When the Transforming the American Workplace blog launched back in 2012, I began with a platform of answering questions that I would receive from a few readers. After 3 months or so, I didn’t receive questions, so I decided upon another approach. I began to delve into the idea of transforming the workplace, connecting it to a transformation in consciousness, using the teachings of A Course in Miracles. This book was the basis for 16 Mondays-for people who hate their jobs.
It turned out to be a shift that would encourage me to examine in greater detail the relationship between our belief in work and the conditions that resulted from that belief. All beliefs have corresponding conditions that mirror those beliefs back to us. The shift also allowed me to develop a response to the high rates of job disengagement that plagued U.S. businesses. Before too long, it became clear to me that the global workplace, not just that in the U.S., was collapsing.
The questions that I receive now are almost always in response to the suggestion that a global transformation in consciousness is required in order to address the plethora of crises that we confront on a daily basis. These are crises in intimate relationships to crises that stem from the deterioration of the biosphere.
I am rarely asked a question that I will single out to answer, except one that I was recently asked. A friend asked me why I spend so much of my time creating these articles about work and jobs. Work, after all, is natural to the human race and to the planet. And besides, who reads this stuff?
A proposed or new idea, like that of gifting, sharing and co-creating requires knowing how consciousness operates in order to entice one that is welded to the belief in earning, owing, and paying. So in between publications, there’s reading to do, articles to review, conversations to have, brainstorming, and contemplation on the profound attachment we have to the beliefs, like working and earning, that cause us so much misery.
Over the years I have challenged our belief in working, suggesting a shift from the separation paradigm—conflict, discord, war, anger, debt, competition. We could and do have the power to create a new vision that encompasses an ancient guidance to gift and share. I take it farther by suggesting that an economy based on gifting and sharing of talent is more than a possibility. It may be the only path that saves us.
It is true that this is where my head is, and I can rarely, or even fluently, engage in most pop culture conversations; that is I cannot tell you about the Russian woman who Donald Trump pissed on; the history behind “Free Meek Mill,”* or a hot episode of Empire. I do look at movies on Netflix and I watch certain television programs, but always with an ulterior motive. I’m always gleaning some insights into people’s work habits, and most programs include a workplace. I watch Homestead Rescue because I enjoy learning about the transition from on to off-grid living. I cannot tell you much about Kim Khardashian or her sisters. I know she’s never won a Nobel Peace Prize, but that she deserves some kind of honorable mention from Wharton for how she makes a shit-load of money off of people who have an unquenchable thirst for the details of her life.
I can discuss a few documentaries. I watched one a year ago, True Cost, about the fast fashion industry and the 2012 factory fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It provided the basis for an article on the role that jobs play in our suffering.
If there is an event in the popular media that magnifies some of the ideas that I advocate, usually I take those ideas and turn them into memes for Twitter or I might even use them in an article. An example is an incident on a United Airlines’ flight involving a doctor who was beaten and dragged off of a flight by airport security. The cause of the conflict was overbooking. I can tell you that the CEO of United Airlines, Oscar Munoz, did not receive a promotion because of the way he mishandled the response to the violence. Some heads at UA rolled for what was considered a breakdown of communication in United’s public relations department. That all has to do with jobs and the workplace.
While I am aware of the dominant, albeit, collapsing narrative of planetary life, including the workplace, I am an attraction magnet for new ideas that signal we are coming upon a new epoch.
I count myself as one of a community of folks who want to hear more about alternative economies, and about how economies (nation states, borders, and a host of other ineffective, and unchallenged configurations) are connected to the belief in separation and the disintegration of its systems.
I’m not so much concerned about the soaring cost of resources, high or decreasing rates of unemployment. I want to know more about the fear that drives the job market and the fear of those who raise the costs of those resources. I’m interested in this belief that the Earth was bequeathed (hijacked would be more appropriate here) to a group of people who hold the inexorable right to own land, to abuse people, animals and bodies of water, to mismanage and invade, where and whenever they deem it appropriate and in their best interest.
I want to hear more from the likes of Charles Eisenstein, more ideas on de-growth and the disastrous effects of “interest.” I’d like to hear more ideas like the ones that Paul Sheppard advances in Nature and Madness, ideas that suggest that the deterioration of the biosphere began with the shift from hunter gathering to farming.
There is an awakening consciousness who thirsts for the bold and courageous examples of those who are reexamining planetary life and creating new paradigms for living in community and communion that take the well-being of the whole of creation into account.
So while I create articles on the unraveling of one of our most cherished beliefs, earning a living, and cherished cultural institutions, the workplace, I also propose a new idea: co-creating, gifting, and sharing in communion and community with all life.
Now I don’t imagine that the number of people who read Kim Khardasian’s Twitter feed or the folks who follow “Fat Jewish” on Instagram are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the next edition of the Call, Rap and Realtalk. What I do know for sure, however, is that every day more of us are awakening to the realization that we are the power to transform life on this planet. That transformation begins in consciousness. I write for some of those few folks, some who just might visit my blog.
*After writing this article, my daughter explained the details of Meek Mill’s incarceration
Akilah t’Zuberi, author
Laurie Thompson, editor
Below you will find some articles about the American workplace that you may find of interest. I haven’t been tweeting much lately, but will get back on it in May with new ideas that I have for memes on the transformation of work and earning.
Whole Foods will end its loyalty program and fold it into Amazon Prime. This is the thing about getting those store cards. As soon as you rack up points, the program is eliminated or the rules for using those points are changed.
Speaking of United Airlines. They have now been charged with endangering the life of animals.
Since I’ve stopped driving, I have become more familiar with public transportation. I live in the city of Philadelphia, who as far as I am concerned, is way behind with their token fare system. SEPTA is now phasing out tokens and replacing it with a new system called SEPTA key. Hopefully it will put the city’s transportation system on par with other large cities like New York and Chicago.