I have to tell you, I am more than a little excited by the display of grassroots protest and indignation that is currently sweeping the world. I am particularly enthused by the idea that maybe — just maybe — people in the U.S. are waking up from their pacified complacency, ready to do the work that is essential for a movement like this to stick.
But for all the buzz, the hype and the status updates that follow anything new and compelling, I can’t help but notice the trend in our hyper-stimulated culture toward initial interest, media attention and participation, followed by criticism and satire, followed by the resumption of daily life as usual. After all, we’ve all got jobs, kids, households and schedules to maintain. Who has time or resources to devote their lives to being radical?
Here’s where I think we’ve got it all wrong. I believe that it is within our jobs, the rearing of our children, the embrace of our home life and the prioritization of our schedules that real social change is born.
Sure, Wall Street and the financial players with the big bucks ought to be held responsible, and their hugely disproportionate influence assessed and leveled. Agreed, 100%.
However, there are profound reasons for the economic crises and injustice in our country that have just as much to do with our lust for “Easy Street” as the luster of Wall Street. As a general populous, we’ve bought-in to the consumeristic madness, the rampant materialism and the promise of a better life through the accumulation of wealth and non-essential goods. The big wigs on Wall Street? Loopholes or not, they’re just “winning” at the game that we’ve all been playing.
I want this movement to work. I want to see change so badly, I can almost taste it. But I’ve come to believe that waiting for someone else to fix the problems in my life is not only ineffective, but leaves me resentful and overwhelmed with powerlessness (complacency’s greatest ally).
In contemplating the best use of my time and energy toward the support of the Occupy movement, I have come up with a list of everyday measures that I believe not only complement, but give depth and holding power to any movement in the direction of a better tomorrow. This will not happen overnight, my friends. I just hope we’ve got the collective attention span to see it through.
“The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything” ~ Albert Einstein