by Miles Patrick Yohnke
"With credit card shopping available in one hand and my smartphone in the other, I'm living the current American dream..."
Recently, I was asked why I didn't have the latest computer. Why didn't I have a smartphone, and why was I not on any social medias given what computers can do today. My current computer seems to give me all the tools needed to express myself. During my life in the 80's and 90's, I had the latest (ahead of the curve if you will) of technology. Or so I thought. In reality, I was way behind the real curve. As I didn't spend that time developing me. Upgrading me. I should have been the latest model or version. We should develop (place your name here) 2.0, 3.0, 4.0S, etc, versions of ourselves instead. Daily.
In the 2010 documentary film by Charles Ferguson entitled: "Inside Job," (the film that helped spark the occupy movement), Ferguson brings us into the worlds of many so-called powerful people, including Chairman and CEO Richard S. Fuld Jr. of Lehman Brothers.
Richard S. Fuld Jr.'s face had been observed to be the universal symbol of Wall Street greed. On Oct. 6, 2008 (three weeks after Lehman Brothers filed the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history), he apparently walked away from Lehman's a wealthy man who had earned $485 million. But taxpayers were reported to be left with a $700 billion dollar tax bill to rescue Wall Street and an economy in crisis.
According to the film, Richard S. Fuld Jr. has a $14,000,000 oceanfront home in Florida, a summer getaway home in Sun Valley, Idaho (filled with millions of dollars of paintings). He owns not one nor two, but six corporate jets, a 767, and a helicopter. This is along with many more luxurious properties.
Charles Ferguson goes on to interview Glenn Hubbard (who used to be the chief economic advisor to George Bush and is now the dean of Columbia Business School). Martin Feldstein (Professor of Economics at Harvard) is also interviewed. It appears that Fuld Jr., Feldstein, and Hubbard had misled the American people. For their own personal gains from greed. In the film and in watching them in many other programs, I find both men come off looking terribly stupid. Especially considering their statures. Weak. Insecure. They seem to demonstrate a lack of knowledge towards the basic fundamentals of life, which is also alarming, given the positions that they are presently in.
"Try not to become a man of success but a man of value," said Albert Einstein.
Do Richard S. Fuld Jr., Martin Feldstein, or Glenn Hubbard's lives have any value?
Can we truly blame them? I mean everywhere we turn, our modern world is so inundated with marketing and advertising that has one goal and one goal only. And that is to make a product so attractive that the consumer feels a need or desire to possess it in order to feel fulfilled or popular or happy.
Society tells us that if we have this car, we are somehow better than another. That if we live in this type of home, we are somehow better off than others. If we have this type of clothes, again, we are somehow better. Though the real story is that the woman or man is doing all this to be liked.
Glenn Hubbard, Martin Feldstein and Richard S. Fuld Jr. just wanted to be liked. From their current body language, pitch of voice, and how they conduct themselves, to me they still remain insecure people.
This is just it. We all want to be liked. In fact, it's a basic human need, the need for acceptance. From the executive to the janitor, we just want to be liked. The problem comes in when we think our value is based on what we have, what we do, who we are. Our outer world mirrors our inner reality. To the extent that we seek to obtain the outer trappings of wealth, fame, and power, is to the extent that we reveal that within we need validation, somebody to tell us we are good enough because we don't feel good about ourselves. We are all struggling!
These men and their lack of self-respect are obvious to the inquisitive. They forgot to develop themselves. To enrich their own being. You can't buy respect.
Media like to put people like them on pedestals. People kiss their butts. They believe they're all this or that. But arrogance doesn't lead to self-respect. Nor does being inflated by media attention.
Oprah Winfrey is another great case. I believe any person that has to have their face on each and every issue of their own magazine just screams insecure. Have I proven myself to you yet? Am I good enough? Am I worthy?
When you love yourself, you're much more likely to be loving to others. People with sincerely good self-esteem have much less or little need to demean others. When you respect yourself, you're much more likely to respect others.
Glenn Hubbard, Martin Feldstein and Richard S. Fuld Jr.'s behaviors show their true self-images. People who love themselves don't sabotage their careers or do such blatantly stupid things.
Their actions show what a superficially inflated level of happiness they have. Low self-images. Money, expensive possessions, and career success don't translate into happiness. It begins from inside and radiates out.
Social medias are not really about connecting. It is a platform for self. Let's talk about me. Myspace should hook up with Facebook and you'd have MyFace. For the most part this is what it is really all about. Yeah, look at me. ME ME ME. What one posts or tweets about is mostly mundane with little value and disconnects us long-term. From self.
I truly believe that if you want to create a healthy and honourable movement, you'll start by occupying yourself first. Developing and upgrading your own being. Upgrading your mind. Upgrading your own hard-drive. We must input new data. My input determines my output. Garbage in, garbage out. Good in, good out. You must now download anti-virus software of truth to rid your hard drives of self pity, indecision, doubt, greed, ego, low self esteem. Downloading apps of love, joy and peace to your own soul.
We need to stop and take ownership of our lives. To develop and accept that happiness isn't within possessions. Happiness lies within us. If one wants to change the world, one must first change themselves. Occupy yourself.
As Dr. Suess said: "We can, we got to do better than this."
By Miles Patrick Yohnke
© 2012 All Rights Reserved.
About the Author
Globally recognized and award-nominated engineer, producer, writer, poet and founder and C.E.O. of 5 Star Productions, Miles Patrick Yohnke brings many years of experience to the music industry; including many awards in sales and marketing. If you are looking at developing your career, Yohnke offers consulting in person, by phone or via email. For more info, please contact him directly at: 306.227.6379 or email at:
Read additional offerings from Miles:
Performing without a Net
Think, Rethink, Challenge Yourself
Olympic Sized Pity Pool
For Those About to Bike (We Salute You)