good.
I am not going to go into the origins of mind here, but lets just agree on some basics. Let us agree that it is not “our” fault that we think the way we do. Our minds have been wired by some pretty crafty technicians. Who? Well, your parents, their parents, their parents before them, your friends, your school teachers, authors, film directors, artists, work colleagues, gurus, religious leaders, political leaders, environmental leaders, television stations, newspapers, magazines etc. etc. Without even realising it, your brain has been wired up without your permission! Shocking isn't it? You wouldn't let a qualified technician wire up your house without your permission. But when it comes to your own mind anyone can have a go. Qualified, or unqualified. That's pretty shocking isn't it? No? Actually, you're right, it's probably not very shocking to you is it? I can see you now shaking your head whilst your reading this, thinking “what's he going on about? He's talking nonsense!” Am I?

So in this quick-fire topical round I want you to answer the following questions in the fastest possible time. 1. What's your view on the American war on Iraq and Afghanistan? 2. What's your view on immigration into the EU? That's right no time to think, just answer! 3. What's your view on the Iranian nuclear “crisis”? 4. What's your view on the “occupy” protests? 5. What's your view on the “credit crunch”? Ok, so how did you get on? How long did it take you? Did you have to mull it over or did you manage to answer in about 10 seconds? Now. You may think they were your answers, but where did they really come from? Well, over time your brain has been making connections from all the information that has been pushed at you, and now it's acting on it, giving you pre-recorded answers to all the questions you have fired at it. Did you really think you were an open thinker? Did you really think it was “you” in the driving seat? Think again, pavlov's dog! (If you don't get it, you'll have to look it up). If you were an open thinker, you would have laid out each of the questions, examined the connections, looked deep into the words to trace their history, looked at each of them from a human perspective, tried to see each situation from all sides, from the compassionate angle, from the financial angle, from the preservation of the species angle, from a “long view” angle... Do you understand what I am tying to convey to you here? The simple truth is, your mind cannot be trusted to make even simple judgements, and by that same token, neither can you. Your mind has been conditioned, deliberately, and accidently, over thousands of years, so no, it isn't your fault. But that doesn't mean that NOW is not the time to wake up and take control of it, for most of you, for the first time ever. It may be a little scary at first, but if you want to change the world, first, you're going to have to change yourself. Fundamentally, from the inside out. Start today and when you're ready keep reading.

Chapter 2 Change is hard
Actually, that's a lie. Change is easy. It's the resistance to the change that makes it hard. How do I know this? Well, I've been trying to give up smoking for years, and yes I know it's terrible and yes I know it's damaging to everyone's health, but my stupid brain will not let it go. But I will keep giving up, until one day it sticks. And that's it isn't it. Never stop trying to change. If you are trying it means you are taking control, and the only reason it is difficult is because the hard wired brain is quite happy with its wiring and sees no reason to change the program. So, change isn't going to happen without a conscious decision to do some rewiring yourself. And if change is difficult for one individual (me) to change one thing about himself which is clearly not good for the health of the human system, how the heck are we going to stop someone from murdering humans or animals, or scientists from inventing things which are obviously not beneficial to the human system, or planet system? Well, try as we might, we are going to find it very hard to change anybody. Even changing someone who is vegetarian, someone who cares passionately for animals, into a vegan is hugely challenging, even if we can see that they are being marginally hypocritical by still using products from animals who have been made to suffer during the process. People have to want to change and if they don't want to, we can cajole them, incentivise them, or even threaten them, but who are we to tell people to change if they don't want to? It's their life and they have to live it as they see fit. And if they are asleep because they are not aware that they have been wired by external sources, then all we can do is ask them to question that for themselves. We humans should not be in the business of changing people. But we humans should also not be in the business of changing the planet. After all, it's been here a lot longer than us, and will continue to be around a lot longer than us. Who are we to dictate how the planet should look? Who are we to destroy the creation of

beautiful forests, to make tables, drill the life blood from the earth and use it to fill our cars and fuel our cities? Who are we? Well, we are homo sapiens, self proclaimed king of the universe. And we like to shout it from the rooftops. Come on everyone shout with me! “We're Number One! We're Number One!” “We're the top predator”, as someone said recently to me. Top predator? That's not much of a label is it? Someone also said to me “we're the most intelligent species on the planet”. I had to laugh! Most intelligent species? Top predator? Ha ha. Yeah Right. We're making a fine use of our brain! And before anyone puts it down to man being eternally damned, full of original sin, or karma. Don't. Don't lay down your responsibility as a member of this species at the door of a quotation. We are all responsible for the state of our minds, and the planet. Not because we are the designated guardian of it, but because we destroy it, minute by minute. Let's get something straight. The human mind, the planet we live on, and all other living things, are entwined in a complex relationship. One that should be harmonious but isn't. But let's sit with that for a moment. “Man is entwined in a harmonious relationship with planet earth, and all other living things.” That is a statement that may have existed many thousands of years ago but is now a distant fading memory. “And why should we be in a harmonious relationship with planet earth and all other things?” says you. “We didn't get to where we are today by being in a harmonious relationship!!” To which I reply. Exactly! So where are we as top predator / most intelligent species? Oh you're not going to make me list it are you? Ok, well here's a few. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Humans are living longer. We can cure most illnesses. We are greedy. We are thoughtless. We desire what we cannot have. We are cruel. We are possessive and jealous. We are murderers. We seek power and domination over all.

Maybe the planet and the all the other species would prefer if points 1 and 2 were reversed! But, who am I to criticise? I myself am a beneficiary of the advances in hygiene and medicine! So how do I see myself? Am I a top predator? Well, as I don't eat animals, not technically. But thanks to the advances in science I am writing this on a computer, sitting in a comfortable, warm room, where I have just had a coffee, and will shortly be having breakfast. But there are lots of things I have given up especially in my mind, and I would happily live a simple life away from all this modern living. But, as a human living in one of the richest countries in the world (England), where everything revolves around greed, I am somewhat stuck. But more on that another time! So I am not in a harmonious relationship with the planet either, but I am working on it (with you). We are all in relationship so my individual actions must be in collaboration with yours. I must see how my individual actions are affecting you, the planet, and all other species! “But to do that every waking moment would drive us all mad!” says you. Exactly! Says me. So what do we do? Do we keep quiet and carry on, in the hope that those in powers have it all in hand, or wait to see if the next life is better?

Well, that's entirely up to you. It's your choice. It's your life. It's your experience of this life. And before you ask, yes, it's ok to be selfish. It's your right. So you can keep doing what you want to do and I won't give you a hard time. Remember, it's not your fault!

Chapter 3 One Simple Idea
An idea so simple you won't believe that you or anyone else hasn't thought of it. And remember, you only need to apply this idea if you are someone interested in changing the world. Everyone else can stop reading now. Ok, good to have you on board! So, there are some of us who want a more peaceful world, with humans intertwined in a harmonious relationship with each other, the planet, and the other species. But this change has to originate from you. You have to change. You have to free yourself from greed, desire, jealousy, anger, etc. first, and if you're not sure how to do this then you can read any book on the topic including “the natural mind – waking up”, my personal journey into what it means to be human (for me). Ok. So I assume you have changed yourself as you are reading on (how many years did it take you!?) and want to make external changes. Normally, when humans get involved in changing the world, bad things happen! You don't have to look very far into the past to see how ideas have created more suffering than good. But you're anxious to get on with your good work and want to know how to do it, don't you? Patience. All shall be revealed! We are not all passionate about the same things, and that's a good thing. We all have one cause that we want to support over others. Some of us care about the plight of animals reared to be murdered, others care about the plight of humans caught up in wars, murdered by their own, or invading armies; others care about the state of the environment, education, jobs, violence... The list is endless, but I'm sure you already have some firm ideas about what you would like to change.

So how do you get started? Well, you could start a campaigning group, and go on protest marches, and generally cause trouble for those in power (and everyone who doesn't agree with you). A good example is the vegetarian/vegan campaign groups who try to convert people to not eating meat, and living a more compassionate lifestyle. But we can see how that's working out for them! Sure, more people may not be eating meat all the time, but vegetarians are still a tiny minority of the world's population. Even though they're armed with great environmental statistics, and how becoming a vegetarian will make you a better more compassionate person, people still eat meat (top predator and all) and tell the vegetarians “man is a meat eater! Why do you think we've got these teeth?” So even if you can see that not eating makes sense, it only makes sense to you and others like you who see becoming vegetarian as self-evident. You cannot change others. You can influence, but not directly change them. They do the changing, not you! Remember that! “But if we can't change others directly how to we change the world?” asks you. Hang on! We're getting there. But first you need to see why other approaches to this one simple idea are doomed to failure!

Over 55 billion animals are murdered for our pleasure each year, and this Christmas in the UK we will murder over 10 million turkeys. Big numbers indeed, but how many of these animals will be saved by all our campaigning? How many turkeys won't end up on the dinner table because I am vegan? The answer, none of them. Why? Simple economics. Supply and demand! We demand turkeys the farms and slaughterhouses supply them. Simple! But. What comes first, supply, or demand? Well, one would think that supply is driven by demand, but it's the old chicken and egg story! Hence, we cannot be sure. In the USA, there is a constant “war on drugs” campaign where the government is attempting to stifle demand through education, and drug rehabilitation whilst trying to eliminate supply. And from the number of deaths associated from both the supply and demand we can see how that's working out for them. But. They are on the right track (you will probably be disappointed to hear me say!). You see, what the vegetarian groups have failed to recognise that they are only tackling one half of the problem (remember the bit about balance in the universe?). Whilst they are busy tying to convert everyone to go vegetarian, Mr Smith the turkey farmer is busily congratulating himself on the profits he made murdering a million turkeys. Now, the extreme animals rights activists have long since believed that murdering Mr Smith would probably be the best way forward! But that isn't going to help us in our quest to create a harmonious relationship with each other, other species and the planet in general. We need a different way forward. One which doesn't harm Mr Smith, but at the same time stops the murder of a million turkeys (not that I want to look after a million turkeys, more that they wouldn't be brought into being in the first place). One which plays the capitalists at their own game. One which can be applied to any business which falls into the category of “Does nothing to further the harmonious relationship between humans, the planet and all other species.”

Here it is!
Buy it, and shut it down. Picture this for a moment will you? There's a patch of industrial land for sale for development. Now from an environmental and human point of view, the constant building of new dwellings in urban areas, shopping centres, business parks, is doing nothing to help us in our quest.

So we who are interested in stopping the development of land could do several things. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Write to our council to stop the development (good luck with that) Write to our MP (good luck with that) Write to the developer (good luck with that) Organise a protest (good luck with that) Put together a buying group from anywhere in the world, buy the land, and return it to a state which furthers our quest. Such as creating gardens, fruit and vegetable growing, etc. that's up to you. There is only one rule : No building. That defeats the purpose.

I can hear you laughing now. I can hear you saying what a stupid idea this is. And that's ok, good luck with your campaigning. Let's be honest with each other. Nothing has really worked so far to effect the creation of a harmonious relationship with each other, the planet, and the other species. By using the tool of purchase there is no one to convert, no one to complain to, no protests to organise. Just the simple matter of a cheque changing hands, a smile and a handshake. And that's it. You've changed the world. Sound to easy or too difficult? Well it was you who said they wanted to change the world. You do want to change the world don't you? You do want to make long lasting change, don't you? You do care so passionately that you would sell all your possessions if you had to, to help change the world. Don't you? But you don't really want to stop global warming, arms production, animal murder, do you? The idea is simple, and there are plenty of people who can raise millions or even billions if necessary. There are plenty of crowd-funding tools available on the web for smaller acquisitions. Save your charity money and make a real change. Wherever you live in the world. Put your money into something that makes an instantaneous difference. 2011 – Mr Smith Turkeys kills 1 million turkeys. 2012 – Mr Smith sells his turkey business and goes away happy, the buying group shuts the business down and turns it into a space dedicated to creating a more harmonious relationship etc... World changed. “Yeah but what's to stop him setting up another turkey business?” says you. “Yeah but what's to stop someone buying that business too and shutting it down?” says me. Wherever we see an opportunity to reduce suffering in whatever form we can take action. And the best bit is, no one gets hurt. 2011 – Happy Bullet Company sells 100 million bullets. 2012 – Happy Bullet Company sells its business and goes away happy, he buying group shuts the business down and turns it into a space dedicated to creating a more harmonious relationship etc... Want any more examples? Good! Now lets get on with our quest... And if we can't buy the business, or change doesn't happen as quickly as we would like, that's ok, humans have been causing chaos on this planet for thousands of years. There's plenty of time.... Now where's my breakfast? If you would like to discuss your plans get in touch via the usual channels Alan :)

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