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July 13, 2011

Stop Waiting To Be Saved And Save Yourself!

Rebuild the DreamRebuild the DreamI was the oldest of seven siblings growing up in Anchorage, Alaska. It was my badge of honor, until I realized being sheriff had a price. I can still hear the sweet refrains, "Patricia we left you in charge what happened, You are the oldest and we expect you to set the example, why didn't you stop them you know better? Didn't we tell you. What happened?' Get the picture? Somehow my rank of the eldest was the go to card when my parents needed to blame someone for broken lamps, half-done chores and pranks of adolescent kids who listened to me less as we grew older. I pleaded my case unsuccessfully while questioning why did I get in trouble when it wasn't my fault for whatever infraction or rule one of my siblings had broken? I finally was heard at around the age of thirteen. We had been dropped off at a house party. The rules were cut and dry, don't leave the party and be out front when one of our parents would pick us up. Of course there was one sister in particular who was never out front and inevitably would leave the party. I would be frantic the last hour running around looking for her so we wouldn't be late. Need I say the parties weren't as much fun for me as it was for them? After about three or four incidents where I was punished for not making sure my sisters were where we were supposed to be, my teen self rebelled. I talked back. Now I don't know about at your house but talking back, questioning or smart-aleck remarks to my parents or any adult was grounds for a whipping, restriction or both. I chanced it. The burden of being responsible for siblings that knew right from wrong, broke the rules but knew my parents would hold me responsible helped me to challenge the unfair rules. Guess what I didn't get a whipping. My mother actually listened to me, heard my frustration, and let me express what a daunting task it was to control my younger siblings when sometimes even she couldn't. It felt good to get it out but better when my mother talked to my father and helped him understand. The rules were changed so everyone who could walk, talk, eat and lived under the roof would be responsible for their actions and decisions – not just ME. What a relief and feelings of pride that I stood up for myself until I was heard.

When was the last time you stood up for yourself no matter what the consequences? I shared my story as an analogy of what is happening in America and around the globe. My story mirrors our country. We are being governed by rules that apply to all Americans while only some Americans are paying the price. A small cadre of corporate media elites, judges, legislators and the wealthiest people around the world are stealing, accumulating power and paying for their $200,000 seats on the first commercial flights to the moon. 95% of the wealth is owned by 5% of the people. That doesn't leave much for the rest of the 95% does it? Yet we blame, fight, argue, accuse one another or whoever the media has led us to believe is to blame. Currently it's President Obama, Hispanic immigrants, educators, union members and urban thugs. How much of this crap can we continue to swallow as apathy, depression and anger eat us from the inside out? 95% of Americans squabbling over a pie that was baked by the majority of us while the puppet masters that pull our strings wipe their mouths on our backs and the backs of our children and the generations to come. One of my favorite writers and teachers, Eric Butterworth said, "I am an each-ness in the All-ness that is God." What I understand that to mean is we are all in this together. There is no them or us. No one is better off, wealthier or more important unless that is what you believe. I am what I am because of you and visa versa. There is no entitlement because of the capitalism board game played by those who continually change the rules. I for one learned as a young girl in Alaska that I don't have to play by rules that have no honor and are rigged against me. I get to stand up for myself or die trying. What I am here to remind you of is the power to change the rules is in each of us. We can't continue to wait for the knight on the white horse, God, or whatever you believe is the answer, to tilt the balance of power so we all have a place at the table. It's not going to happen. You are the knight, you are your rescuer. There are opportunities all around you to change the rules for the good of us all. Vote, call, write that letter, or e-mail your legislator or local officials who are serving their special interest while the interest of the majority of Americans languish in the bottom of a golf bag. Be a participant and stop throwing stones at those of us that are willing to risk the little that we have to help those who have nothing – no food, housing, educational opportunities, health care or decent wages to care for themselves and their loved ones.

If you are reading this and you have been waiting for a sign or an answer I hope you get it. YOU are the answer. Use your power to challenge those we have empowered that are abusing that power. You can start by signing up for one of the American Dream House Meetings scheduled across the country July 17th & 18th, 2011. These meetings are the brainchild of visionary, Van Jones and give all Americans the chance to gather, and not just talk about what the American Dream looks like, but to commit to one another that we will stand together to make it happen.

Please go to and sign up to attend or host an American Dream House Meeting. One person can impact the world, but just think of what our country and the world would look like if we all did it together.

Comments and thoughts ... Email PatriciaStatue of Liberty

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