Something I realized many years ago when a nagging emptiness inside me caused me to start questioning, “I was once willing to give my life as a member of the armed forces..for this?” All around me, I saw good people suffering, good people busting their asses in pursuit of the great American dream, but despite their best attempts, that same dream eluded them. I saw good people. I saw moral people. They were, and still are, credible, hardworking, honest people.

If the great American dream truly still existed, then surely and truly, these noble people should be far better off than they were, but they were, and still are, not better off. How could that be? How could what all my elders taught me, what my teachers suggested, what TV portrayed, and still portrays, not only in shows but commercials too, could people work hard, follow the rules and still fall so far short of that dream supposedly attainable by all? I wrestled and grappled with the thoughts. I wondered around a walking wounded, half asleep citizen for years trying to figure it out. I thought and I thought, a niggling suspicion and splinter just beneath the surface continued eluding me.

I remembered a childhood where neighbors knew one another, talked to one another, and shared with one another. I remembered a childhood where a single parent working in a middle class family was able to support the entire family. I remembered a childhood where house and vehicle doors were left unlocked and open. A flashback to present and I saw neighbors whom didn’t know one another, a time where it was almost impossible to support a family on a single income, and a society driven by fear locking up everything. I see a society where media fear mongering and their divide and conquer mentality have us all not only disconnected from our own government, but also from one another. They have us divided by political party lines, sexuality, religion, educational levels, and classes, and we constantly fall for it.

As a child, I saw prosperity where jobs seemed plentiful. As an adult, I see people all around me struggling to make ends meet and searching frantically for jobs at a time where the rich are at their wealthiest peaks yet jobs are next to impossible for some to find. Today, they are impossible to find for many. At 18, fresh out of high school, I was willing to enlist in the military and possibly go to the Persian Gulf to die for this country and all it stood for. However, when I see what it stands for now, the rich gutting our economy, the sheer evil that permeates our nation in greed, the corruption of our political officials, the social irresponsibility of mega corporations, a government’s refusal to bring any to justice, and I can’t help but conclude I’d not today make the same choice. I was willing to die to help keep the great American dream intact for all of us. Where is that American dream today?

The more I tried opening my eyes the more my patriotism and pain of reality forced them back closed. As each reality took root, forcing my eyes open like someone shoving toothpicks under my eyelids, the pain of recognition forcibly broke the toothpicks rendering even more pain through the process. “Do we have a corrupt government?” was one of my first questions. No, that couldn’t be, I was a member of the military, and government is to be trusted. They’d never do anything to harm those they serve and they’re in office to serve us. After all, this is what society and our educational system conditioned us to believe. Surely, this can’t be true, and I’m unpatriotic for thinking in such ways. School indoctrination and military conditioning clouded my understanding. The years drug on. I watched. I remembered. I waited, and eventually a pattern developed that forced my eyes ever so slightly open. We did indeed have a corrupt government.

Fortunately, my pain didn’t stop with that realization, because like most, I am practical. If I can draw one conclusion based on some merit about a situation, then how many more realities might exist in the same situation contrary to the belief of the masses? Common sense dictated that I must perform my own research. I must do my own critical thinking to form my own conclusions because following my educational and military conditioning clouded the first of many realities I’d uncover through time. This was my awakening. This was my jolt to reality. This is where it all started for me and why I continue doing as I do today, questioning everything and believing nothing until I have my own research and information to give things credibility. I learned to follow my own truths through my own investigative process and critical thinking.

Since then, I’ve realized that people do not wage wars. Leaders wage wars. When I look at who influences those leaders, I’m forced to realize that leaders lead by the puppet strings of the rich and influential, often in pursuit of more wealth, spurred by greed, are at the root of those wars. When our own government lies to us, suggesting a protection from nuclear devices as the means, method, and reasoning of a war with another country, later proven to be lies, I then question why such lies came from leaders we’re conditioned to trust. I can’t help but reason and conclude, either it’s because of corporate greed of that country’s resources, like those of oil, or it’s at the benefit of the military industrial complex that fattens their wallets through the perpetuation of war. In either event, I do not subscribe to the idea that death and destruction, as a means of obtaining more wealth for the greed of socially irresponsible corporations, are valid reasons for war. Recently, they’d have us all believing that the upcoming suggested war with Iran is for the same nuclear prevention reasons, and I’d suggest we not fall for the same red herring again.

In a country driven by such greed and corruption, is it any wonder why other countries are agitated with America? As we wage wars born of corporate greed and political corruption, killing the people of foreign nations whom have relatives grieving their loss, is it any wonder we face an era of terrorism against the United States? What would you do if foreigners came here killing your friends and family in the pursuit of an unjust war initiated to obtain even more riches for the greed driven military industrial complex or fat corporate officials? Would you not want payback and justice for your losses? Terrorism and much that we experience as a nation, that of negative view of other nations looking to us from outside, terroristic acts against US citizens, and a general negative world view are the direct results of such actions that we the people have allowed our corrupt system to perpetrate. Stop the actions and we stop the reactions. It’s that simple.

I suggest that the great American dream is now dead. For how long I cannot say, as I simply am unsure of its exact date of demise. However, I know it’s dead simply because experience shows me that if it was still alive, or even possible, that many more than 1% would be living that dream.  My opposition would suggest that more do not obtain the dream because of laziness. I suggest that although some might not have obtained the dream in past decades might well be the result of laziness, obtaining the dream today has nothing to do with laziness because the dream was robbed. It was theft away under our noses through subtle shifts and changes missed in our slumber induced from conditioning and decades of prosperity. A conditioning at the hands of our educational system, TV programming and corporate controlled “news” outlets is the modus operandi. If it’s not dead and people are so lazy, to believe the opposition would suggest we’ve become a lazy nation. I do not support that with so many working two, and more, jobs just to chase the dead dream, and MANY do so.

I’d further offer and suggest that this was at the hands of the greedy wealthy elite. Our government suggested tickle down economics and we’ve all quite clearly saw that this does not work. When the robber barons obtain more wealth, they do things to create yet more income and that is not through creating jobs locally. If it was in creating jobs locally then the unemployment rate, which is misleading as it does not account for TOTAL unemployment, would not be as bad as it is. Their greed manifests in offshoring jobs for bigger profit or investing in ways to rob other classes of their wealth. The growth in wealth disparity between classes quite clearly shows these facts, and the recent theft of wealth through the corporate banking scandals quite surely makes it even more impossible for anyone to obtain the dream. They plundered entire savings and pensions, normal fuel for the dream, in the process.

Awakening is painful, in not only the illusions it shatters and the pain in our shattered realities, but also in the ostracism at the hands of the many still sleeping that do not yet comprehend the dire trouble we face as a nation. It is hard breaking the mold we’re conditioned into resulting from our growth, teachings, and culture. Awakening, by far, is not an easy process for anyone, and the consequences can be crippling as well. Society has created far too many ways to silence those believing outside the established norms and a plethora of labels exist to character assassinate any brave enough to start such a journey of enlightenment, let alone speak of reality in an attempt to wake others.

As such, I’ve been accused of being unpatriotic, wearing a tin foil hat, a crack pot, wrong in my view, a fringe nut, and a variety of other colorful expletives. Like others, I have children and family that can be judged because of my own actions. Enlightenment has many prices, and some of them sometimes feel exorbitant in cost. Through it all, I can’t help but think back to people like Columbus, Socrates, Plato, and many others that suggested and believed, rightfully so, in things outside the norms of society and the prices they paid for their beliefs. I look at my own experiences from the lash back of society and I wonder how it might resemble the jeers directed at Columbus before he proved the masses wrong.

Society and norms conditioned us to respond negatively to such labels as “crack pot”, “conspiracy theorist”, “quack”, “fringe nut”, and others. Great scholars, scientists, pioneers, and others, from our history, our own heroes of history, fit the very definitions of such terminology if we apply it to the infancy of their idea, yet people, in general, do not seem to remember this fact. Reality, there are some that have better ability to see things more quickly than others do. Just because one can’t presently see the view, does not mean that said view is nonexistent. Point in fact; Columbus suggested the world was not flat. Others, because of mass influence, believed the world was flat, but belief did not make it reality. Columbus proved that fact.

In this, let us not forget our very own founding fathers. Surely, these men suffered such labels as well and similar dangers too. I could easily succumb to the fear of labels, or the dangers inherent in rising against a system, a system similar to what our forefathers faced and wished abolishing as well. However, I am forced to ask myself an important question. If our forefathers fell under the weight of fear, would the birth of this nation happened?

I would suggest that it would not have happened, and I suggest that for each succumbing to such fear of action, prioritizing their safety or safety of reputation, above the good of the masses, that said birthed nation will fall further into corruption and despotism than it already is. As a patriot, I cannot allow that, and I cannot entertain the worry of such fears to silence me and stifle action. I suggest that the more awakened standing together in solidarity, in numbers, mitigates the price paid by all. I’d also remind you that once we achieve critical mass, things become mainstream and norm, forever voiding any prices paid by anyone.

If you are still asleep, or are starting to awaken, you are not alone. We have all been one of the two. Many others have come before us just as many others will come after us. If you are awakened, I welcome you and stand beside you for the betterment of us all. If you are still sleeping, then I encourage you to self-educate, critically think, and find your own truth, not the truth thrust upon you by the masses. Together, we WILL change the world once we achieve critical mass. I am here asking you to join me, as we work together to awaken more, growing our numbers to achieve the positive change we need for all, a change that can only happen once sufficient numbers join the cause. That cause is a better world for all. We do not need to agree on the method. We only need to explore many methods and act upon them together. Every problem has multiple potential solutions. Let’s not succumb to paralyzation and bickering about the “proper” method. If a method holds promise of potential positive change, and since history shows us multi-pronged attacks increase success, then let’s do it all together instead of haggling on the means.

Occupy Awakening the Masses Video on YouTube