Freedom of Speech, and Transparency.

The tragedy of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris is fresh in the mind, as are the countless tragedies around the world; that is the Boko Haram massacre in Nigeria, as well as the many civilian lives lost in the west’s continuous quest for control of natural resources. The bombing of Gaza for control of gas, the invasion of Iraq to control the production of oil, the incitement of revolution in Ukraine to control that countries gas reserves and limit the influence of Russia with its natural resources, to name a few. We find ourselves in the midst of many resource wars, resources needed to keep the illusion of infinite growth alive, growth made possible only through the availability of cheap oil – and now other “oil equivalents”, by any means: natural gas, tar sands, and “fracking”.

These resources are limited, something that is clear to anyone willing to inform themselves. Peak Oil is a fact since 2005, ten years of dwindling resources and increased consumption. The International Energy Agency (IEA) and many other serious sources of information on these issues; The Post Carbon Institute, Association for the Study of Peak Oil, and indirectly the oil companies themselves who declare it through their actions; reduced investment in exploration, pulling out of supposedly abundant reserves, and reduced investment in processing facilities.

The issue is that most, if not all wars and global conflicts have at their root the control of a natural resource; oil, coal, precious metals, gold, diamonds, you name it. Who is using these natural resources? We are, the “developed” nations of the west, desperate to maintain this illusion of growth, increased spending for products fewer and fewer people need or are able to afford.

And things will not get better. Already the combination of “peaking” natural resources and an increasing polarization of wealth has made the wealthiest 1% of the worlds population richer that the poorest 50% combined. Worse, Oxfam says that 80 individuals hold more wealth than half the world population, 3,500,000,000 (three and a half billion). Last year Oxfam said there were 85 individuals holding the same wealth.

So where are we going? Why do we “collectively create results nobody wants” as Otto Scharmer from MIT/Sloan School of Management writes in his latest book: “Leading from the Emerging Future”?

Nobody is questioning the right to “Freedom of Speech”, but I am questioning the Transparency of governments, and corporations who more often than not through intensive lobbying are dictating the actions of governments, indeed behind many of these conflicts, which leave the spoils of war to national companies who “invested” heavily through their lobbying.

Transparency means having access to the information we all need, collectively, to make the decision and create the results we want; a peaceful, fair, clean, healthy and beautiful world, for all. The information is there, but you won’t find it in the newspaper or the evening news.

We are all part of this system, a ship heading  into a perfect storm, slowly and inexorably, rudderless and without the collective leadership necessary to steer it into more peaceful waters.

We are all too busy paying our mortgages to banks that were bailed out with money we paid into a tax system, the same banks now paying out astronomical salaries, bonuses and dividends to it’s CEO’s and shareholders. We are all too busy thinking of how we will pay the next vacation, to relax, and distract ourselves some more, and think about how we can buy that bigger house, that bigger car, that bigger TV…

How to we turn this vicious cycle into a virtuous cycle?

Isn’t it time to Stop? Isn’t it time to Stop the madness and look around, take the time to inform ourselves of the real reasons the world is in such turmoil? Isn’t it time to observe, and listen, and feel the world around us?

The information is out there, you just have to know where to look, but you can only do that if you take the time, and stop. Take the time to get off the merry-go-round and look at your life, your community, and decide what it is that you REALLY want in life.

And rest assured there are many people, individuals just like you, and me, who are doing just that. You are not alone. There are many people, more every day, stopping, reflecting, and listening to themselves, finding that inner truth about who they really are, and why they are really here. I know, because I am one of them.


I have left out sources and references intentionally, and for easier reading. Contact me or comment if you want to know more. Many sources for these opinions can be found at, and/or by Googling the sources mentioned.


About christersoderberg

Living and growing up in nine countries has left strong impressions on the background of Christer Söderberg, helping to create an awareness of the impermanence in life and the uncertain value of knowledge; illustrating the paradox between knowing and what we may do well to “unlearn”. Christer has worked with companies in six countries on four continents, most recently in Brazil where between 1998 and 2002 he started a subsidiary for a Swedish Multinational. Studies in business and a lifetime of social entrepreneurship have further cemented his belief that the only thing we can change is ourselves. This lifelong endeavor expresses itself in creating the conditions for change through places, physical and virtual spaces where the individual can feel safe in him/herself; at least enough to stop, reflect and listen to the world we live in. We exist in our relationship to each other, our environment, and ourselves. Through observation and silence, preferably in close communion with nature, a “zero perspective” can help stimulate the questions surrounding our purpose and a meaningful contribution while on earth. Increased awareness of individual potential plants seeds for long-term success; Open World initiatives help awaken the hidden potential in individuals, creating new perspectives on cooperation and personal development. Increased focus and balance help provide a strong base for individual and business growth, with a deeply ingrained sense of responsibility, respect and awe for the power in nature.
This entry was posted in All, Awareness, Leadership, Resilient Humanity, Stop, Reflect & Listen . . ., Sustainability, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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