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My name is Stephen.  I’m 37 and I have been a part of the Society for about 4 years.  Like many, when I entered the job market after I graduated college I was a little dismayed at what the “real world” was like. I started my own manufacturing business thinking that was going to be the end all be all.  It wasn’t.  I was still working a full time job and then working my manufacturing business in my spare time.  I wasn’t getting where I wanted to go.  I would wonder what I was lacking that the successful people weren’t.  Basically, I was trying to find a way to make an impact without stepping outside the norm.  In retrospect that is something I can’t seem to get my head around. Has anybody ever heard the question, “What is the definition of insanity?”  Well it’s when you do the same thing over and over again each time expecting a different outcome. 
So there I was… trying to reach the carrot on the end of the stick.  You know that one thing that is in front of your but you just can’t seem to reach it and no matter how far you go, you don’t reach it.  It’s always there, but just out of reach. I journeyed on.  For about a year I was in deep depression, swearing that my life would never get better, enveloping myself with the bad aspects of life, my divorce, my crappy job, stress, anger. On a couple occasions, I had thoughts of the unspeakable, mainly keeping all of this to myself, growing somewhat attached to the idea that I didn’t have to live forever. As you can imagine I was going down a bad road that is extremely addictive and hard to get out of. One day, a question was asked of me by my friend, “Why do you wake up in the morning?” As most people would do I automatically answered, “Because there’s nothing else to do.  “Gotta get a paycheck so I can buy beer.”  It got me thinking more about why I bother each morning to roll to my side, sit up, and lift myself off of my bed and go into the day ahead of me.   I think the answer was… hope.  The hope for a better life. 
For a time, I was married and for a time that filled me up.  8 years later I got divorced and suddenly found that I was single again and not really too excited about it.  I still wanted the romantic relationships often depicted in movies.  I wanted to be surrounded by friends.  At the time I think I had three.  I wanted the exciting career that would not only pay well but fill me up inside.  I wanted the body of a Greek god rather than Buddha.  I couldn’t quite get my hands on it.  The carrot still dangling just out of reach.
Then the Society found me.  It didn’t happen overnight, but from reading the manuscripts over the years the things I learned started coming into play and I began to see things clearer.  Those puzzle pictures that Mark Hamilton mentions in his writings actually began to show themselves.  Today things are different.  I can have an idea, see the result first, and then know what pieces I need to make it a reality.  I feel that my involvement with the society has changed me and that this has brought new things into my life.  Today my manufacturing business has reached the level to where I am able to do only that for my full time income.   Now I have a girlfriend.  Things just seem to be aligning themselves perfectly.
At several points in my life, I felt an overwhelming sense of despair.  Today I feel exhilarated.  I am losing weight using the techniques I learned through the society and feel better physically.  Today I am filled with hope for a brighter future.  I always say, “You can be a part of the problem or you  can  be a part of the solution.”   Today my mind is at piece because I have chosen to become a part of the solution, a positive solution where the individual can and does make a difference.  It is hard to put into words just how fulfilling my journey with the society has been.  It simply is too much for words, but I will say that at times I feel that I could just burst with enthusiasm.
In the future, with the growth of the Society, I can see many more wonderful things for myself and for society in general.  I can see myself involved with not only helping to change the consciousness of humanity, but also I can see myself playing a part in helping the geniuses of society in finding economical alternative energy solutions and ultimately making our world healthier, wealthier, and safer.  I can also see myself delighted at the opportunity to help others find the lives they were meant to live.  But more important, I can see that no matter what it is I am doing on any given day, it will be enjoyable and exciting.  The thought of being part of a large organization where everybody is my friend, an organization where our goal is to have the biggest and best parties… well… count me in! I am excited about the future and I am excited to welcome you into the society.  I know you will bring great values to our clubhouse and eventually to the world as well.  


Midwest Integrated (Chicago Suburban) 
Elgin, IL

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