Forward Focus For Good

Reader Contribution by Shawn Hosford
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One cloudy day in mid-May I was excited about a protest I was going to attend with a new found friend. I had told him that I found the previous protest I attended for the same cause inspiring and important. He said he was be up for the adventure, so off we went.

The crowd on this particular day seemed so actively diverse as people, kayaks, musicians, media, and police gathered. We got the opportunity to see and hear the giant crevasse between good and evil through a couple different interactions with fellow protest-attenders. When I first started to formulate this blog in my head and heart, I thought that I would describe both individuals and their affect on me. As time  past it became clear that giving any more time to my evil encounter was not where I wanted to spend my energy or yours.

So on I go with spreading the good. My friend and I had the good fortune to meet a woman named Pat Holm. She was a picture perfect activist – an elder in civil disobedience movements. The ideas she shared with us have been growing in me ever since. I have even spread her words further, brainstorming possibilities for a communal future with friends and strangers alike. Pat highlighted one key to changing much of what goes on in our country. She talked about an organization called Democracy Collaborative and how expanding and growing employee owned companies would restore the health and well-being of the middle and lower classes in the United States.

In thinking about past blogs, conversations, and the way I continually choose to live and spend my resources I think I have this fairly finely tuned. However, if I was given the opportunity and the financial ability I would help grow employee owned businesses immediately. I would work to spread livable wages, encourage community, keep money out of Wall Street by putting it back in Main Street, all the while giving people a sense of  ownership. I believe if there were more employee owned businesses, everyone would see the value of supporting other employee-owned businesses and the grassroots could raise itself into a mainstream mutually-supportive norm.

I tend to be an optimist who likes to encourage inclusive collaboration, so this idea has endless possibilities for a new model of sustainability. As we always taught Carly sharing is more fun, interesting, and life full-filling than stinginess. As it turns out it many be more sustainable as well.

Do you know what local companies are employee owned? Are you interested in learning more about this model of business? How do you think we can shift the model of business from Wall Street back to Main Street?

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