Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thoughts on Occupy Wall Street

We are forever beholden to the regimes and systems and networks that run our lives. This is as true now as it was two thousand years ago. We can decry the hurt that we have endured because of unfair policies and rule, and we should be thankful for the successes and innovations brought about by such governing.

As we become more aware of those around us, we are more conscious of the successes and failures of those same groups and individuals.


Occupy Wall Street, to me, is the public discontent arising from the realization that one form of success is trumping all others in this country and elsewhere, even when it causes harm.

Most people want to be rich, sure, but for one reason: to take their woes away. Money solves problems. You can solve every problem in your life if you just have the money to pay for the solution. Money pays to resolve problems, and it also pays for leisure, recreation, and entertainment. But that's it.

Most people want to work and then call it a day. Most people want to have time with friends and family, time alone, time learning more about something they love, time for recreation, time to eat.

Occupy Wall Street is about an inability by the leaders of business to see the small things in life, to only see this one element of life.

It is a backlash from people who do not care about being rich, they only care about having enough. In America it is not considered enough to own a restaurant on a corner where you can make your living, pay your employees, and call it a day. No, you are expected to expand to a second location, and then four more. To make more money.

And here's why you are expected to go the extra mile for money: because if you slip up, you better have that money ready. Because these days it only takes a single car accident or one tough month or one ailing relative to cost thousands upon thousands of dollars of damage. For those who are not rich, it might be years to recover. Perhaps they will never recover. You wanted just enough, but enough is no longer good enough. Now you are forever in the red.

We are told that every second of our time matters, every cent of our dollar has meaning. It only has meaning because it has gained meaning by those who care about money. And we are more numb to every cent because of this. Because there is no more context.

Money does not matter. Everything else matters, and we are discontented now because we see money being valued over everything else. Money should be just one of many conduits through which we stabilize, reinforce, and improve our environment and ourselves, and until we see those who would be our leaders of the financial and political world embrace these same ideals, we will be discontented.

OWS is a backlash to the soul-sucking efforts to wrest every dollar back from the majority of people who want nothing more than to live peaceably in harmony with the systems around them. When money becomes the problem, not the solution, it needs to be dealt with.