MISSION - keeganrs@gmail.com

My blog is about my dream for a world where everyone is allowed to exist and improving the quality of life of the world’s citizens is our priority.

For many reasons I reject the current path of the world.

Rich world insanity, excess and lies. Poor world denial of human rights and food. The destruction of the planet. Our homogenisation into one consuming mass of idiots.

We need to look for new ways. New human interactions at every level. New models of participation or at least rescuing old ones. Things like couchsurfing.com and woolf.org are steps in this direction as are the models of health and education being created and implemented in Venezuela.

We need to stand up and say "Enough!" to the current regimes and look to support all those initiatives for a better world and create our own. 

Friday, 10 July 2009

- You're not my president!

"Dialogue" shows it's true colors

By Keegan Keegan at Jul 10, 2009

Hondurans demonstrating what the Honduran oligarchy consider to be rubber bullets. They were found in the area surrounding the death of Isis Obed who was killed on Sunday at the airport during a peaceful protest.

Today was going to be a key day in the struggle I thought. I had the feeling that the cards would be on the table after the meeting between President Zelaya and Micheletti, the dictator installed by the coup. I didn't think that an agreement would be reached because the two sides have made statements about things they are inflexible on, principally on whether the president will return to Honduras or not. So as it stands we continue to wait and see what will be the next actions from the four key players in this struggle which include, President Zelaya, the social movements calling for Zelaya's return and a new constitution, the oligarchy which includes Micheletti, most of congress, private media and most of the armed forces and lastly the role of the international community from which the United States have the greatest role to play.

It seems to me that the tactic of the right is to maintain an image of legitimacy through the call for dialogue and peace and relatively mild repression which serve to stall the actions of those in the international community and Honduras who would be compelled to act more decisively if "dialogue" was no longer presented as an option. Some of the statements coming from the press following the meeting in Costa Rica include those of Oscar Arias, "dialogue can create me miracles, but unfortunately not instantly" and that patience is required. Micheletti's belief in the dialogue is clearer after it was revealed that he didn't go into face to face discussion with Zelaya and with his statement "I agree with the return of Zelaya but only to be detained and trialed." The OEA, which has also softened its condemnation of the coup after strong criticism from Congress and US media in the country which provides 60% of its budget, also agreed that the process would take time.

The ball is back in the court of Zelaya and the social movements. Do they wait for the next opportunity to discuss the situation or for the international community to take more concrete measures or do they reject dialogue as a strategy of the oligarchy to maintain power for long enough to shift public and international opinion?

My opinion is that the need for concrete actions is immediate and that every day which passes under this dictatorship is a day lost by the Honduran people. The advances of the ALBA (Allianza Bolivariana Para Los Pueblos de America Latina, Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples of America) and its many programs have been stolen from the Honduran people. President Zelaya decided to join the ALBA after the oligarchy refused to support his plans to create a more just Honduras. Today it was announced that in the face of the aggressions of the coup government around 80 of the 120 Cuban staff providing services to the Honduran people have left the country.

Programs which have been delivered over the last year as a result of the ALBA which are no under threat include "Yes I can" (Yo si puedo) the Cuban literacy program which has helped more than 150 000 Honduran's become literate, support for food sovereignty and agricultural development which includes 100 tractors provided by Venezuela, 70 scholarships for Honduran students to go and study in Venezuelan Universities, Mission Miracle (mission Milagro) which has restored the site of around 5000 in Venezuela with the help of Cuban medical staff. Cuba has also supported, the construction and staffing of medical clinics in regions previously denied the right to health services and sports coaches. These are the actions that the Honduran oligarchy is rebelling against. The possibility of an educated population which is guaranteed its basic rights rather than having them determined by their place in the capitalist hierarchy is not acceptable to those who want low wages and a controllable society desperate to buy.

In the next two or three days I think we will know the path of the struggle in Honduras. Either the social movements and Zelaya will take strong action and risk the violence that could be brought upon them by the oligarchy or they will continue with passive actions and the process of a drawn out "dialogue" which will leave the oligarchy in power leading up to the November elections. Neither path is ideal nor do they have definite outcomes but a choice will soon be made.

"No one can be above the law", I repeat "My law."

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The First American Encounter Against Impunity - Primer Encuentro Americano Contra la Impunidad

On the weekend I went to "The First American Encounter Against Impunity" in the fourth Zapatista caracol of Morelia. It was a call for unity in Latin America against repressors past and present who are living in impunity while the victims of their crimes continue suffering the indignity of illegal actions which have gone unpunished and in many cases unpublished.

357 visitors from all over the world came together to hear depositions from participants of 12 countries from the continent of America including various states of Mexico. It was an opportunity for victims not just to exchange stories of suffering, past and present, but also to share old and propose new solutions and to create new models for justice.

A complete archive of the denouncements and reflections can be found at contralaimpunidad.org/ along with images and audio from the event.

Today reflecting back on the event of the last 2 days I have a mixture of emotions and thoughts. Firstly it was great to have the opportunity to be in the presence of hundreds of individuals who care about the injustices of the world today. People willing to spend resources, time and leave some of the comforts of the city behind in order to address these injustices. It was also great to hear first hand from people from all over the continent about the realities they are living.

I left the event feeling enriched for the experience but wanting more. I felt like too much time was spent talking about the symptoms of a capitalist economy which searches relentlessly to create new fountains of wealth to be bottled and sold by the wealthy few to the masses. There was little time spent on broad discussions of how to combat this situation and even less on concrete actions to be taken by participants. Still it provoked personal reflection about such strategies and probably did the same for most of those present.

My biggest disappointment is the apparent lack of credit being given in Mexico to the new left in Latin America which is attempting to forge concrete and binding solutions to the problem of impunity of and before the state. The Bolivarian Revolution and all of its new economic, military and social initiatives are attempting to change both the underlying economic conditions and address the symptoms of capitalism. It attempts to go beyond its member nations in creating new multinational legal alliances to call to justice the perpetrators of crimes against humanity. This is happening both in the creation of new media outlets such as TeleSur (telesurtv.net) and the creation of the South American Defense Council (alternativabolivariana.org ).

It seems that being in a Zapatista community or supporting the Zapatista movement for many causes a partial blindness which negates the ability to see that many of the demands of the Zapatistas and the left in general are being realized or at least confronted as the challenges by governments in neighboring countries. Perhaps it's the progress of intelectual debate which makes it so difficult to see the ideals of the left who search for autonomy, without changing the state, finding a path to creating a new reality. This lack of ability or unwillingness to see other solutions means lessons are going by unlearned and much needed unity amongst the left is being lost. It is also pertinent to note that the new left in Latin America supports the Zapatistas fundamentals and draws experiences and concepts from their movement.

I would also like to personally thank the Zapatistas for hosting the event. It was great to have the opportunity to dance, eat, play soccer and speak with them. We openly shared experiences about their local reality and Australia.

Some of the highlights of the presentations included:

Hugo Blanco from Peru who spoke about the current crimes against humanity being implemented by the government of Alan Garcia as part of a plan to clear the way for its free trade agreement with the United States.telesurtv.net la-guerra-contra-los-pueblos-indigenas/ http://blog.buzzflash.com/analysis/803 .

Camilio De Silva from the Landless peasant movement (MST) http://www.mst.org.br/mst/home.php http://www.mstbrazil.org/who spoke about the military being a mechanism of the bourgeois to be used against workers, students, peasants and anyone else who gets in the way of their capitalist interests and the need to get beyond it.

Humberto Mirando from Cuba spoke from his heart about the personal impact of the Cuban revolution on his family. The revolution allowed him and his three siblings to go to university despite being born to a poor mother. He also spoke about President Obama's administrations complicity in the massive injustices associate with the cases of the Cuban 5 wrongly imprisoned in the US and the case of self confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles who's living in impunity in the United States. ( An introduction from a non radical source to the Carriles case wikipedia Luis_Posada_Carriles Superseding_indictment_in_2009 and here for the Cuban 5 http://www.freethefive.org/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbbmp0sfPAc&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.freethefive.org%2F&feature=player_embedded )

Atteresa Contreas from Mexico was widowed by a mining accident. The resulting cover up has failed to recover most of the bodies and has been followed by a fraudulent investigation. She called on the audience and the EZLN to help fellow victims take control of the mine.

The case of former Peruvian president Fujimori who denied justice for many of the crimes committed against the Peruvian people prior to and during his time in office was also presented. The efforts of activists has resulted in him being sentenced to 25 years in prison after being captured in Chile .

The Bolivian representative spoke about the success of their struggle to bring to justice dictator Luis Garcia Meza Tejada. He is currently serving a 30 year prison sentence
There are also legal actions under way against Ex President Gonzalo Sanches de Lozada. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8056718.stm The difference between the cases being that the current President Evo Morales is encouraging that Lozada along with 16 members of parliament be tried for their crimes (which resulted in the death of 60 protestors in El Alto, Bolivia) where previous regimes have been obstacles to the legal process. The MAS government is also investigating cases and searching for the bodies of hundreds who were disappeared during the "dirty war." So far 4 bodies have been recovered.

The participant from the Island of Kiskeya (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) spoke about the situation of extreme poverty, damaging foreign interventions and growing forces for division within and between these two countries which share one island. He also spoke about the two views being presented the future of Haiti, those being: the paternalist view that the country is in such a bad state that it will never be able to resolve it's own problems; and that of Cuba and Venezuela who want to support the country to create it's own path to peace and prosperity. He also mentioned the two coups against popular leftist leader Aristide in 1991 and 2004. http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=405&topic_id=13937&mesg_id=13937 http://www.voltairenet.org/article159651.html

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Reflections on my time in Oventic Language School - El centro de Español y de lenguas Mayas

After spending the last two weeks in Oventic, a Zapatista Carocol (which functions as an open space where people from all over the world can come for festivals or visit and speak with Zapatista's and where Zapatistas can come to speak with their elected authorities) learning the Mayan language Tzotzil.

Studying in Oventic is much more than just language classes. It's a chance to see the world upside down. The Zapatista struggle is not a struggle based on self interest, in fact the more I learn and see the more it seems that it's a struggle for the rest of Chiapas, Mexico and the world with the exclusion of their own needs.

The Zapatistas refused to sign an agreement which would have brought the new schools and clinics to their communities which they demanded because it wouldn't have addressed the fundamentals of the problems for the vast majority of Mexican's living in desperate conditions. So too are the education promoters in Oventic working for next to nothing for the benefit of their people. They don't get paid any money for their work despite 3 days minimum wage in the country of origin of the student going to the Zapatista organisation. (This works out at a cost of 5-10 days of Chiapas wages per day of class). The education promoters work passionately and purposefully share their time and knowledge with people from all over the world who have spent amounts of money they are never likely to have access to, in order to visit them. Then they have to go and tend to their chickens or vegetables or sew in order to make a wage to supplement their income of tostadas and beans. What is most impressive about the Zapatistas is the dignified co-operative way they go about their work no matter what it is.

I was studying Tzotzil, the first language of almost everyone in the municipals which make up the region of Oventic. I arrived with only a few words which I had learnt a year ago during my previous stay in the region. The task for my education promoters was a difficult one. The language itself has nothing in common with European languages other than a few Spanish words which have entered their language to represent things which didn't exist before the arrival of the conquistadors. Still we battled on in one on one classes learning a mixture of grammar, objects, jokes and traditional stories punctuated with coffee breaks and conversations in Spanish about the reality in Chiapas and our own personal stories.

Because it was only two weeks of classes I feel like I have met a lot of new words and sounds but I don't yet recognise them easily much less am I able to use them accurately. Still I feel that my Tzotzil will come together over the next few months in Chiapas. I think that it will help me to create more equal relations and to better understand the people I will be spending time with.

Outside of Tzotzil classes their was another kind of education. Hearing local peoples stories and talking to students in the autonomous secondary school which runs alongside the language school was an experience in itself. The history of the Zapatista struggle comes to life when these people tell you where they were and what role they played during pivotal events in their history. The inner strength and spirit of resistance comes out with every word of some of these diminutive giant revolutionaries.

Being on revolutionary land also brings other people hoping, dreaming and sometimes dedicating their lives to creating a new world. I was fortunate enough to be able to talk about the Zapatista movement as well as other struggles for a just world with Italians, Germans, Americans and people from all over Mexico. Each of them bringing their own experiences and point of view to Chiapas hoping to exchange something which doesn't have a cash value but is infinitely valuable. Some people bring a specific skill or medicine or a financial contribution, others support through their presence demonstrating that they support their struggle and stand together with them against domination and repression. What I take away from such a big experience can't easily be summarised in a few words. I was able to stay in a different world for a few weeks. A safe world where people work hard with little reward and few complaints; with the happiest kids I've ever seen and the most content teenagers who actually want to go to school; where the land produces food which is cared for and then used to support life; where people discuss and debate the world. In Oventic there exists many things which can be seen in few other parts of the world but which should be replicated.

In the beauty of the mountains surrounded by quiet caring people I felt peace. Sometimes I forgot I was in a war zone, then when I saw the masked security or a video of 30 tanks carrying hundreds of soldiers passing the place where I was and I remembered. I'm proud to have supported the struggle of these people in a few small ways over the last couple of years and this experience has only strengthened my connection to the Zapatista struggle.

To me Oventic is a place of hope, sacrifice, experience and knowledge. I am glad to have been able to be a small part of it for a short time and hope that others continue to do the same spreading the dream of another world across the globe to create as the Zapatistas say “un mundo donde quepan muchos mundos” (A world where a lot of world fit).

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Why we must look left and below!

My blog is about my dream for a world where everyone is allowed to exist and improving the quality of life of the world’s citizens is our priority.
For many reasons I reject the current path of the world.

The rich world should reject the current system because of ever increasing problems of mental health, delinquency, drug dependence at all levels of society (including our greatest drug problem - alcoholism), ever increasing rates of divorce, more and more children with learning disabilities, a boom in health problems such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity etc. All these problems are related to a poisonous society created by an economy, which puts money ahead of people. Most of these problems don't exist or have recently come to exist in the majority poor world.

The rich world is also destroying the planet as a whole. China and India are for the most part meeting "consumer needs" of the rich world. Third world populations brought up on western propaganda are equally keen for a new television, car or pair of shoes only exacerbating the struggle for resources to create more disposable products.

Indeed the problems of high infant mortality rates, lack of access to drinking water and lack of access to medicine are the things that aren't being eradicated in this wave of capitalist globalisation. What we are seeing is privatisation of education, water, electricity, health and ravenous demand for rich world products.

We can trace the trends of rich world privatisations and subsequent job losses as well as the continuous trend for manufacturing jobs to move to China or anywhere they can be produced for less to the same capitalist squeeze causing workers rights to be taken away. It's the same struggle. The person who owns the resource wants to find the cheapest way produce it and the most expensive price to sell it at. If they succeed they will have greater profits and their share market price will show their "success".

In this world there is no such thing as corporate responsibility. While companies like MacDonald’s are happy to "sponsor" kids soccer in the US they simultaneously brand the majority of America's youth with the most destructive food company the world has ever known.

A question was put to PR chiefs at a summit about corporate responsibility of some of the biggest multinationals in the world, "Where do you stand on taxes?" Indeed no company was even willing to lie and say that their company doesn't evade taxes as a business strategy. Surely something is wrong when the richest companies in the world are openly avoiding paying what should be the funds for our schools and hospitals.

I travelled around Central Europe and most of Latin America over the last 2 years and really started to think. Why is life getting harder for low and middle-income earners across the world? Why does starvation still kill tens of thousands of people a day? Why are there millions of people living in rich world countries that can't afford medical attention? How can we have developed so much technology in the world without discovering how to deliver drinking water to everybody? Why can some people now not afford to drink water?

I don't believe in bad people. I believe that we are all capable of doing terrible things and wonderful things. I know I have seen in myself the ability to make mistakes, which many associate with "bad people." This negation of bad people also takes away the possibility to put all third world problems down to "corruption."

I believe that our economic system is responsible for the problems of the world. Mostly implemented by selfish white men although many men and women of other origins have fallen into the same trap.

We have a system, which places the market above all else. When profits go up but 10000 jobs are cut and prices double who has won? This is what we are seeing the world over with privatisations and takeovers. When manufacturing jobs are shifted to china and the product is cheaper but you're left without the money to buy it who wins? Housing is big business; we strive for "investment properties" while low-income earners have to live on the other side of town from work and may never own a property. Housing is a right because it’s a need! More workers are living on the street everyday. Corporate taxes and tariffs are lowered to "compete" consequently money must be taken from education, health housing and unemployment.

The poor world is not living it up because of this shift of manufacturing and agriculture jobs. In fact when these big businesses shift they do so knowing that they can pay less for workers, less to meet environmental standards and if they happen to beat or kill some workers because of malpractice or organising for better working conditions they can just sack the workers and continue to churn out profits.

War - the US have been involved in armed conflict every year since the Second World War. More countries are taking up nuclear weapons each year. Millions of citizens of the world are dying in armed conflict which most of the world is against even in those countries that are doing the killing. People want peace, business wants war. Money is ready to be made. If you destroy a city you create massive infrastructure projects. If you occupy it you create billion-dollar industry. These goals are not necessarily government goals but Blackwater and the like are certainly in favour and will lobby for more war because that is what their business runs on!

Media - Mass media terrorism manipulating public opinion may be the single most destructive influence on the world and the greatest barrier to change. Miss-information is spreading corporate truths about privatisations, war, religion etc. but these are not human truths. Our major media outlets feed consumer madness and discourage intelligent thought. The norms we are being taught by television, Hollywood and MTV music are corrosive to society and based in a world that doesn't exist. Nobody is living the life we are being taught. Reject this world of lies to consider human problems. Baddies don't exist, the family of a criminal are hurt just as much by their death as a victims. I would steal if I was hungry enough, I would kill if I were forced to live in oppression and violence.
Are you sure that you wouldn't? If not who are the real terrorists spreading fear and violence?

Solutions. I hope I have depressed you enough and provoked a few thoughts or memories to have you pretty pissed off at the suffering of the world. The first step to a better world is rejection of the current system. Next we have to look at how to construct the alternative. This is where things are currently breaking down for many. How do we make a world that nurtures human talent and treats citizens as equals with an equal right to exist and prosper?

We need to look beyond money. What is it that we really want? What is it that we need? Some of the ways that a new world is being created at the moment include, subsistence farming, couchsurfing.com, WWOOF.org, cooperatives in which workers own the company and decide collectively under what conditions they will work. There are many other acts which if carried out across the world would change it instantly such as consuming less - stop buying new products - it may sound ridiculous at first but consider how many of the things you purchased in the last year that you could have bought second hand or indeed not bought at all. Use public transport and demand better services. Join community groups and organisations that deal with problems you or your community are facing. Support, create and watch independent media generated by people rather than advertisement driven mass media. Support other industries mass actions and don't believe media hype that it's for greed.

When we work together there is a chance for mass change. Every individual action and conversation has an effect on the world. We must consider why the world is the way it is and look for the next step. We all have reason to be looking.

Thoughts? If what I'm getting at is wrong tell me. If not look around you.

Venezuela's Referendum

Today the people of Venezuela will decide whether or not to give themselves the power to re-elect government officials indefinitely or remain with the current limit of two terms. For those not familiar with Venezuelan politics it may almost seem a non-issue. Some countries in Europe have the possibility to continue electing successful leaders while others don't. Many countries in Latin America have single term limits which may be in reaction to the military dictatorships many of them have suffered under. However the question being posed today is not interpreted in Venezuela as being about the finer points of their democratic model It's about Commandante Hugo Chavez Frias.

The opposition media in Venezuela consists of almost all "western style" media outlets that is those run by millionaires who make their money from advertising the interests of major corporations (run by other millionaires). This media is openly dedicated to removing Commandante Chavez. They have participated in coups and created all kinds of lies and aspersions to destabilise the country, create discontent and ultimately remove him in order to return to the status quo of neo-liberal politics. Consider for a second if this kind of opposition exists in your country. Are our leaders subject to the same scrutiny and open sabotage? What would happen if our media played this role or even represented public opinion?

State run media on the other hand is dedicated to informing the public about what the decision really is. A deepening of democracy by giving greater control to the population to choose who they wish for any post. Chavez has said that he is tired in his role and would welcome a retirement following 2013, to a more relaxed life. (Even those of the opposition don't question his level of activity as he frantically crosses his country and the globe to develop the project he had been elected to facilitate.) But Chavez is campaigning for "Si" because he wants the population to be able to decide if they want him and all other elected representatives to continue.

If the referendum is passed then he will have to be re-elected first by the members of his own party (PSUV) to represent them and then he would again be subjected to the will of the people in elections in late 2012.

What is clearest of all about this process is that it is a democratic one with strong arguments being made from within the socialist movement and from outside. Venezuela's democracy is newly re-born but strong after emerging from a dictatorship into a 2 party system. Today these options are unthinkable and could not be imposed upon the population without massive bloodshed. If the referendum fails as it did in 2007 then Chavez will accept the result and reassess strategy in order to continue with the mandate he has been given until he hands over the presidency in 2013. A likely follow on if the "No" vote wins is that the opposition will try to exercise it's right for a revocatory referendum which Chavez won convincingly during his last term. This ability to remove or confirm a leader half-way through their term via revocatory referendum is a rare political tool guaranteed by the constitution of 1999 in the interest of democracy. Imagine if Bush or Howard had been subjected to it during either of their terms!

Today's referendum is a symbol of the ever increasing depth of democracy in Latin America. This referendum follows a series of elections and referendums in Ecuador and Bolivia which have culminated in new constitutions which attempt to erase the legacy of the Spanish imperial and the access their constitutions facilitated to other North American and European interests.

Power is being put back in the hands of the people. It's a right they're not going to let go of.

Here's a story written by a company with the interests of other companies guiding it.

My article is written because of my desire for a safe, free world where everybody fits. This can only happen under new economic systems. Venezuela is an important part of creating this change.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Naomi Klein - The shock doctrine - Doctrina del choc


Naomi Klein has broken down one of the most important concepts about modern politics. It helps understand how the powers that be have managed to destroy the version of capitalism where basic working, housing, health and education conditions were guaranteed for almost all citizens. In western europe and Australia this is a slow process gradually increasing the wealth of the rich by controling the wealth of the middle and the ever growing lower class. In other parts of the world more drastic measures have been taken to implement the same policies of "open markets" and "free trade."

Watch the Video, read the book. Entertaining, scary and something that must be understood to create a better world.

Power to the people, the peacefull and the informed!

Friday, 20 June 2008

My search for change - 2 year review

When I started this blog in 2006 I had just spent 6 weeks travelling around Central Europe and was about to go to Mexico to begin my trip to Chile. At the time I was mad at the world for our destruction of the environment that maintains us, for the excesses that I have always thought normal while so many struggle just for survival and for the war that stains our past, present and unfortunately our foreseable future with it's horrific consequences.

Two years later those things haven't changed. I have seen more of the world and heard first hand stories about political disappearances, I worked with children who are innocent victims of the violence which comes with inequality and indignity and seen unnecesary suffering for people who need medical attention but can't afford it. The closer I have gotten to the reality I had begun to read about 2006 the more I have looked for reasons why. I still reject that it's innate human frailties that have created the current situation. While surely we must take responsibility for the current state of the world (particulary those of us in the western world) given our almost infinate capacity to manipulate it's conditions, I don't believe it has to be this way. I have also come across many sources of hope. I have met hundreds of people who are dedicating there lives to creating a world where everyone can live in dignity and thousands who have developped thoughts about the way things are and know that we must change our ways. For some it's our ways of war, for others it's the environment, others working conditions. For me it's the economic system which must be changed for any of the above goals to be achieved.

Wars for resources and to boost the economy will only increase in intensity and frequency as business pushes government to get control of more comodities (water, oil, land etc). The planet is having everything it has to offer acquired then sold, our economic system of growth requires more and more of everything which the planet cannot provide and whos attempts to extract it create it's own trail of mass extinction and pollution. Workers will continue to be squeezed as labour costs gradually become less and less of the overall production costs as executive wages and shareholders become gluttenously fat both literally and figuratively on the backs of the majority.

Over the 2 years I have gone from politcally illiterate and ignorant of history to knowing at least a little of most topics worth discussing. I have all but given up drinking. I gave up my exercise obsession for a time only to take it up again with more rigour than ever. It's been a good way for me to maintain some routine in my life and is part of my quest to become continually better as a being. I learnt Spanish, a little German, a little Portuguese, a little Tzotzil (in the mountains of Mexico) and have begun learning French.

As far as actions according to what I believe. Maybe the most significant was to turn away from the most obvious path I was set to follow and start searching. I gave away a potential career in physical performance coaching to see what the world is really about. I still have a passion for this area but I'm glad that I took that decision. I put myself in situations very foreign from those I had grown up in, walking the streets, meeting people and living in some of the poorest palces in Latin America. I openned my heart and mind in an attempt to understand things from a human point of view which meant rearranging some of my fears and prejudices. I now fear those with power and impunity much more than those who have had theirs taken away from them.

I have seen all kinds of political problems and various attempts at solutions and debated their merits with people from all over the world.

But to be honest despite all this I still feel like I haven't done anything yet. I feel like I have put myself in a better position to do something about the way things are and that I have taken some small actions of consequence to create the change the world needs but still the personal change I need to start doing things that I really believe in hasn't come.

At the moment I'm wandering Australia sharing experiences and saving some money continuing my preperation.

To use a sports analogy from my former life. I have spent the last 2 years in offseason steeling my mind and body gathering skills and having a few mock games but still game day seems distant. When will I arrive, this is the change I'm searching for most.