What You Can Do

What You Can Do
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By John Perkins

It has been nearly twelve years since the release of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. People have wondered how the publication of that book has affected me and what I am doing to redeem myself and change the EHM system. They have also questioned what they themselves can do to help turn the system around. The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is my answer.

The excerpt below is from one of the most important parts of my new book, where I explain what you can do personally to help in the transition from a death economy to a life economy - one invested in love and compassion for all people and the planet. I hope you enjoy this short glimpse into chapter 46 of the book and the events that became my confessions.


John Lennon said, 'All you need is love,'" Samantha Thomas told me. "What better way to honor the peace prize than through a summit that reflects his ideas?"

Yoko Ono had awarded me the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace and, along with it, a major contribution to Dream Change. The organization had been relatively quiet for several years, but now Samantha, a brilliant, dynamic, and determined person in her twenties, had come on board as its executive director. She wanted to sponsor a 2015 conference that would encourage businesses to achieve higher, more compassionate standards. She and I convinced Dan Wieden, cofounder and chairman of the board of Wieden+Kennedy, one of the most successful and highly respected advertising agencies in the world, to cohost it with me. From the beginning, Samantha had called it the Love Summit. At first, Dan and I objected. We were concerned that "love" might be inappropriate for a business conference. However, our attitudes soon changed.

Like many of the attendees, who were successful entrepreneurs and corporate executives, Dan and I came to understand that when we love ourselves, the earth, and one another, everything gets better. Several speakers pointed out that marketing is aimed at convincing consumers to love a company and its products. To change the world, all we need to do is inspire consumers to love companies and products that serve life, and to persuade businesspeople that if they want their companies and products to be loved, they must commit to doing just that.

As I listened to speaker after speaker expound upon the need for businesses to move into a new consciousness, I kept thinking about Tunduam, the Shuar shaman who had saved my life by changing my mind-set. The world is as we dream it, and we've been living a dream that combines excessive materialism with a divide-and-conquer, them-versus-us mentality.

"If I am to have more stuff," we've told ourselves, "I must take from them." It is time to change that mind-set. It is time to act in ways that support a new dream.

When Samantha said, at the close of the summit, "It turns out that love really is all you need," I realized that she was expressing the basis of the new dream. It is the dream that indigenous people and spiritual teachers--from Mother Teresa to the Dalai Lama, from the Buddha to Pope Francis--have always dreamed. It is a dream of love--for ourselves, for each other, for nature, and for the planet. It is a dream that tells us to replace the old dream of a death economy with a new dream of a life economy.

This new dream is of an economy that cleans up polluted waters, soil, and air; empowers hungry and starving people to feed themselves; develops transportation, communications, manufacturing, and energy systems that do not deplete resources; applies recycling and solar technologies; creates market, banking, and exchange systems that are community oriented and not based on debt currencies or war. In essence, it is a new dream, founded on courage and love rather than fear and hatred.

Please visit dreamchange.org for Love Summit 2016 information and sponsorship opportunities.

John Perkins was Chief Economist at a major international consulting firm where he advised the World Bank, United Nations, the IMF, U.S. Treasury Department, Fortune 500 corporations, and governments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Since then, his books have sold more than 1 million copies and been printed in over 30 languages. He has been featured on ABC, NBC, CNN, NPR, A&E, the History Channel, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Der Spiegel, and many other publications. He is a founder and board member of Dream Change and The Pachamama Alliance, nonprofits devoted to establishing a world our children will want to inherit. His new book, The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, can be found on Amazon.

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