The lyrics from Sam Cookes’ 1964 hit seem more poignantly relevant than ever.
First, we faced Brexit, where Britons voted to be rid of a system where back room deals and political favours were prioritised over sound policy and foresight. Next, a TV realty ‘star’ who’s qualifications include an endless stream of bankruptcies, bullying, sexist and racists rants, climate change denial and having paper wealth in the billions – yet paying no tax, gets elected as President of the USA … because apparently, he represents the working class American.
‘One day, the house of cards will collapse’ says Euro creator and now vocal opponent, Otmar Issing. Italy has voted overwhelmingly against the European establishment, which could determine its fate in the EU. In 2017 both France and Germany head to the polls. ‘The only constant is change’ Heraclitus mused and 600 years later his neighbour from across the Aegean, Pliny the elder stated ‘The only certainty is uncertainty’. So, the one thing we know for sure is that ‘change is gonna come’.
Oxfam stated in 2016 that the richest 1% now has as much wealth as the rest of the world combined. Most of this wealth is attained and maintained unethically. Maintained in that within Australia alone, tax loopholes allow 30% of big business to pay no corporate tax. (ATO 2016)
Qantas, Virgin Australia, Lend Lease, Glencorp and many other brands we see and support daily pay zero tax, yet, you and I are charged upward to 45 cents in the dollar. If we ran our personal finances the way these businesses are allowed to operate, we would have our debts reigned in and made bankrupt within a heartbeat. So, change must come.
The 1% are out of control and are in an ethical and moral race to the bottom. We look at global automobile giants whose only goal is to become number one and will lie, cheat and deceive to attain that goal. FIFA squandered millions, maybe billions so that a ‘gentlemen’s’ club of elite remained in control of ‘the people’s game’. Toshiba, a once proud Japanese icon, falsified earnings income by 4 Billion dollars and a spoiled presumptuous ‘entrepreneur’ named Martin Shkreli thought it was good business to buy a company and raise the price of its life saving drug by 5000%. That was just 2015/2016. So, change must come.
People make change. Not products. A product may change your life, but it is people who dreamed it, prototyped it, developed it, marketed it and sold it. It’s your choice to buy into it or to leave it alone. If we really want change, we must start to act and behave differently.
I ran a multi million dollar company and grew it beyond all expectations over a 6-year period … nearly losing my soul in the process. When a leader asks you to do something that ‘doesn’t feel right’ or questions systems put in place to protect employee’s rights … you know something is not right. But, only you can make a change if you want to. Sure, it will be tough, but as Roosevelt observed, anything truly worthwhile requires effort, pain and difficulty.
Choose and act wisely. Think about what you support, who you work for and what your purpose in life is. Mine is to teach and create awareness; to save someone from wandering down the dark path I was facing and making sure the fork they choose is to enlightenment. One final, favourite, quote – ‘Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore’ – Andre Gide.