I read the news today.  Oh boy.  Actually, it was an editorial by Paul Krugman.  It’s about the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative think tank organization that writes legislation for many controversial laws including laws similar to the Stand Your Ground Law, which allows people to shoot someone that they consider threatening. (Say, what!?)  According to Krugman, here’s some of the fun stuff this well-funded, and highly connected organization is behind:

Many ALEC-drafted bills pursue standard conservative goals: union-busting, undermining environmental protection, tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. ALEC seems, however, to have a special interest in privatization — that is, on turning the provision of public services, from schools to prisons, over to for-profit corporations. And some of the most prominent beneficiaries of privatization, such as the online education company K12 Inc. and the prison operator Corrections Corporation of America, are, not surprisingly, very much involved with the organization.

For some reason, this editorial caught me and I suddenly felt powerless, defeated, the wind beaten out of my sails.   I think we live at a time (actually we’ve always lived at a time) when powerful forces are trying to reinvent new forms of feudalism, trying to people into mere sources of profit and production.  Serfs up, dude!

This doesn’t mean that I don’t like business people and wealth.  On the contrary, I admire the talent, intelligence, vision, and opportunity created by people and organizations who move the economy forward.  However, I resent that organizations like ALEC move to treat people like pawns, small parts in a profit-making machine.

As I got closer to the Writer’s Room on my walk, I started to challenge this hopelessness.  Hopelessness needs to be challenged, whether it seems to arise from yourself or external forces.  Just today, I was reading Steve Chandler’s Time Warrior:  How to Defeat Procrastination, People-Pleasing, Self-Doubt, Over-Commitment, Broken Promises and Chaos and he wrote:

Anything that has you stop or quit or get discouraged is always just a thought.  Capture each negative thought or image on paper and work it.  Challenge it.  Go to war with it.

Some of the best things I’ve done for myself have happened when I’ve gotten angry enough.   I visualized credit card card as a  form of slavery and have gone over a decade without paying the balance in full every month.

I don’t have a Heritage Foundation grant behind me doing the work behind this blog.   It involves a few precious minutes during the week and slightly more on the weekends.  But if I can be a little bit of a cheerleader to help you be the non-feudal samurai of your life, slashing through the cobwebs of confusion of discouragement, I will consider this time well-spent.

Don’t get pawned.   Take a slash through discouragement and take one small step towards your life.   Samurai powers activate!