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FEBRUARY 28TH 2011 

Simple questions for a complicated world

How can I best participate in Citizen Capitalism? That’s a question we’ve heard a lot since launching our site.  People tell us they like the idea, but aren’t sure how to work it into their life. Well, this blog is about that.

There really are two basic principles behind Citizen Capitalism. We believe that we each have the power to change the world with our daily choices. And that the choices we make can trigger new and different choices by our friends, by businesses and by government. In other words, it all starts with you. And me.

There are two barriers that get in the way of making more conscious choices day-to-day, even when the desire to do so is there.

First, most of us don’t have the time or the money to fundamentally change the way we live. Whether we’re paying off student loans or a mortgage, trying to succeed at work, preparing for or actually raising kids, there’s no extra time and there’s certainly no extra money.  We get that because we’re living it, too. That’s why CC is committed to helping people make more conscious choices that don’t cost extra time or money. You can make a difference without remaking your life.

Secondly, and probably more importantly, people wonder what different choices to make. We’re all bombarded with information about what we should and shouldn’t do, what’s going to kill us this week, who the latest poster child for corporate malfeasance is, and who we should or shouldn’t vote for. Everybody has an agenda, and they’re working hard to figure out what they can tell us to get our support. And if there isn’t some underlying motive, the pace of growth or our knowledge as a species is such that what somebody told us was true today may be disproved tomorrow. So how can we possibly make smart choices in light of all of this?

At CC, we’re not going to tell you what choices we think you should make. We’re excited to have members of this community present their points of view about those choices, and we’ll leave it to you to figure out what you think you ought to do about it. But what we will humbly suggest is a process for making your choices.

If you watched our video, you would have heard us pose 2 questions:

Does it benefit me without hurting others?

Does it benefit my world today without hurting it tomorrow?


We’re using those questions to guide us, and our experience suggests we might be on to something.

The first question causes us to think about the choices we make and the effect they have on others, whether that’s our neighbours, our community, or the people who grow or create the stuff we buy.

The second question speaks to the impact we individually have on the world today and for the future. We could choose not to vote in this election, but what if the victor implements policies that fundamentally change what we love about our city or country?

We could ignore warnings about household chemicals or continue to buy from companies that misbehave. But if we think about it, why should we? Especially if we can make different choices that don’t cause these things and don’t cost us more money – maybe even save us money.

That’s what CC is about: Making better, more conscious choices in our daily lives.

Let our questions be your guide. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much they simplify this complicated world we call home.



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