Good fortune and health stem from the right amount of tension between opposing forces.
The decision between what is right and what is easy needs to involve all Americans; it needs to drive home the idea that what is right trumps what is easy.
When the founding fathers deliberated on the type of government best suited for the new nation, and the critical attributes to sustain it, they agreed that on the foundational level, education and an informed citizenry were essential. Thomas Jefferson, a champion for universal schooling, wrote:
“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree.”
We, in this country, have stood idly by far too long as life has swung out of balance. We have been witness to a small, self-absorbed group of men and women steering a course of self-aggrandizement and death for the American dream. If we are looking for terrorists, we should identify those among us who have worked to mislead and kill the American dream.
It is time to end the tenure of the elected officials who fail to work for the good of the country and all of it’s people. These officials are those who cannot be counted as statesmen and stateswomen, who seek to marginalize and stymie progress, who falsely point the fingers at others and deplete the country of its rich potential for their own personal gain.
These are the culprits, the latest and greatest, “nattering nabobs of negativism”—they are the enemies of the nation. When a new citizen takes the U.S. oath they proclaim to “… support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” there is an expectation.
That expectation exists too for those born in the United States.
You’re mad as hell and your not going to take it anymore! What can you do? You can, and must, take control of your own life.
In the words of Albert Einstein, “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.”
You have to exercise sensibly, eat appropriate foods and create surroundings that nourish helpful efforts, not bad habits.
Engage in five hours a week of moderately intense to intense exercise. Walk more—up to five miles a day. Buy local and organic foods that have been treated well. Get a life coach. Clean up your environment by ridding of clutter and items that are not used, broken or make you unhappy. Educate yourself about the important issues affecting the nation—issues that really matter. Stop buying mind-numbing magazines and watching equally vacuous television.
Read, discuss and deliberate. Check your sources.
Think about what you spend time on. The topics that matter, the ones that make a difference, the areas where change for the better will resurrect the American dream that awaits us.
Among those are: debt reduction, job creation, campaign finance reform, exercise, universal health care, education, tax reform, agriculture, urban renewal, transportation, recycling and environmental stewardship.
Focusing on issues of importance does not mean you have to give up fun and pleasure. On the contrary, it enables more people to enjoy and participate in life-affirming events: experiences that are earned, experiences that are understood and experiences that involve all senses in their purest manner.
Once you have taken control of your life, understanding and accepting that it involves effort and time, ‘just do it!’
With this newfound commitment and healthy way of being, get involved in public life. You don’t need to run for office, you just need to make yourself known and heard. Find a way to do it: write, read, speak, perform, work, volunteer or seek election—whatever comes most naturally to you.
If American democracy is to survive for tomorrow, the people themselves must take responsibility.
When this occurs, balance will once again reign. But it will take a massive mobilization and engagement by the vast majority of the population with a renewed interest in their affairs—public and private.
Good fortune and health stem from the right amount of tension between opposing forces. Exercise, like democracy, provides that tension.
Lethargy and dictatorships are easy.
Moving, thinking, conversing, deliberating and compromising are much more difficult.
But they are virtues of a healthy way of being, the foundation for prosperity and democracy.
A native westerner, Dr. Michael Bittner brings a complementary blend of western practicality, free spirit and authenticity to teaching, fitness, interior design and organizational management to his role as co-founder and managing partner of ZenSpot, Inc., a holistic lifestyle, design and education company, whose mission is to empower people to be themselves. Viewing overall health as a combination of fitness, diet and balance between work, home and personal time, Michael emphasizes the importance of caring for the internal body and simultaneously organizing the external environment. Through these efforts balance is achieved enabling the mind, body, spirit to operate at their optimal level. Prior to ZenSpot, Bittner held academic and executive posts in research, teaching and administration in Washington, California and New York. Bittner earned a Ph.D. and master’s degrees in education in the social studies from the University of Washington with supporting areas of study in urban design and planning and global trade, transportation and logistics. Bittner holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boise State University where he graduated magna cum laude and received a secondary teaching credential from the State of Idaho. Bittner possesses a graduate credential in Feng Shui Interior Design and Interior Design from the Sheffield School of Interior Design in New York City. Michael is a registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance, having completed training through the Barkan Method of Hot Yoga; is a certified specialist in yoga for children; a life coach with the International Coaching Federation, a holistic stress management coach through The Spencer Institute and a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist through NESTA (National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association). Bittner is certified in First Aid and CPR by the American Red Cross.
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