As much as I talk against the idol worshiping that is part and parcel of our politics, I sure do write about it a lot. Therein lies the conundrum; try hard as we can to walk away from the sensationalism and the manufactured outrage of the media-politico complex, in the end I too am held hostage by it. This is how the status quo gets us; we are so focused on the problem that we never arrive at a solution. The revolution thus always escapes us; a people caught up in the affairs of the rich and famous end up nullifying our own abilities to change the world.
I launched the Ghion Journal for two reasons. One was to speak against injustice without giving consideration to ideology or identity that has a way of coloring our view of the world. In the spirit of the muckrakers—a group of reporters at the turn of the 20th century who were determined to seek out corruption and root out injustice—I hoped to pursue journalism as it should be and not how it has become in the 21st century. But there was always another facet of my hopes for this publication; I wanted to tell our stories and give light to people who toil in the shadows of anonymity.
I’ve strayed far from the latter part of my mission statement. The more I wrote and the wider the reach of the Ghion Journal, the more I grew intent on covering current news as determined by “elites” in order to continue enlarging our readership. I fell victim to the very same issues I have been blasting mainstream news about for the past 12 months. I noticed a pattern; the more I wrote about the outrage de jure, the more people flocked to this website. What suffered was my hope to tell our stories; my focus on politics and the fatuity of partisans and pundits derailed me from focusing on the people who matter.
The people who matter are people like Jordon, a barista at a local coffee shop who works long shifts on his feet only to work even longer creating jewelry out of beads. I noticed Jordon working diligently in the corner every time I stopped by to get my morning cup of coffee before starting my shift. Always friendly to people who stopped by to ask what he was working on, he refused to let his current status limit his future aspirations. But his aspiration was not so much money as it was to make a contribution, Jordon believes that gemstones have healing powers and he uses his works to give his customers quality and care that corporations only pay lip service to.
After writing the most recent article that enjoyed wide circulation about the government shutdown over the weekend, I had a moment of reflection on Sunday that made me question if raging against the machine was counterproductive. This question gnawed at me all day until I arrived to get my morning cup of coffee on Monday before I clocked in to work. There I saw Jordon sitting in the corner once again attending to his craft while letting a lady who inquired about his jewelry know how she could purchase his necklaces on Etsy.
It dawned on me at that exact moment that I was spending too much time gazing into the navel of politics. The vast majority of humanity has been searching for a revolution for centuries. One generation to the next keeps wanting change only to remain mired in the status quo. The revolution has always been with us. We are the revolution we have been waiting for. Alas, we keep waiting for change to be delivered from the top not realizing that people who thrive atop society have no interest in delivering a new way forward.
The change I hope for—the revolution I’m espousing—is not about violence nor will it be birthed through bullets and bloodshed. The change will come by empowering ourselves and building up the communities where we live. There is a reason I did not mention the coffee shop where Jordon works at—I am not in the business of advertising corporations. Yet I’m not an absolutist, I’m not advocating that we somehow get “off the grid” and barter corn ears. I shop at corporate locations as needed, I just make it a purpose to spend as much on small businesses and independent entrepreneurs as I do at big name stores and corporations.
What if we make it our purpose to buy from jewelers like Jordon or to get our clothes from designers like Feven and Helena? Imagine the secondary and tertiary impacts as the money we reinvest in ourselves cascades within our communities. What if more of us made it our purpose to spend one dollar within our community and buying from local businesses/individual entrepreneurs for every dollar that we spend on a Wall Street conglomeration? Instead of multinational corporations having a near monopoly on markets, we can loosen their grips and by extension enrich our own cities and townships.
I guess what I am saying is that we have two options before us. We can keep focusing solely on the planned profanities that is committed by the status quo and sensationalized by corporate media or we can be mindful of the excesses of the establishment and pay more attention on empowering ourselves so that we can create an alternative paradigm. We have the answers within our hands; we can do more to reclaim our power and remake the world by building ourselves up from within instead of waiting for handouts and a hand-up from the 1%. We are the change we have been waiting for; the revolution will come from and within us or it won’t come at all. #RevolutionIsUS
“Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
The Ghion Journal is a reader and viewer funded endeavor. We disavow corporate contributions and depend only on the support of our audience to sustain us. The tip jar is earmarked to go directly to the writer, the link below is customized to directly to the author’s account. This is done to ensure that writers are getting a fair exchange for the work that they are contributing to the Ghion Journal. The “contribute as you can” model was emulated from one of our favorite restaurants in Fort Collins Colorado called FoCo Cafe (read a business case for kindness). We thank you in advance for your kindness.
Check out this Ghion Cast where I discussed how we have a way of letting the wealthiest among us determine what is valuable to us as we disregard the treasures around us.
Check out this Ghion Cast below where I discuss the reason and mission behind the Ghion Journal. A ripple today, a wave will come tomorrow #FaithEndures
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
Latest posts by Lij Teodrose Fikremariam (see all)
- Ethiopia’s Choice: Poverty through Grievance or Prosperity through Unity - September 9, 2019
- Bloody 60s: the Decade that Aborted Leadership in America - August 22, 2019
- A Matter of Life or Death: We Cannot Afford to Ignore Mental Illnesses Any Longer - August 17, 2019