#Occupy

It started on Wall Street and spread quickly throughout the country. The #occupy movement is interesting to see and even more fascinating is the way that people react to it all. I haven’t personally attended a rally, I’m more the TV viewer which is a totally different perspective than being there, but I can stop and pause and ask myself, is this important or just another reality TV show?

I’m fascinated by the culture that has developed; the way they communicate and discuss issues with their hand gestures and human microphones. I’m excited that people from most walks of life came together and with their different perspectives, are trying to figure out what they might do together and what common values they share. Even if those values may have not been yet clarified.  Their commonality is to fight the inertia that our horrible economy and lack of daily work has brought. They do this because they are Americans. They have dreams. They have the right to be aggravated and to speak out. So, there is a lot to like about this movement. At least people are gathering as a society to try to figure out what is wrong with us as a country.

The issues are many too many to tackle them all – so let’s touch on the basics; the things that matter to every one in every generation. First, we want to live on purpose and that purpose, little by little, is taken away. With the exception of the Great Depression, which was before my time, we have never been in such an economic mess. Yet, from what I read of our history, the real tragedy is not the lack of money but it is the lack of common purpose. Our country it seems is being torn apart by a virus that attacks our mind, body and spirit. It creates anxiety, malaise, anger, defeat and depression. Those are never the ingredients for any good life.

I look around and I wonder who actually is leading us. We have a republican party in Congress that since they started gulping the tea, have become distrusted and distrusting, they have become angry and badgering of anyone who does not conform with their views and they have only one mission and that is to make sure our President is not re-elected.

At the core of this, in my view, is Congress’ civil disobedience. They are more disruptive than any #occupy city. Neither side of the aisle is doing anything worthwhile that will actually change our current state of affairs. They #occupy their swivel chairs in secured offices but do nothing. The economy is at a standstill and people are mad as a result.

Not only do they accomplish nothing, we have learned that they will show up less days for work in 2012. Is this for real? My job (for which I am thankful) demands results, output, productivity. Why is that not the case with Congress?

We have millions and millions of people who would love to put in a hard day’s work. Americans actually like feeding their children and housing their families. We like to make things, buy things and give things away. Yet, we are given less and less chance of doing anything because Congress does nothing.

I wonder if they would sing a different tune if they were the ones unemployed? I, for one, think we should give them a feel of this at the next election. What happens when their savings run out  and they lose their homes? They would be screaming louder than anyone.

These days I feel like the entire country has moved to Connecticut and we lost our power for days, weeks, months and years. Even though our country is 200 years old and has the best technology in the world, we are woefully unprepared for the wrath of Mother Nature. Probably because we ignore her. We heed not her warnings for many years. Too many on the right say she is lying. Why? Because they don’t like (or believe in) science. And Mother Nature, is at her core, a scientific being. No one knows more about physics.

What is happening with the power outage in Connecticut now, is the same thing that is wrong with the country. They are going to rebuild the same power lines, on the same electric poles, by the same trees that will fall and bring the lines down again. They’ve done it over and over. Nothing changes.

Sounds like insanity to me.

The same is happening in Congress and on Wall Street among the 1%. They ignore the 99% of people who may not have much money but have a greater common sense. They forget that keeping the 99% employed, fed and housed it what has made them rich beyond measure. Without the 99% no one is going to buy the stuff that they sell.

The right-wing does not like the #occupy people. (Then again, I don’t really know if they like people at all). They think they are freaks. They have always thought that about anyone who doesn’t look, talk or act like them. They didn’t like the Jews, the blacks, the Hispanics (even the women for many years) and, of course, the gays. They don’t like immigrants even though we all are and they don’t like to be around any one smarter than they are.

This, is our problem. We have raised too many moronic millionaires, gave them a microphone and an office in a castle where they can hide in their offices and not speak to anyone outside their circle. They are afraid to come out in public, they fear those who protest. Yet, weren’t they the same people who “targeted” the other side just a few years ago?

Aren’t these the people who keep demanding that they, “Take back America?”

That is the dumbest phrase of all time. No one is taking America anywhere though China is making a significant down payment. What is happening is that too many people, powered by ideology, and not good sense or rational thought, are kicking Americans when they are down. Our leaders should build us up. When millions are out of work and our roads and bridges are crumbling, a 5-year-old could figure out that maybe the two events could actually complement each other and create something good.

The news yesterday was that 1 in 15 people in America are now below the poverty line. I can see why some people want to take back America because frankly it doesn’t look like us anymore.

I don’t have the answers of what to do with Congress except fire each and every one of them. But, their replacements could well be worse. Regardless, change is needed and if we are blocked in doing it the normal way, through discussion and compromise, then what is there left to do? #occupy. Do everything one can to come together to figure this out. And if protest is not your thing, then get together in community centers, neighborhood parks, schools and churches as a community for pot luck dinners, sharing clothing and stories, playing games and gossiping. Get back to our roots.

We may have less money but we still have friends. We still have that American spirit that moves us to pull ourselves out of any disaster we face. There has never been a single politician on his own that has ever saved our country. It has always been the people who answered a rational or inspiring call of a leader. And absent that leadership today, we must start communicating among ourselves, create for ourselves and others new opportunities.

Community potlucks combined with community think tanks. Why not get the neighbors together, pool our resources and start cleaning up our neighborhoods, wash our windows, fix our own potholes, create new businesses and spend more time with one another.

Whenever we pull together, we do amazing things. We are led to believe that polarity in opinion, which causes us to be divided, is the only way we can right the wrongs and clean up our financial house. The opposite, though, has always been true.

Unless we get back to knowing our common purpose and flexing our common strength, we will lose ourselves for years to come. No one has taken away our country though they have tried to dampen our spirit. Yet there is no foe, no power, foreign or domestic, that can extinguish the fire, and the passion that makes us Americans.

We all #occupy America. Maybe it is the time for the occupants to clean house and move on with our lives.

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About townspeoplesd

The views and opinions expressed here are my own. They do not necessarily reflect the views of my former employer, Townspeople, their management, staff or board of directors.
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