Blogs of ChangeBlogs of Change

No Bake in Bake Sale
By Yehuda Berg
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Recently the Panel for Education Policy in New York City voted to ban home made items from being allowed in school bake sales. At the same time they approved items such as Pop Tarts, Doritos and other pre-made items.  The vote was unanimous.  The Department of Education says they are monitoring the calories of individual items so kids won’t exceed a certain amount. Parents argue whats to stop kids from buy 5 or 6 different treats and eating them all.  They also say this is a way to get corporations into schools for profit.

There was a time when ketchup was considered a vegetable. The Department of Agriculture said each meal has to come with a vegetable and they mandated the Department of Education to do this. Ketchup, however, is not a vegetable, it’s sugar.

This is all an example of using laws for non-solutions.  We either look for solutions or we are causing a problem.

If you have health concerns don’t pick and chose when you deal with it because then things don’t make sense.

Solve the problem, don’t just cause another problem. Don’t have the Dorito guy be able to sell where mom’s cupcakes don’t.  That’s another problem, not a solution.

Rebuilding Haiti Right
By Yehuda Berg
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This coming Wednesday, March 31 in New York City, the United Nations will host the International Donors Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti.  On the table for discussion is the $11 billion in aid requested by the Haitian government, $2.8 billion of which will be donated by the U.S. Government.

The international attention on Haiti during the aftermath of the terrible earthquake has cast a spotlight on the inhumanity of a cultural norm known as restavec, a practice in which parents send a child to live with another family as a domestic servant.  Declared a "modern form of slavery" by the UN, it is estimated by the Jean Cadet Restavek Foundation that 300,000 Haitian children are forced to live a life of servitude that sometimes involves physical and sexual abuse.

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore's DNA Foundation, which aims to eliminate human trafficking and sex slavery worldwide, is speaking up on behalf of these children and asking that as we rebuild Haiti, we rebuild it right by banning the restavec system.

Their voices caught the attention of thousands of people on the social web this weekend and even inspired former President Bill Clinton to weigh in on the issue -  “As the people of Haiti re-envision the future of their country and begin to build back better, there is an enormous opportunity for us to partner together to help develop a more modern economy that uplifts all Haitians. Protecting the rights of children is important, as is strengthening their access to quality education and health services. The Haitians are committed to this, and I am glad Demi and Ashton are taking action and supporting this important issue.”

People often ask me what they can do to create change in their lives and the world. Sometimes it is hard to grasp the impact our decisions have on global issues and vice versa. That child slavery in Haiti has everything to do with us. That because we are all connected, slavery for some is slavery for all.

But if we remember that today is an effect of our yesterday and tomorrow is the direct effect of the decisions we make today, we can help shape a better future for Haiti. We can take responsibility for the present and take action to create change. We can add our voice to the DNA Foundation's campaign on the social web. And we can be the leaders of our own campaign to change the world - by changing ourselves.


Change Looks Like Health Care
By Yehuda Berg
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This week after decades of failed attempts to reform health care, Congress passed a bill that will usher in change. A reported 95% of Americans will now have health insurance.

As usual, people are divided about whether or not this is a good thing or a bad thing for the country. Even President Obama himself stated in his address to the nation, “...So this isn’t radical reform.  But it is major reform.  This legislation will not fix everything that ails our health care system.  But it moves us decisively in the right direction.  This is what change looks like.”

The whole point of this - why we are here, why the world is here, and why we have the political system and leaders that we do - is to achieve change.  This is the purpose of life. So whey then, does change seem so difficult? Because ego gets in the way. Ninety-five percent of the fuel and energy required to launch a rocket is expended in lift-off. The remaining five percent is used for the rest of the mission. The process of change works much the same way. Ninety-five percent of our energy is required just to overcome the ego. This is the hardest part. The ego will try to stop us before we even start. It doesn't want us to change, but once we get past this first obstacle, change begins to create its own momentum. We may not see any results of our decision to change today, but as we go from first gear to second gear and finally to overdrive, change gathers speed.

So good bill or bad bill, Congress has succeeded. The ego's tight grip on government was loosened a little when health care reform became law this week. Fear, pride and judgment lost the battle against the desire for change in this case and the greatest obstacle was overcome, the first step was made. Now the door is open for change to begin creating its own momentum.

We should use this historic moment in politics to see where we are at in our own lives. From a spiritual point of view, our leaders and the decisions they make - or don't make - are only a reflection of the consciousness of us, the people. Whatever emotion this bill brings up for you is an opportunity to see where your ego lies, to see what you need to recognize and transform within yourself. Recognizing how your ego plays a roll in this national issue will usher in powerful change for your personal life as well as the world.

So is this "what change looks like"? Yes, I believe it is.


(5:57 - 6:12) “...So this isn’t radical reform.  But it is major reform.  This legislation will not fix everything that ails our health care system.  But it moves us decisively in the right direction.  This is what change looks like.” - President Barack Obama