Occupy Your Own Street



Over the last month, I’ve read article after article, seasoned with opinions from Twitter and Facebook, about the Wall Street Protests.

I see photos claiming that we’re the 99%, or the 1%, depending on the perspective. I’ve heard agreements and disagreements with the protesters. I’m sure you have your own opinion and I’d love to hear it. We learn from each other by voicing our opinions.


Photo Credit: Tumblr (posted to share)


In watching and learning about these protests, I’ve noticed that mostly, people just want to be heard. After people have been heard, they want to know that, at the end of the day, they’ve made a difference in this world. Whatever that difference may be, people just want to matter.

I don’t know what results the Wall Street Protests will bring. So far, I think that there is no specific list of demands, but just an overall “something’s not right with the way business is run and we need to change it”.

What I’m really fascinated by, is that throughout the existence of human kind, humans have always thought that change would bring satisfaction. People relish system and order, as these bring feelings of security and stability. So we create systems, we create order, and then those systems eventually start to take control. At this point, the cycle begins again because when a system takes control, people feel like they’ve lost their own power and their own feelings of security and stability. Rebellion happens, and we begin again, trying to move forward into positive change.

My high school teacher, Mr. D, taught me, “the only thing we’ve learned from history is that we don’t learn from history”. So true, Mr. D, so true.

What are we to do, then? Sit back and just let life be as it was? Well, if people did that we’d still be carving on stone tablets, communicating with smoke signals, and hanging those who disagree with us. Maybe life would be just fine if we had left it at that, but I know I’m thankful for email and cell phones and potential free speech.

I don’t know if protesting wall street will change corruption in this country. I don’t know if I’m the 99% or the 1%. I don’t know if this post even makes any sense.

I can say, with a high level of confidence, that no matter what change we ask of a corporation or a government, we’ll always want more. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask, but know that it will never be enough.

On the other hand, there is something to what the beloved Mahatma Gandhi taught us, “be the change you want to see in the world”.

Do you want to see corporations treat people justly and honestly? Your spending habits contribute to their decisions. Do you want to see people freed from slavery and suffering? Your spending habits contribute to decisions. Do you want to see relationships thrive and communities remain sacred? Your spending habits contribute to decisions.

The spending not only of your money, but of your time, of your words, of your resources. It’s you that creates a system, it’s you that makes positive changes, it’s you that shows your neighbors what it means to love well.

If you want practical ways to participate in the Wall Street movement, I like what my friend, Doug, has started over at www.occupyyourownstreet.com.

Be the change you want to see in the world.


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